3.2/10
614
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 »

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Stowaway... Sail Away... Laugh Away... Love Away... With Dunaway! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy | War

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Barry Kelley. See more »

Goofs

A nuclear weapon detonation is seen, but there were no nuclear weapons at this point in the war. Nuclear weapons were not tested anywhere but in a desert until a few years after the war. See more »

Quotes

Cmdr. John Finchhaven, RN: Well, my lovebirds, we're in the picture. It's them or us. Are you going below to man the engines? Or would you prefer to be blown apart without a chance?
Lt. Morton Krim: That's a terrific choice.
Lt. Morton Krim: [ponders for a moment] Okay! We'll man the engines! Why not? A certified public accountant and a lady garage owner heroically attempt to sink a Japanese cruiser. I hope the President will be very pleased!
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Connections

Edited from Waterloo Bridge (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

My Gallant Crew
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan (uncredited)
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert (uncredited)
[Played over sinking ship montage]
See more »

User Reviews

An unconventional 1960s war comedy from John Frankenheimer
18 August 2014 | by jimjo1216See all my reviews

John Frankenheimer directed some truly great films in the 1960s, including BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (1962), THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964), and THE TRAIN (1964). THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN (1969) is a rare foray into comedy for the director, who'd found such success with dramas and thrillers.

THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN is one of those sloppy experimental comedies from the 1960s. An anti-"war movie" (rather than an "anti-war" movie). Irreverent, satirical, but a bit messy and undercooked. It's certainly not a great film, but it has its merits. The stylistic conceit of incorporating vintage newsreel footage (with faux newsreel narration) into the story is an interesting touch. The patriotic newsreel montages create an ironical juxtaposition with the decidedly unheroic circumstances of the main characters. Maurice Jarre's bouncing score adds a quirky edge to the wartime setting and keeps things lively.

The plot: A motley group of shipwrecked American sailors (led by a young Alan Alda) comes across a dilapidated British naval vessel and its eccentric and mysterious captain, played by David Niven. The lovely Faye Dunaway joins the crew as they pull out of the Philippines and head out to sea during the final days of WWII. Hijinks ensue.

Mickey Rooney plays one of the sailors and suspects that everyone is a Jap spy. Despite a rather weak script, David Niven gives an enjoyable performance. I liked the casual way he'd report that Alda fell overboard.

During the '60s filmmakers liked to experiment with unconventional storytelling. THE EXTRAORDINARY SEAMAN is an atypical film from John Frankenheimer. The novelty of the newsreel footage gives the film a unique personality, but the madcap editing comes off as messy sometimes. There are some good creative ideas, but the finished movie lacks focus. The result is a little-known curiosity with some recognizable names attached. A mediocre movie, perhaps, and certainly not up to the director's standard, but I think the IMDb community is being too harsh on it (a 2.5 rating?!).


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brod fantom See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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