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Mutiny on the Elsinore (1937)

The Mutiny of the Elsinore (original title)
Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 15 February 1939 (USA)
The story of a surly crew, an honest God-fearing captain, a hardboiled-but-loyal Scotch mate, a scoundrelly second-mate, and then a mutiny, the fight and the final voyage to a safe harbor. ... See full summary »


Roy Lockwood


Beaufoy Milton (screenplay), Beaufoy Milton (dialogue) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview:
Paul Lukas ... Jack Pethurst
Lyn Harding ... Mr. Pike
Kathleen Kelly Kathleen Kelly ... Margaret West
Clifford Evans ... Bert Rhyne
Michael Martin Harvey Michael Martin Harvey ... Charles Davis
William Devlin William Devlin ... O'Sullivan
Graham Soutten Graham Soutten ... Sidney Waltham, alias Mellaire the Mate (as Ben Soutten)
Conway Dixon Conway Dixon ... Captain West
Pat Noonan Pat Noonan ... Murphy
Tony Sympson Tony Sympson ... Shorty Peabody
Hamilton Keene Hamilton Keene ... Twist
Alec Fraser Alec Fraser ... Benson
Jiro Soneya Jiro Soneya ... Wada, the Cabin Boy


The story of a surly crew, an honest God-fearing captain, a hardboiled-but-loyal Scotch mate, a scoundrelly second-mate, and then a mutiny, the fight and the final voyage to a safe harbor. But not before the Captain has been murdered, his pretty daughter in peril, her rescue by the single passenger on board, and a member of the crew thrown overboard by another crew member. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


JACK LONDON'S thrilling sea classic! (original poster)


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Release Date:

15 February 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mutiny on the Elsinore See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film received its television premiere Thursday October 26, 1939 on New York City's pioneer television station W2XBS. Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at it in New York City Wednesday 27 July 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11), in Atlanta Sunday 11 September 1949 on WSB (Channel 8), in Cincinnati Tuesday 20 September on WKRC (Channel 11), in Los Angeles Friday 7 October 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5), in Detroit Sunday 9 October 1949 on WJBK (Channel 2), and in Kansas City MO Thursday 24 November 1949 on WDAF (Channel 4). See more »


Version of The Mutiny of the Elsinore (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

Exciting drama with magnificent shots of sailors at work on a real three-master
17 October 2015 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This little-know film is based on a novel by Jack London entitled CAPTAIN WALTER SUMMERS, which had previously been made into a silent film in 1920 as THE MUTINY OF THE ELSINORE, and filmed also in French in 1936 as LES MUTINÉS DE L'ELSENEUR, with Jean Murat in the lead role. In this film, Paul Lukas plays the lead, Jack Pathurst (not Pethurst as mistakenly listed in IMDb), a journalist taking a long journey on a sailing ship in order to write an account of it for the public. Lucas was really too old at 46 to be the ardent suitor of the ship's captain's daughter, but he did very well in the role anyway. The only other reviewer of this film has made a mistake in saying that there is no indication in the dialogue as to the destination of the ship. In fact, it is clearly stated that it is bound for 'Frisco' (San Francisco). The daughter of the ship's captain is played in sprightly mode by a very good young actress named Kathleen Kelly, who made 22 films between 1932 and 1939 and then vanished from our radar entirely, so that little is known of her except that she was born in 1912. This film's extensive use of a genuine old sailing ship of huge size (three main masts) and its detailed depiction of how the men cling on while furling and unfurling those gigantic sails is exciting enough in itself to merit watching this film. But the story is also a very good adventure yarn, involving a mutiny on board, the murder of the captain, people being thrown overboard, people climbing up and down ventilation pipes, a crazed sailor who goes mad onboard, a criminal fleeing justice by enlisting in the crew, and a host of dubious characters. Paul Lukas, as usual, plays a noble fellow who is always in his jacket and tie even when climbing up towards the crow's nest with Kathleen Kelly. And when push comes to shove, he is a good shot and kills plenty of rebellious sailors as they rampage and riot. There is certainly no shortage of action in this film. It is very well directed by Roy Lockwood, who only directed three feature films in his career. According to information on IMDb, his daughter and son-in-law tracked down an archival print of this film and had it transferred onto video tape in 1997 to celebrate his 90th birthday, which is how we have it available on a DVD now. I wish he were still around so that I could ask him how on earth (or should I say how at sea) he ever got those shots high up in the rigging of that ship.

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