Slave Ship (1937)

Genres - Action, Adventure  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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This period adventure drama was directed by Tay Garnett and adapted from a story by William Faulkner. The skipper of a slave trading vessel operating along the West African coast in 1860, Captain Jim Lovett (Warner Baxter) is troubled by his flesh-peddling trade. He's marrying the beautiful Nancy Marlowe (Elizabeth Allan) and wants to replace his morally-indefensible business with a more respectable foray into standard goods shipping. So he orders his first mate, Jack Thompson (Wallace Beery) to fire most of the crew and replace them with new hands. However, the ship's swabbies are accustomed to their lucrative line of work and, under the sway of the greedy Lefty (George Sanders), they mutiny, resulting in high seas histrionics and swashbuckling sword fights, with comedy relief provided by Mickey Rooney as Swifty the cabin boy. Lon Chaney, Jr. appears unbilled in the film's opening, where his character is crushed during a ship's launching.

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Keywords

going-straight, mutiny, one-against-odds, boating, slavery