13 user 6 critic

The Captain Hates the Sea (1934)

Passed | | Comedy | 2 November 1934 (USA)
Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capeador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private ... See full summary »


Lewis Milestone


Wallace Smith (novel), Wallace Smith (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Victor McLaglen ... Junius P. Schulte
Wynne Gibson ... Mrs. Jeddock
Alison Skipworth ... Mrs. Yolanda Magruder
John Gilbert ... Steve Bramley
Helen Vinson ... Janet Grayson
Fred Keating ... Danny Checkett
Leon Errol ... Layton
Walter Connolly ... Capt. Helquist
Tala Birell ... Gerta Klangi
Walter Catlett ... Joe Silvers
John Wray ... Mr. Jeddock
Claude Gillingwater ... Judge Griswold
Emily Fitzroy ... Mrs. Victoria Griswold
Donald Meek ... Josephus Bushmills
Luis Alberni ... Juan Gilboa


Alcoholic newspaperman Steve Bramley boards the San Capeador for a restful cruise, hoping to quit drinking and begin writing a book. Also on board are Steve's friend Schulte, a private detective hoping to nab criminal Danny Checkett with a fortune in stolen bonds. Steve begins drinking, all the while observing the various stories of other passengers on board, several of whom turn out not to be who they seem to be. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fun, Hilarity, Laughs Galore See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


John Gilbert's career was waning by the time he was hired by (at the time) a "Poverty Row studio like Columbia for this picture. His lucrative contract option had been dropped by the larger and richer MGM because his voice had tested higher than suited his masculine screen image. With his career in shambles, Gilbert had begun to drink heavily, but thanks mainly to the support of his friend Lewis Milestone, he was hired by Columbia for this picture--with the sole condition that he remain sober throughout the production. Unfortunately, Gilbert by this time was an alcoholic unable to stay away from drinking for very long, particularly among such heavy-drinking cast members as Walter Catlett and Victor McLaglen. Keeping the cast sober proved impossible, even while filming at sea. In a rage at the mounting expenditures, Columbia president Harry Cohn telegraphed director Milestone, 'Return to studio. The cost is staggering.' Milestone wired back, 'So is the cast!' See more »


Right after the stern line is cast off, showing us the ship's starboard side is at dockside, the Captain (Walter Connolly) orders the helm, "Hard to starboard" - which would apparently send the ship right back into the dock. The 'Hard to Starboard' command by the Captain isn't a goof at all, as his very next command is 'Both engines slow astern'. In other words he's reversing the vessel and in that case starboard is the correct direction. See more »


Edited into Commotion on the Ocean (1956) See more »


I Thought I Wanted You
Written by Archie Gottler
See more »

User Reviews

Creaky But Agreeable
12 May 2012 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

"The Captain Hates The Sea" is an entertaining but dated offering from Columbia, with touches, as has been noted, of "Grand Hotel" and "The Love Boat". The feel is of a somewhat confined stage play despite taking place at sea, and the overall impression is of a competent but minor picture that is overrated by virtue of the fact that it is the last movie John Gilbert made. He was good but not memorable, but at least proved that he had a good enough voice for talking pictures.

Today's moviegoers would be somewhat put off by the cast of actors, who are familiar to us of a certain age but would be strangers to them. They may not have heard of John Gilbert, or Victor McLaglen, Helen Vinson, Leon Errol or the marvelous Alison Skipworth, for that matter. Add in the customs, styles and social disparities between now and then, and you have a filmed museum piece of interest to us older, savvy moviegoers only.

I thought it was good enough for a rating of 6, and I will leave it at that.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

2 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Farsa da Vida See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Sony Pictures Television print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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