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Seas Beneath (1931)

Passed | | Action, Drama, War | 29 March 1931 (USA)
In the waning days of WWI, a U.S. "Mystery Ship," sets sail for the coast of Spain towing a submarine. Their mission is to find and sink a U-boat that has been especially effective in ... See full summary »


John Ford


Dudley Nichols (screenplay), James Parker Jr. (story) (as Comdr. James Parker U.S.N. Ret'd)




Complete credited cast:
George O'Brien ... Cmdr. Robert 'Bob' Kingsley
Marion Lessing ... Anna Marie Von Steuben
Mona Maris ... Fraulein Lolita
Walter C. Kelly Walter C. Kelly ... Chief Mike 'Guns' Costello
Warren Hymer ... 'Lug' Kaufman
Steve Pendleton ... Ens. Richard 'Dick' Cabot (as Gaylord Pendleton)
Walter McGrail ... Chief Joe Cobb
Larry Kent ... Lt. 'Mac' McGregor
Henry Victor ... Baron Ernst von Steuben (U-boat commander)
John Loder ... Franz Shiller


In the waning days of WWI, a U.S. "Mystery Ship," sets sail for the coast of Spain towing a submarine. Their mission is to find and sink a U-boat that has been especially effective in attacking Allied shipping. Posing as a harmless schooner, the mystery ship is in fact fitted with a formidable gun capable of sinking a U-boat. Stopping in the Canary Islands to refuel, the crew interacts with locals involved with Germans, and with Germans themselves, including the sister of the U-Boat commander, who is lurking offshore waiting for the coming battle. Written by Ron kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrill after thrill will hold you breathless in Fox Movietone Drama (Print Ad- New York Evening Post, ((New York NY)) 3 February 1931)


Action | Drama | War


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The three-masted schooner used as the decoy mystery ship was the same one used in the movies The Sea Wolf (1930) and The Painted Woman (1932). See more »


Here's My Hand - You're in My Heart
Music by James F. Hanley
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy
See more »

User Reviews

Lesser Ford
25 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Seas Beneath (1931)

** (out of 4)

A U.S. "mystery ship" is sent out to destroy a German U-boat, which has been causing damage to Allied ships. Like many other early sound films, this one here suffers from non-stop talking, which is damaged because the dialogue is just downright stupid and bad. I guess studios would read screenplays and order additional dialogue because this film has so many subplots that I can't help but think they were added to boost up the dialogue. There's a love story between George O'Brien and Marion Lessing, which is just downright stupid and bad. I'm going to guess the relationship between the boat Commander and a possible German spy was meant to add suspense but it never does. Ford really seems bored with these various dialogue scenes because there's never an ounce of energy in them. What really works is the final twenty-minutes when the mystery ship goes up against the U-boat. There's a long sequence where the ship must fall under attack because the sub isn't in their range for a counter attack. This scene here is full of wonderful excitement and some real suspense. The action scenes are all very realistic and Ford really puts the viewer in a mind frame where it feels like you're actually on the ship. Outside of these scenes I'd have to say Ford's direction is pretty weak because it really seems like he's making a silent movie with dialogue. The scenes are really strange to look at and they never really feel like a director use to the sound technology.

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English | German | Spanish

Release Date:

29 March 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Seas Beneath See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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