6.9/10
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17 user 9 critic

John Paul Jones (1959)

The career of Revolutionary War naval hero from his youth in Scotland through his service to Catherine the Great of Russia.

Director:

John Farrow

Writers:

John Farrow, Jesse Lasky Jr. (film) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Stack ... John Paul Jones
Marisa Pavan ... Aimee de Tellison
Charles Coburn ... Benjamin Franklin
Erin O'Brien ... Dorothea Danders
Bette Davis ... Empress Catherine the Great
Macdonald Carey ... Patrick Henry
Jean-Pierre Aumont ... King Louis XVI (as Jean Pierre Aumont)
David Farrar ... John Wilkes
Peter Cushing ... Capt. Richard Pearson
Susana Canales ... Marie Antoinette (as Susan Canales)
Georges Rivière ... Russian Chamberlain (as Jorge Riviere)
Tom Brannum Tom Brannum ... Peter Wooley
Basil Sydney ... Sir William Young
Bruce Cabot ... Gunner Lowrie
Archie Duncan Archie Duncan ... Duncan MacBean
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Storyline

The swashbuckling adventures of the hero of the Revolutionary War. His contributions weren't always appreciated by the new U.S. government. After the way Congress show their displeasure by sending him to the Russia of Catherine the Great. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So big all the seas of the world are its stage ! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

16 June 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Su imperio era el océano See more »

Filming Locations:

Scotland, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Charles Coburn's final film before his death on August 30, 1961 at the age of 84. See more »

Goofs

John Paul Jones' brother lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Upon arriving there Jones meets Patrick Henry who is just back from the House of Burgesses. Henry invites Jones to attend a ball that night at the Governors Palace. Both the House of Burgesses and the Governors Palace are located in Williamsburg not Fredericksburg. Today, driving by car it would take at least an hour to get there. See more »

Quotes

John Wilkes: You have many enemies, Captain.
John Paul Jones: Aye! The British are the best!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle Dandy
(uncredited)
Traditional Anglo-American song
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Colorful story of the Naval hero during the American Revolution...
22 August 2010 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

JOHN PAUL JONES is certainly a colorful film to look at, but the script is rather stately and dull when it should be tense and exciting and a lot of this may be due to the casting of ROBERT STACK in the title role. He cuts a handsome figure in his period costumes and is certainly a man who can speak forcefully on occasion, but he tends to wear the same solemn expression throughout. His outbursts of anger are sometimes hard to comprehend but he does get things done and everyone seems to bend to his will no matter what the circumstances are--that's the kind of hero he's depicted as being.

It's a handsome looking film with a capable cast including CHARLES COBURN as Benjamin Franklin and MARISA PAVAN as Jones' love interest in a rather colorless role. But BETTE DAVIS has fun with her brief scenes and actually brings a lively flavor to the film once she appears as Catherine the Great and falls under the spell of the man with a commanding presence.

It may not be accurate as history, but it's spectacular to watch in some of the lushest Technicolor from the '50s with a nice score by Max Steiner that gives the film a lift when it needs it. Under John Farrow's direction, the film is a bit talky at times but comes to life during the battle scenes. Farrow shares credit for the script with contributions from Ben Hecht and others.


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