6.9/10
579
9 user 7 critic

Souls at Sea (1937)

Passed | | Action, Adventure | 3 September 1937 (USA)
Cooper and Raft save lives during a sea tragedy in this story about slave trade on the high seas in 1842.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Grover Jones (screen play), Dale Van Every (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Michael 'Nuggin' Taylor
George Raft ... Powdah
Frances Dee ... Margaret Tarryton
Henry Wilcoxon ... Lieutenant Stanley Tarryton
Harry Carey ... Captain of 'William Brown'
Olympe Bradna ... Babsie
Robert Cummings ... George Martin
Porter Hall ... Court Prosecutor
George Zucco ... Barton Woodley
Virginia Weidler ... Tina
Joseph Schildkraut ... Gaston de Bastonet
Gilbert Emery ... Captain Martisel
Lucien Littlefield ... Toymaker
Paul Fix ... Violinist
Tully Marshall ... Pecora
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Storyline

Cooper and Raft save lives during a sea tragedy in this story about slave trade on the high seas in 1842.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man is on trial for murder, one man knows the truth. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Almas en el mar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The legal case United States vs. Holmes (in 1842) was the trial of the crewman who forced others off the lifeboat. Alexander Holmes was the only crew-member to be found in Philadelphia. A grand jury refused to return a murder indictment, but he was tried and convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six months in jail and fined $20. The trial enforced the dictum that sailors have a duty to their passengers that is above even their own lives. See more »

Goofs

Gary Cooper says he will not be a stool pigeon. See more »

Quotes

Powdah: Upper crust. A fluffy duff. You oughta plop that kind.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Saps at Sea (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Polka Time
Written by Unknown
Performed by Virginia Weidler
See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting Historical Drama
4 April 2012 | by GManfredSee all my reviews

I was hoping for a melodrama instead, but the emphasis here is on the narrative rather than on action. But I am pleased to report that my headline is accurate, because "Souls At Sea" is a very interesting story about a subject barely touched upon in Hollywood's long, colorful history. Reading through other reviewers takes on the film, it qualifies more accurately as a semi-historical drama, although not the first story Hollywood has taken liberties with. The temptation is to call "Souls At Sea" a 'seafaring yarn', but, as I said, it is heavy on talk and light on second unit work.

In any case, this offbeat movie has Gary Cooper faced with a moral dilemma as an abolitionist involved in the slave trade in the middle of the 19th century. His sidekick is George Raft, in as sympathetic a role as he ever had and one of his best acting jobs (never one of his strong points). Frances Dee is an ingenue on board the ship in question, and George Zucco plays a good guy for a change. Particularly effective is the background music which won an AA nomination for composer Milan Roder. Henry Wilcoxon is an effective bad guy and Olympe Bradna, whose film appearances were too few, is touching as a maidservant and love interest for George Raft.

Very well done, as is the norm with a Henry Hathaway picture. The story is so absorbing that the viewer nearly forgets about the lack of action scenes, and is well worth my rating of seven.


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