Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ...
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Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »
On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »
In occupied France during the Franco-Prussian War, a young French laundress shares a coach ride with several of her condescending social superiors. But when a Prussian officer holds the ... See full summary »
During WWII, adults are either off fighting or busy in the factories, so juvenile delinquency becomes a major problem back home. Dan Coates, a wounded soldier, finds this out as he returns ... See full summary »
Martin Scorsese narrates this tribute to Val Lewton, the producer of a series of memorable low-budget horror films for RKO Studios. Raised by his mother and his aunt, his films often ... See full summary »
Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first adult to ever treat him as a friend. But after a couple strange deaths of crew members, Merriam begins to think Stone is a psychopathic madman obsessed with authority. He tries to tell others, but no one believes him, and it only makes Stone angry..Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
RKO had built an expensive ship set for their 1938 production Pacific Liner (1939). Val Lewton was given instructions to come up with a film that could use the still existing set. See more »
One shot of the boat traveling toward camera shows the name of the boat on the bow is backwards. The backwards name reads Venture, indicating it's a shot reused from King Kong that has been horizontally flipped. See more »
Finn, the Mute:
The man is dead. With his death, the waters of the sea are open to us. But there will be other deaths, and the agony of dying, before we come to land again.
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This Val Lewton produced film is not what one would likely expect from the title: a ghost story...so don't expect that going in. It isn't even really an Horror film per se although there are elements at work here which will prove horrific to many viewers. What it is instead is a seafaring adventure yarn about a Captain who's slowly going mad (and homicidal) due to his obsession with authority and only our heroic lead Tom Merriam, the 3rd Officer, seems to want to do anything about it. Everyone else seems to either not believe Merriam or dismisses what he tells them for fear of losing their jobs. Merriam however retains his values and ethics throughout the film even when they don't work out in his favor. While the film possesses the mood and style one expects from Lewton's films, the content and in some cases atmosphere is really not what one expects from the producer. Also events here do seem to wrap themselves up much too quickly. Still all in all there's enough good stuff here that this film is definitely worth seeking out.
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