8.0/10
7,976
83 user 39 critic

Captains Courageous (1937)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Family | 25 June 1937 (USA)
Trailer
2:27 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.

Director:

Victor Fleming

Writers:

Rudyard Kipling (novel), John Lee Mahin (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,012 ( 4,393)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Freddie Bartholomew ... Harvey
Spencer Tracy ... Manuel
Lionel Barrymore ... Disko
Melvyn Douglas ... Mr. Cheyne
Charley Grapewin ... Uncle Salters
Mickey Rooney ... Dan
John Carradine ... 'Long Jack'
Oscar O'Shea ... Cushman
Jack La Rue ... Priest (as Jack LaRue)
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. Finley
Donald Briggs ... Tyler
Sam McDaniel ... 'Doc' (as Sam McDaniels)
Bill Burrud ... Charles (as Billy Burrud)
Edit

Storyline

Harvey Cheyne is a spoiled brat used to having his own way. When a prank goes wrong onboard an ocean liner Harvey ends up overboard and nearly drowns. Fortunately he's picked up by a fishing boat just heading out for the season. He tries to bribe the crew into returning early to collect a reward but none of them believe him. Stranded on the boat he must adapt to the ways of the fishermen and learn more about the real world. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

AS GREAT AS "MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY" See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Portuguese

Release Date:

25 June 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,645,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Since Freddie Bartholomew and Mickey Rooney were both school age, the production had to regularly carve out time for the two of them to be tutored. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie Harvey talks to Disko about the next fishing trip and Disko says that it will be the "winter season". Earlier in the movie they mention coming home around August 1st and having 6 weeks on land before going fishing again, so we conclude that they go fishing again at around the end of September at the latest. Knowing that they fish for no more than three months it would make the next fishing trip the "fall season" and not the winter season. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Burns: [to the maid as he adjusts her tray] There'll be none of that. No trays.
Dr. Finley: [hurriedly relaying highlighted news updates to Mr. Cheyne as he wolfs down breakfast] The Star Telegram has you quoted quite definitely: 'before departing by plane for New York, Mr. Cheyne stated that the new equipment is to be provided by the present bond issue.' The other papers have virtually the same.
Frank Burton Cheyne: What do the confidentials say?
Dr. Finley: Tuesday morning, Paris wires: the president will probably sign the batamant ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are letters on planks, like the lettering on the side of ships, and between screen-fulls, a foaming wave of water splashes over it and then runs off. In the initial sets of credits, these appear to be actually letter-forms attached to the wood, as the water gets deflected by some of the letters; in later sets of credits, this effect is harder to see and the sets may be credits superimposed upon wood. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grown Ups 2 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Hastings (1830)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady (1776)
Sung by all at the Fishermen's Memorial
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Kipling Classic Comes To Life
12 January 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A spoiled rich boy falls overboard & emerges from the sea into the world of the CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, the rough & honest fishermen who ply the waters of the North Atlantic for months on end.

Rudyard Kipling's classic novel of maturation & responsibility has been expanded & updated and turned into a wonderful film by MGM. The production values, especially those dealing with the fishing boat sequences, are exceptional.

After the first half hour, where we are introduced to the boy's bad behavior at home, school, father's office & aboard the luxury liner, the film arrives at the heart of the matter with the introduction of the fisherman and their rough, dangerous way of life.

Freddie Bartholomew, luminous face & shining eyes aglow, is the very picture of boyish innocence. The fact that MGM gave him top billing over the powerhouse cast shows the kind of confidence they had in their child star. Although his proper English accent is a bit out of place and his sweetness makes his initial bratty behavior a bit of a stretch, once he's firmly ensconced on the trawler and his life lessons are being learned, it is difficult to think of any other young actor of his era in the role.

His lessons come mainly from Spencer Tracy, who is beyond praise as Manuel, the stalwart Portuguese fisherman. Noble, earthy, lighthearted, honest, these were attributes Tracy could sink his teeth into & he delivers a performance of heroic proportions. Good-natured & loyal, singing joyously to his hurdy-gurdy, his Manuel is still fiercely protective of his `liddle fish,' seeing at once the qualities the boy has to offer, once he shapes up. Audiences surrender to Tracy completely (fake accent and all) and his scenes with young Bartholomew are especially tender. The subsequent Best Actor Oscar for his performance here was very well deserved.

Lionel Barrymore, as the crusty, wise old captain of the fishing boat, is a delight. In one of the last roles in which he had the use of his legs, he is completely believable as a Massachusetts seaman. Like Tracy, he inhabits his part, giving an over-the-top performance that is completely appropriate. He embodies the kind of man anyone would feel confident to have at the helm during a sea storm.

The excellence of the cast is evidenced by having Charley Grapewin, John Carradine & Mickey Rooney all on board as crew members; each is given a chance to display their talents, as is Melvyn Douglas as Bartholomew's preoccupied father.

Movie mavens will recognize Billy Gilbert as a soda fountain jerk, as well as Christian Rub & Jimmy Conlin as fisherman, all uncredited.


38 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed