5.5/10
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11 user 5 critic

The Sea Bat (1930)

Passed | | Action, Romance, Thriller | 5 July 1930 (USA)
The West Indies island of Portuga exists mainly for sponge diving. But the best area of collection is frequented by a very large manta ray. Nina loses her brother to the creature and is ... See full summary »

Directors:

Lionel Barrymore (uncredited), Wesley Ruggles (uncredited)

Writers:

Dorothy Yost (story), Bess Meredyth (dramatisation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Raquel Torres ... Nina
Charles Bickford ... John Dennis aka Reverend Sims
Nils Asther ... Carl
George F. Marion ... Antone
John Miljan ... Juan
Boris Karloff ... Corsican
Gibson Gowland ... Limey
Edmund Breese ... Maddocks
Mathilde Comont ... Mimba
Mack Swain ... Dutchy
Edit

Storyline

The West Indies island of Portuga exists mainly for sponge diving. But the best area of collection is frequented by a very large manta ray. Nina loses her brother to the creature and is comforted by a newly arrived minister, who seems very interested in an old poster offering a reward for a convict recently escaped from nearby Devil's Island. More deaths attributed to the sea bat follow before Nina resolves her feelings for her comforter. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | sponge | convict | reward | fight | See All (24) »

Taglines:

THE MOST STIRRING ROMANCE ADVENTURE YOU'VE EVER GASPED AT! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 July 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Monstro Marinho See more »

Filming Locations:

Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

John Dennis aka Reverend Sims: [to Nina] You thought I was full of milk and honey, didn't you? Well, I'm not. Hmm, I have my *own* way of doing God's work.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer also released this film as a silent, with the titles credited to Philip J. Leddy. He was not credited in the sound version. See more »

Soundtracks

Lo-Lo
(uncredited)
Music by Reggie Montgomery and George Ward
Lyrics by Felix E. Feist and Howard Johnson
Sung by Raquel Torres a capella
Played in the score at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sin! Salvation! Sea Bats!
1 May 2011 | by Fred_RapSee all my reviews

Half-Maugham, half-Melville and all hooey, this tropical potboiler is chock full of sin and salvation, with a giant sting ray tossed in as -- I kid you not -- a romantic deus ex machina.

The setting is a West Indies island where a bunch of grimy sponge divers lust after barefoot temptress Raquel Torres, who only has eyes for the beautiful (and, with his thick Swedish accent, virtually unintelligible) Nils Asther. But when he dies in the clutches of the title monster villain, she turns her back on God and offers herself as reward to the man who destroys the beast. It's a decision she quickly comes to regret, and as the body count increases, the guilt-ridden Raquel flails her arms and pounds her breasts with the frenzy of a silent movie diva.

As if this plot weren't febrile enough, Torres begins falling for newly arrived man of the cloth Charles Bickford, who does his damnedest to resist her overtures since he's actually an escaped convict from Devil's Island.

This awesomely wacky nonsense was concocted by the radical left-wing screenwriter John Howard Lawson without a hint of the political agitprop that infused his later screen work. The film, however, is not without interest: the camera work by Ira Morgan is sensuous and inventive (particularly when underwater) and the cast of scurvy Island rats is populated with such compelling character types as John Miljan (in a departure from his usual urban smoothie), Boris Karloff (as the glowering Corsican), and silent film veterans Gibson Gowland and Mack Swain.


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