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The Ship of Lost Men (1929)

Das Schiff der verlorenen Menschen (original title)
Vela, cynical captain of a slow, decrepit sailing ship, sells passage out of Germany to fugitives. His crew are no angels either. Cheyne, a young American doctor visiting the ship, is ... See full summary »

Director:

Maurice Tourneur

Writers:

Franzos Keremen (novel), Maurice Tourneur
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fritz Kortner ... Kapitän Vela - Captain Fernando Vela
Marlene Dietrich ... Ethel Marley
Robin Irvine Robin Irvine ... William 'T.W.' Cheyne - a Young American Doctor
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Grischa - der Koch - the Cook (as Wladimir Sokoloff)
Gaston Modot ... Der Sträfling Morains - Morain - the Escaped Convict
Boris de Fast Boris de Fast ... Der tätowierte - The Tattooed Sailor
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ... Nick (as F. Schaljapin)
Max Maximilian Max Maximilian ... Tom Butley
Fritz Alberti Fritz Alberti ... Der Kapitän - The Captain of the Luxury Liner L'Amorique
Robert Garrison Robert Garrison ... Der Vermieter - The Landlord
Heinrich Gotho Heinrich Gotho ... Ein Matrose - A Sailor
Harry Grunwald Harry Grunwald ... Ein Matrose - A Sailor
Emil Heyse Emil Heyse
Fred Immler Fred Immler
Alfred Loretto Alfred Loretto ... Ein Matrose - A Sailor
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Storyline

Vela, cynical captain of a slow, decrepit sailing ship, sells passage out of Germany to fugitives. His crew are no angels either. Cheyne, a young American doctor visiting the ship, is shanghaied on a 3-month voyage to Brazil when Vela abruptly embarks. In mid-ocean, Cheyne rescues the survivor of a watery plane crash, lovely American heiress Ethel Marley; he and the ship's cook keep her hidden from captain and crew. But a brutal incident leads to mutiny and murder, putting the two Americans in great danger...building to a cliffhanger climax. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ship | mutiny | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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Details

Country:

Germany | France

Release Date:

10 January 1930 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ship of Lost Men See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Max Glass Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Sea Wolf sans Nietzsche
26 May 2003 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Tourneur's last silent movie shows his full command of the silent film grammar -- much of which he invented -- in his beautiful compositions and still camera, punctuated for excellent effect by purposeful moving and process shots. He never uses the camera to make the viewer gasp at his brilliance, but only to punctuate a psychological point or improve the film's pace.

The story, from the novel by Franzos Keremen, is a commentary on Jack London's SEA WOLF. London's Wolf Larsen is a Nietzschean philosopher. The captain, in this movie, is a schemer among brutes -- a correction to London's drunken maunderings that might have served humanity better. It is the gentle cook, played by Vladimir Sokoloff that is the real hero of the story after the crew mutinies and kills the ship's master.

The movie also stars Marlene Dietrich, a few months before von Sternberg supposedly plucked her from obscurity. She looks a lot like Claudette Colbert in this movie and shows her command of film acting already. Very highly recommended.


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