The career of Revolutionary War naval hero from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Aimee de Tellison
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Dorothea Danders
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King Louis XVI (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
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John Wilkes
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Capt. Richard Pearson
Susana Canales ...
Marie Antoinette (as Susan Canales)
Georges Rivière ...
Russian Chamberlain (as Jorge Riviere)
Tom Brannum ...
Peter Wooley
Basil Sydney ...
...
Gunner Lowrie
Archie Duncan ...
Duncan MacBean
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Storyline

The swashbuckling adventures of the hero of the Revolutionary War. His contributions weren't always appreciated by the new U.S. government. After the way Congress show their displeasure by sending him to the Russia of Catherine the Great. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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A name ... a battle cry ... and now a mighty motion picture ! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

16 June 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Su imperio era el océano  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Paul Jones is the stage name of the bass player of the rock band Led Zeppelin; his real name is John Baldwin. He adopted this name at the suggestion of a friend of his, who had seen a poster of this movie. See more »

Goofs

The Bonhomme Richard is shown sinking immediately after the battle with Serapis, with pumping operations going on during the battle. She actually sank late the next day after efforts to repair her (begun after the surrender, as men could not be spared during the fight and the extent of the damage could not be fully judged during the chaos) failed. See more »

Quotes

Captain Richard Pearson: Captain, are you surrendering? Do you ask for quarter?
John Paul Jones: No sir! I have no yet begun to fight!
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle Dandy
(uncredited)
Traditional Anglo-American song
Riffs from it are integrated into Steiner's score
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User Reviews

 
Biography of one of the great men of the American Revolution , being produced by the great Samuel Bronston and spectacularly filmed in Spain
16 November 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Biopic about a notorious sea commandant , a 18th-century naval hero who became the prestigious leader of the American navy against the British Empire . This is tribute to the Revolutionary War naval hero filmed in big budget , spectacular scenes and great production design , though was pretty wooden and failed at box office . The career of Revolutionary War naval hero , John Paul Jones (Robert Stack) from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia (Bette Davis) . It deals with his beginnings of his naval career as a cabin boy to the captaincy of his own ship . This came to an end, however, when John killed a member of his crew, a mutineer with a sword in a dispute , but because he would not be tried in an Admiral's Court, he felt compelled to flee to Fredericksburg, Province of Virginia, leaving his fortune behind . He went to Fredericksburg to arrange the affairs of his brother, who had died there without leaving any other family ; and about this time, in addition to his original surname, he assumed the surname of Jones . Later on , he greatly aids George Washington (John Crawford) and the American cause . With Benjamin Franklin's (Charles Coburn) help, he secures a ship from Louis XVI (Jean Pierre Aumont) and Marie Antoinette (Susana Canales) which he calls the Bonhomme Richard and ultimately meets the vaunted British battleship of the line, the Searapis, in one of the great naval battles of all time.

It's a passable historical drama story where the protagonist , Robert Stack , is acceptable . Stack striving mightily to be shipshape as Jones . It is an epic and moving tale , as the starring fights enemies , taking on the risks of sea battles to survive in a world surrounded by powerful forces . The picture contains interesting drama , a love history , colorful spectacle , historical events and sea battles have some flare , being filmed in Denia , Alicante , Spain . This historic movie was realized with import help from Spanish government delivering logistics , props , soldiers and many other things . Being a Spanish/American co-production by Suevia Films-Cesareo Gonzalez along with Samuel Bronston Production in his first movie in Spain where he produced monumental flicks such as ¨El Cid¨ , ¨55 days in Pekin¨ , ¨King of Kings¨ , ¨Circus World¨ and ¨The fall of the Roman Empire¨ . Very good support cast such as Macdonald Carey as Patrick Henry , Jean-Pierre Aumont as King Louis XVI , David Farrar as John Wilkes , Bruce Cabot as Gunner , Thomas Gomez as Hopkins , Peter Cushing as Capt. Richard Pearson and final film of Charles Coburn ; including cameo appearances from Bette Davis as Catherina The Great, the Russian empress , Eric Pohlmann as George III replaced George Sanders , and film debut of Mia Farrow , director's daughter and Maureen O'Sullivan . Rousing musical score by master Max Steiner , this would be the last time Max Steiner would compose a film score for a film featuring Bette Davis , he had written several scores for movies starring Davis, and had been her favorite composer . The picture was professionally directed by veteran filmmaker John Farrow , though with no originality , being his final film . However , this sometimes tedious , empty and overlong epic sank without a trace .

The motion picture was correctly based on historic events , these are the following : John Paul Jones (July 6, 1747 – July 18, 1792) was a Scottish sailor and the United States's first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolution. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to this day. As such he is sometimes referred to as the "Father of the United States Navy" . He later served in the Imperial Russian Navy. During his engagement with HMS Serapis, Jones uttered, according to the later recollection of his first lieutenant, the legendary reply to a taunt about surrender from the British captain: "I have not yet begun to fight!"


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