The story of the voyage of the "Mayflower" in its historic voyage across the Atlantic to the New World. The passenger list includes John Alden and Priscilla Mullins among those who made the 96-day storm-filled crossing. Along the way the Captain has an ill-starred romance with the wife of a religious fanatic that ends in a sudden, dramatic way off the coast of Cape Cod. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Peter Lawford was originally cast in a supporting role, but Spencer Tracy took an immediate dislike to him and he was taken off the picture. See more »
The New World was visited in 1607. In One scene they show a map of the Massachusetts area. They call it New England but they are headed to Virginia. How could they have mapped out New England without having visited it yet? See more »
Offscreen chorus in opening titles:
Confess Jehovah thankfully for He is good, for his Mercie continueth forever. To God of gods confesse do ye because His bountiful mercie continueth forever. Unto the Lord of lords confesse because His merciful kindness continueth forever. To Him that doth, Himself only, things wondrous great, for His Mercie continueth forever; continueth forever.
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The end credits are the most comprehensive cast list. After each actor is shown in character, in reverse order from the opening credits, the ship The Mayflower (a replica of the 1620 vessel) is shown floating in the water and identified by a graphic. See more »
Spencer Tracy seems miscast as a dour and cynical sea captain...
An already aged-looking SPENCER TRACY is Captain Jones of the Mayflower in this MGM visualization of what the crossing to the New World may have been like on an overcrowded ship full of hopeful, determined passengers and crew. But neither he nor GENE TIERNEY (as Mrs. Bradford) seem at home in roles that are never really fleshed out by the script. Nevertheless, Tierney gets plenty of wistful close-ups as she gazes toward the horizon (or Tracy), but little of substance to do.
Neither does VAN JOHNSON get more than a brief supporting role as John Alden. LEO GENN gets more material as Tierney's stuffed shirt husband but little can be said of the other passengers except for LLOYD BRIDGES who struts around as a bronzed, blue-eyed pirate with taking ways. He at least livens up the scene whenever he's around.
The main trouble is the lack of strong drama in the script. Most of the passengers are a dull lot. Added to that, the lack of real chemistry between Tracy and Tierney makes it difficult to believe their love could be deep enough for her to care about this rude and cynical man completely lacking any sort of refinement in his nature.
The big storm scene is well realized and staged for maximum effect, but only serves to remind us how dull the other sections of the film are.
Summing up: A very uneven drama about an historical event that celebrated the birth of the New World. Should have been so much better.
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