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Lakeboat (2000)

R | | Drama | 13 April 2000 (USA)
2:13 | Trailer

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Film adaptation of David Mamet's comic play Lakeboat about a grad student who takes a summer job on a Great Lakes freighter and sees life through the eyes of his low-brow crew members.


Joe Mantegna


David Mamet
1 win. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Durning ... Skippy
Peter Falk ... The Pierman
Denis Leary ... The Fireman
Robert Forster ... Joe Pitko
J.J. Johnston ... Stan
Tony Mamet Tony Mamet ... Dale Katzman
Jack Wallace ... Fred
George Wendt ... First Mate Collins
Andy Garcia ... Guigliani
Roberta Angelica ... Prostitute
Diane Fabian Diane Fabian ... Janice, Age 50
Lori Gordon Lori Gordon ... Janice, Age 18
Steven Grayhm ... Fred, Age 18
Jason Jazrawy ... Joe Litko, Age 20
Patrick Patterson Patrick Patterson ... Janice's Husband


Coming-of-age tale set aboard a freighter traveling America's Great Lakes. Dale is an Ivy League college student who briefly joins a world-weary crew. Exposed to a seafaring lifestyle which falls short of his literary visions, Dale instead finds the experience rich in unexpected ways. The men's bravado and comical posturing gives way as their lively story-telling reveals more about their mythologized view of life than about what actually may have happened. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Journey To What Might Have Been. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexual content | See all certifications »



USA | Canada



Release Date:

13 April 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lake Boat See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Cameo: Uncredited, Joe Mantegna, as a guy at a gate. See more »


When Collins is describing to Skippy the people photographing the hatch crane, he repeatedly says they were standing on the "boat deck." On a lake freighter, the deck containing the hatch covers and the hatch crane is called the "spar deck,' which one would expect a lakeboat officer to know. The "Boat Deck" is at the stern, one deck higher than the spar deck. It would be possible to see and photograph the hatch crane in operation from the boat deck on most lakers, but the company guests are shown standing next to the hatch cover, on the spar deck. See more »


First Mate Collins: You know, it's surprising what people will convince themselves is interesting.
First Mate Collins: ...Company guests, comin' on for a trip - we're docked at Port Arthur - up there on the boat deck for an hour, hour and a half, looking at the crane lift the lids off the hold. Just watching. The dust was flying and it was hard to breathe but they're just standing there. People got cameras, they're takin' pictures of a crane lifting a lid. What's so interesting about that? I'd like to know.
First Mate Collins: ...You describe the ...
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Bless 'Em All
Written by Jimmy Hughes (as Jimmy Hughs), Al Stillman, and Frank Lake
Licensed through Sam Fox Publishing Co. Inc.
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User Reviews

This ain't no Pirates of the Caribbean...
31 July 2006 | by TheHelmsmanSee all my reviews

This is a movie that should be mandatory viewing at all nautical colleges and academies. It's a (mostly) accurate look into the lives of the men who drive ships for a living. Most people who have ever sailed aboard a ship will probably find this movie hilarious. Such people, however, constitute a small percentage of the general population. This movie is probably hit-or-miss for everybody else, in terms of whether or not they 'get it' and appreciate it for what it is. Lakeboat doesn't easily fit into any particular genre, seeing as there is hardly any plot. The movie instead focuses on characterization, and is aided to this by some relatively unknown but nonetheless well-cast actors. Some of the technical details are wrong, as mentioned in a few of the other comments, but when has any movie ever gotten all the technicalities right? Lakeboat is not an action film; It cruises along at the same slow, uneventful pace as the ship and crew it portrays. If you want a gunfight or an explosion every five minutes, don't even bother. If, however, you like a movie that is insightful, give this one a try. If you've ever been part of a ship's crew, you'll probably laugh to no end; this movie is funny because it's honest. Everybody else, be ready to have your romantic (or literary, according to the summary on this site) visions of the Sailor's life swept away like those of the movie's young protagonist. The stereotypes in the form of the foul-mouthed sailors are exaggerated, but in general the movie his film reflects a truism we jokingly use in this industry: the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story is that a fairy tale begins with "once upon a time," and a sea story begins with "this ain't no (insert four-letter 's' word here)." Lakeboat (generally) tells it like it is.

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