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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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>
This film's earliest documented telecast took place in San Francisco Tuesday 26 June 1956 on KPIX (Channel 5); it first aired in Altoona Wednesday 18 July 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Detroit Friday 17 August 1956 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Binghamton NY Saturday 1 September 1956 on WNBF (Channel 12), in Philadelphia Thursday 13 September 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6), and in Pittsburgh Wednesday 14 October 1956 on KDKA (Channel 2). See more »
When the Captain catches Tom at the gun locker, Tom's shadow profile is cast on the wall directly beside the Captain as though the lighting is on Tom's left side, yet Tom is directly facing the Captain and the lighting is on his right side. See more »
Captain Will Stone:
[the freighter 'Altair,' under his command, is now underway]
It's good for a sailor to go to sea. It's even better for an officer... Ah, it's a good feeling. In San Pedro, I was just another captain. At sea, I am... *THE* captain.
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Perhaps not as mesmerizing as "Cat People" or as disturbing as "The Body Snatcher", but this still definitely is a genuinely creepy golden oldie horror gem like only the great Val Lewton could produce them back in the 1940's. This dark and atmospheric chiller takes us aboard a giant ship in order to examine the mysterious deaths of several crew members. They all seem like unfortunate accidents, but pretty soon the young and ambitious officer Tom Merriam suspects that Captain Will Stone abuses his power in order to get rid of rebellious personnel. The film is terrifically cut in half when the ship sets ashore and Merriam prosecutes the influential and highly respected captain. From then on, the nemesis between the two is frighteningly illustrated and a drama on-board the ship seems inevitable. Richard Dix is outstanding as the tormented Captain Will Stone! He looks naturally eerie and definitely not man to argue with. The black and white photography is stunning and the constantly sung sailor-song will remain stuck in your head, even long after you finished watching the movie. The Val Lewton horror of course isn't very explicit (considering the time and budget) but this movie does contain at least one truly unsettling sequence; when a giant chain crushes a crew member. My advise is to watch this classic as soon as you can, if it were only for the ultra-eerie mute in the supportive cast!
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