2.7/10
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21 user 6 critic

The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)

Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Cmdr. John Finchhaven, RN
...
Jennifer Winslow
...
Lt. (j.g.) Morton Krim
...
Cook 3 / C W. J. Oglethorpe
...
Chief Gunners Mate Orville Toole
Juano Hernandez ...
Ali Shar
...
Seaman 1 / C Lightfoot Star
Barry Kelley ...
Adm. Barnwell
Leonard O. Smith ...
Dyak
Richard Guizon ...
Dyak
John Cochran ...
Dyak
...
Adm. Shimagoshi
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Storyline

Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a further opportunity arises to redeem his actions. During the Second World War, he is encountered by a quartet of American seamen that includes Lt. Morton Krim and cook W.J. Oglethorpe. A deal is completed whereby the men will help re-float Finchhaven's command in return for a passage to Australia. They raid a village to secure batteries for the engine and come upon the feisty Jennifer Winslow who offers them aid in return for a passage with the crew. Eventually they reach the open sea. Finchhaven's ghostly status is revealed and Lt. Krim and Jennifer help him to sink a Japanese cruiser. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We would like to thank Adolf Hitler, David Niven, Joseph Stalin, Faye Dunaway, Tojo, Mickey Rooney, Jack Carter, Alan Alda, John Frankenheimer, and the millions of Nazis, Japanese, and Americans who made this picture possible. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brod fantom  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film of Barry Kelley. See more »

Goofs

A nuclear weapon detonation is seen! There were no nuclear weapons at this point in the war. And nuclear weapons were not tested anywhere but in a desert until a few years after the war. See more »

Quotes

Cook 3: [referring to Cmdr. Finchhaven] He's dead, huh? I knew there was something fishy about him.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

We Sail the Ocean Blue
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan (uncredited)
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert (uncredited)
[Played on Finchhaven's phonograph during the final attack]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An unconventional 1960s war comedy from John Frankenheimer
18 August 2014 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

John Frankenheimer directed some truly great films in the 1960s, including BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (1962), THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964), and THE TRAIN (1964). THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN (1969) is a rare foray into comedy for the director, who'd found such success with dramas and thrillers.

THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN is one of those sloppy experimental comedies from the 1960s. An anti-"war movie" (rather than an "anti-war" movie). Irreverent, satirical, but a bit messy and undercooked. It's certainly not a great film, but it has its merits. The stylistic conceit of incorporating vintage newsreel footage (with faux newsreel narration) into the story is an interesting touch. The patriotic newsreel montages create an ironical juxtaposition with the decidedly unheroic circumstances of the main characters. Maurice Jarre's bouncing score adds a quirky edge to the wartime setting and keeps things lively.

The plot: A motley group of shipwrecked American sailors (led by a young Alan Alda) comes across a dilapidated British naval vessel and its eccentric and mysterious captain, played by David Niven. The lovely Faye Dunaway joins the crew as they pull out of the Philippines and head out to sea during the final days of WWII. Hijinks ensue.

Mickey Rooney plays one of the sailors and suspects that everyone is a Jap spy. Despite a rather weak script, David Niven gives an enjoyable performance. I liked the casual way he'd report that Alda fell overboard.

During the '60s filmmakers liked to experiment with unconventional storytelling. THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN is an atypical film from John Frankenheimer. The novelty of the newsreel footage gives the film a unique personality, but the madcap editing comes off as messy sometimes. There are some good creative ideas, but the finished movie lacks focus. The result is a little-known curiosity with some recognizable names attached. A mediocre movie, perhaps, and certainly not up to the director's standard, but I think the IMDb community is being too harsh on it (a 2.5 rating?!).


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