Captains Courageous (1937)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Childhood Drama, Sea Adventure  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Rudyard Kipling's well-known novel enjoys an excellent adaptation in Victor Fleming's splendidly directed film. There are some well-directed action sequences that get the heart pounding, but the core of the story is in the slowly developing relationship between Harvey and Manuel. In an unlikely "love" story, these two opposites -- a privileged, tyrannical child who has never known a moment of pain or want, and a gentle, humble man who has had to work very hard for everything he has and endure some real hardships along the way -- learn to love each other. Through a combination of forbearance, forgiveness, and firmness, Manuel teaches Harvey more about life in his three months on the boat than he would have learned if he had spent his entire life in his penthouse apartment. The climax of the film may bring tears to even the most hard-bitten viewer. Captains Courageous was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Spencer Tracy, who won his first of two consecutive Best Actor Oscars, was the only one to walk away with a statuette.