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Jim Knight is the captain of a ship trading in the South Seas. He runs into trouble when he makes port at an island where crooks Malone and Ross hold the natives under their cruel domination while they seek a fortune in pearls. Knight and his crew are taken prisoners and he falls for native princess Mareva, and her non-plump charms are more than enough motivation for Knight to put an end to Malone and his henchmen, and also the the greedy police commissioner Lamoret. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Once John Wayne left Republic Pictures and the B picture western market had gone to television, the studio that Herbert J. Yates built was just marking time. Hell Ship Mutiny is a typical example of the product of Mr. Yates at this time. Yates was a penny pincher even when he was prospering and now that his market was drying up the production values were nil.
Jon Hall stars in Hell Ship Mutiny and he plays a South Seas schooner captain who on stopping at one of the islands on his course finds the people enslaved by some real bottom feeding pearl hunters. Told that the pearls to be found are way too deep for humans to be diving without benefit of equipment, the villains John Carradine, Mike Mazurki, and Michael Barrett. They dive until they die, one way or another.
In the short slightly over an hour the tables turn many times for the good and the bad guys. Hall has a romantic interest in Polynesian princess Roberta Haynes and Peter Lorre overacts outrageously as a greedy French commissioner.
Hall who was previously Ramar Of The Jungle probably saw this as a possible television pilot for himself. As we know that didn't work out.
It's almost impossible to make a bad looking film in the South Seas, but Republic managed to do it with cheap sets, bad lighting that's great for a noir film, but not for an outdoor adventure. And all done on Republic's back lot.
In another year Yates gave up the ghost, but I suspect in those last years Republic turned out a lot of cheap films like Hell Ship Mutiny.
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