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John Paul Jones (1959)

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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 Revolutionary War hero and inspiration of the US Navy. His contributions weren't always appreciated by the new U.S. government. After the Revolutionary War, Congress loans him to Catherine the Great of Russia where he fights for her. The story concludes with his death in France. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Scots Sailor of Fortune Who Founded a Navy! 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:

John Paul Jones 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

The real John Paul Jones' actual name was John Paul. He added the name "Jones" to avoid prosecution when he was accused of killing a seaman over a dispute of wages. See more »

Goofs

Contrary to what is shown, Commodore Hopkins was not ordered to Abaco in the Bahamas, but rather to the Virginia coast. He exceeded his orders in attacking the Bahamas seeking military supplies, and was later court martialed for this and other questions regarding his command. See more »

Quotes

Captain Richard Pearson: Captain, are you surrendering? Do you ask for quarter?
John Paul Jones: No sir! I have no yet begun to fight!
See more »


Soundtracks

Scotland the Brave
(uncredited)
Traditional tune
Unofficial Scottish anthem
Played on the bagpipes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sailing on the bounding main
4 July 2014 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Not entirely accurate but at times rousing nautical adventure purporting to tell the story of the early American naval hero.

Stack is okay in the lead but some of his early career zest would have benefited the character. What we get instead is a rigid and mostly humorless stick figure in the lead. Some reverence for Jones is that man's due but a bit more animation in Stack's performance would have made him more accessible.

What helps deflect from his wooden performance is an incredibly colorful and sumptuous production with several maritime battles thrown in for good measure that's a treat to the eyes. Aside from that there are some very well cast performers in key roles. MacDonald Carey makes a fine Patrick Henry and Bette Davis, dolled up in a sky high wig, ermine and pearls, has a lot of fun in her tiny cameo as Catherine the Great. The real standout though is Charles Coburn as Benjamin Franklin. So right is he for the role, not just in appearance but getting the balance of the pattern of Franklin's personality right, a mix of seriousness and the twinkle in his eye and sense of fun that old Ben was renown for that it makes you regret that he never had a chance to more fully portray Franklin in a biography.

As a true document of John Paul Jones life it may miss the mark but it's still a decent entertainment.


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