25 user 6 critic

The Extraordinary Seaman (1969)

Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a ... See full summary »


John Frankenheimer


Phillip Rock (screenplay), Hal Dresner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
David Niven ... Lt. Commander Finchhaven, R.N.
Faye Dunaway ... Jennifer Winslow
Alan Alda ... Lt. J / G Morton Krim
Mickey Rooney ... Cook 3 / C W.J. Oglethorpe
Jack Carter ... Gunner's Mate Orville Toole
Juano Hernandez ... Ali Shar
Manu Tupou ... Seaman 1 / C Lightfoot Star
Barry Kelley ... Admiral Barnwell
Leonard O. Smith Leonard O. Smith ... Dyak
Richard Guizon Richard Guizon ... Dyak
John Cochran John Cochran ... Dyak
Jerry Fujikawa ... Admiral Shimagoshi


Lt. Commander Finchhaven, a ghostly relic from the First World War, he had fallen down dead drunk on his first assignment and been consigned from the great beyond to sail the seas until a further opportunity arises to redeem his actions. During the Second World War, he is encountered by a quartet of American seamen that includes Lt. Morton Krim and cook W.J. Oglethorpe. A deal is completed whereby the men will help re-float Finchhaven's command in return for a passage to Australia. They raid a village to secure batteries for the engine and come upon the feisty Jennifer Winslow who offers them aid in return for a passage with the crew. Eventually they reach the open sea. Finchhaven's ghostly status is revealed and Lt. Krim and Jennifer help him to sink a Japanese cruiser. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


We would like to thank Adolf Hitler, David Niven, Joseph Stalin, Faye Dunaway, Tojo, Mickey Rooney, Jack Carter, Alan Alda, John Frankenheimer, and the millions of Nazis, Japanese, and Americans who made this picture possible. See more »


Adventure | Comedy | War


G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The ship that stands in for the Japanese cruiser in the finale is the USS Canberra (CA-70). Originally a WWII Baltimore-class cruiser she was converted into a Boston-class guided missile cruiser in 1952, and was the first US Navy warship named for a foreign capital city. She is shown without any RIM-2 Terrier missiles on either of her aft twin launchers. She was decommissioned on February 2, 1970, stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on July 31, 1978, and ultimately sold for scrap in 1980. See more »


Alan Alda's character is a Lieutenant (j.g.) [junior grade] but wears an Ensign shoulder board on his left shoulder throughout the entire movie. See more »


Lt. Morton Krim: I don't know, there's a lot here that doesn't add up.
Cmdr. John Finchhaven, RN: Having trouble balancing the ledgers, Number One? Why don't you just forget about clerking...
Lt. Morton Krim: [exasperated] I *told* you, I'm not a "clerk," I'm a C.P.A. And anyway, even an office boy can see that something's wrong here. For instance, why do you drink so much and not get drunk? And how come you don't eat? Or sleep? And why is your uniform so clean?
Cmdr. John Finchhaven, RN: Really, Number One, I don't know what to make of this outburst. I only attribute it to that ...
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Edited from Edge of Darkness (1943) See more »


How About You?
Music by Burton Lane (uncredited)
Lyrics by Ralph Freed (uncredited)
[Patriotic wartime variation sung over warship montage]
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User Reviews

Could it be any worse?
20 May 2015 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

John Frankenhimer made "The Extraordinary Seaman" in 1969 and it was one almighty flop; hardly surprising considering it was an extremely unfunny comedy set in the Philippines during the Second World War. If it showed us anything it was that Frankenhimer couldn't do comedy and watching this you might assume that David Niven, Alan Alda and Mickey Rooney couldn't do comedy either or maybe the war with Japan just wasn't that funny or maybe it was the continual cross-cutting from the movie to newsreel footage that killed it. The female lead was Faye Dunaway, who already had "Bonnie and Clyde" behind her; that she survived this muck is testament to her abilities both as an actress and as a star. Extraordinary indeed, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Release Date:

January 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El marino extraordinario See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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