8.0/10
7,409
81 user 38 critic

Captains Courageous (1937)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Family | 25 June 1937 (USA)
Trailer
2:27 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dan
...
...
Cushman
...
Priest (as Jack LaRue)
Walter Kingsford ...
Dr. Finley
...
Tyler
...
'Doc' (as Sam McDaniels)
...
Charles (as Billy Burrud)
Edit

Storyline

Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns. Fortunately he's picked up by a fishing boat just heading out for the season. He tries to bribe the crew into returning early to collect a reward but none of them believe him. Stranded on the boat he must adapt to the ways of the fishermen and learn more about the real world. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Again-as in the stirring "Mutiny"- you live the roaring drama of men against the sea. You share the struggles, the heartaches, the laughter of courageous souls who leave the women they love to dare the wrath of the angry waves... See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,645,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Spencer Tracy received his Oscar statuette for this movie, he was surprised to find it inscribed to comic-strip hero "Dick Tracy". An embarrassed Academy replaced the statuette. See more »

Goofs

(at around 40 mins) Manuel holds a struggling Harvey from behind with the neck of Harvey's shirt in his left hand and the back of Harvey's pants in his right hand. Manuel says a line in close-up, then a close-up of Harvey shows Manuel holding the shirt with his right hand (at around 48 mins). See more »

Quotes

Manuel Fidello: My father, when he alive, he made better songs than me!
Harvey: What kind of songs did he sing?
Manuel Fidello: Songs about the sun and the sea. Songs about the clouds. Big songs - about the wind and the storms. And little songs too - about the tip on my mother's nose. Oh, my father, he feel beautiful inside.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are letters on planks, like the lettering on the side of ships, and between screen-fulls, a foaming wave of water splashes over it and then runs off. In the initial sets of credits, these appear to be actually letter-forms attached to the wood, as the water gets deflected by some of the letters; in later sets of credits, this effect is harder to see and the sets may be credits superimposed upon wood. See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.27 (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

What Shall We Do with The Drunken Sailor?
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Guaranteed to reduce you to sobbing wreck
28 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

I dare anyone to sit through this film with dry eyes! Especially people of the male persuasion. There is simply no way it can be done.

Young teen Freddie Bartholomew is a snotty, spoilt brat, and on a cruise with his dad he falls overboard and is rescued by Portuguese fisherman Spencer Tracy who takes him to Captain Lionel Barrymore's commercial fishing ship. They can't afford to go give up their fishing to take the arrogant kid back to land, and so Freddie is forced to spend three months with the crew, gradually mellowing into a nice boy and evolving into a rugged, no-nonsense kid who dotes on Tracy's rough and ready Manuel.

Victor Fleming was never the most subtle of directors, and this adaptation of Kipling's story does not thrive on its wealth of detail or the ambiguity of emotion, but its sweep is epic and its heart so real that you feel you have been on a roller-coaster-ride. I loved the reels of the men fishing and preparing the fish, it had a nice documentary feel to it, akin to the silent 'Down to the Sea in Ships' that 'Captains Courageous' resembles a lot at times. The cinematography is beautiful, the mist and fog captured with finesse.

But this film is all about acting. Spencer Tracy got an Oscar for his acting as Manuel, cast against type. And although his performance verges on the sentimental, it never actually tips over. But the film belongs to Freddie Bartholomew who surely must have been tempted to overboard with emotion, but, miraculously, never does. This boy was an astute and intuitive actor, and he never sets a foot wrong. Mickey Rooney shines in an itsy bitsy part as the captain's son. He never tries to steal any scenes from Bartholomew (as one suspects he might, and could!), but concentrates on a brisk, matter-of-fact performance of this young pro of the sea, every movement he makes seems exactly right, again almost documentary-like.

Watch this film if you get the chance. They don't come much better, and yes, it will make you bawl and sob. Be warned.


50 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 81 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Movies Do You Want to See This Summer?

Buzzing comedies such as Sorry to Bother You and The Spy Who Dumped Me await you in our Summer Movie Guide. Check in for the latest release dates and all the info you need.

See our Summer Movie Guide