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The Decks Ran Red (1958)

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A band of dishonest seamen plan a murderous mutiny aboard the S.S. Berwind.



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Title: The Decks Ran Red (1958)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Edwin Rummill
Henry Scott
Leroy Martin
Katharine Bard ...
Joan Rummill
Alex Cole
Hanna Landy ...
Doris Belger
John Gallaudet ...
'Bull' Pringle
Barney Phillips ...
Karl Pope
David Cross ...
Mace (as David R. Cross)
Hank Patterson ...
Mr. Moody
Harry Bartell ...
Tom Walsh
Joel Fluellen ...
Guy Kingsford ...
Jim Osborne
Jonathan Hole ...
Mr. Adams


A band of dishonest seamen plan a murderous mutiny aboard the S.S. Berwind.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They murdered her man... and now she was at the mercy of the love-starved crew of the Berwind!


Adventure | Drama


See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 March 1959 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Infamy at Sea  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


There is no music or any score in the movie until the very end. Until then, all the ambience is ship noises. See more »


There are several shots showing the ship propeller operating only partially submerged. This would be an extremely inefficient method of propulsion. See more »


Capt. Edwin Rummill: [Narrating - commenting on the provocatively beautiful wife of the Maori cook who was hired at the last minute, and who had insisted on bringing his wife along, against Captain Rummill's wishes] It had never entered my mind that the woman would be so sensuous, so exotically beautiful. I knew then that I had started my command with a dangerous error of judgment.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits of this black-and-white film, the last word of the title is colored blood red. See more »


Referenced in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty brutal for its time.
7 July 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

These two merchant sailors -- Broderick Crawford and Stewart Whitman -- get a crazy idea aboard a freighter. They're going to kill every officer and man aboard, waterlog the ship, radio for help, claim there was a mutiny and everyone left the ship but them, and claim the ship, worth a million bucks, for salvage.

Granted, the idea is slightly askew, but these guys are snipes, working down in the engine room and the temperature there runs around 116 degrees and sounds like the deepest pits of hell. That environment will drive anyone nuts. Besides, it's like the old joke. "How's your wife?" "Compared to WHAT?" If you put Crawford and Whitman next to the Manson Family or al Qaeda they look like paragons of rationality. So, okay, let's leave them some leeway, so to speak.

I'll skip the plot, I guess, because it doesn't require much in the way of explanation. The dialog lacks verve and credibility. "Anything can happen!" "Whoever destroyed the radios must have had a PURPOSE." And when the officers find three corpses in the engine room, someone says to Mason, "Do you realize the ENORMITY of this?" The acting doesn't require much comment either. Everybody involved delivers about what you'd expect. Mason is smooth, Crawford plays a junk man, Whitman is a little ratty, and none of the others stand out -- except Dorothy Dandridge. She can't act very well, but -- wow! What a dish. I don't know about "a million bucks" but Dorothy Dandridge could start a genuine mutiny alright.

I vaguely remember seeing this when it was released and, it may be hard for a contemporary viewer to understand but, like "The Sniper," which was released about the same time, it was shocking in its brutality. The theater suddenly went kind of quiet when Crawford deliberately picked off one of the crew members from a few feet away with a high-powered rifle. The sexy Dandridge was memorable too, although I don't recall that she quieted down the audience.

The Perrys, who produced, had a habit of using real locations for their shoots. "Cry Terror," another suspenser with James Mason, made good use of New York locations. And they actually sunk a liner for one of their movies, something like, "The Last Voyage." I'm glad they never made a movie about the end of the world.

The story isn't really a grabber and the acting is no more than routine but this is worth seeing, if only because it gives you a chance to feel what it's really like to be on a ship, not a mockup of the kind that John Wayne sails through with such ease. The ship, by the way, is pretty ship shape and not at all a rust bucket. She's also high in the water because she's carrying no cargo.

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