Captains Courageous (11-May-1937)|
Director: Victor Fleming
Writers: John Lee Mahin; Marc Connelly; Dale Van Every
From novel: Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
Musical Score by: Franz Waxman
Producer: Louis D. Lighton
Review by Matthew Adams (posted on 6-Nov-2007)
An outstanding adaptation of this Rudyard Kipling story based on the theme of a father's redemption with his son. Freddie Bartholemew is totally convincing as the poor little rich boy who learns a few hard lessons in life courtesy of Spencer Tracy in a most unusual role of a Portugese fisherman.
The movie is rich in characterisation, and beautifully crafts the emotional bond between Harvey (Bartholemew) and Manual (Tracy) without descending to shmaltz, rare for this era. The recent remake with Karl Marlden totally lost this ability.
The cast is flawless - Lionel Barrymore as Captain Drisko, relishing this hard salty role. Mickey Rooney is wasted as his son, Dan, a bit part in this movie. Melvyn Douglas is terrific as the child's disaffected busy tycoon father.
This movie subtley takes you in and very cleverly crafts the change in Harvey's character from that of a spoilt rich boy to one who is caring, while maintaining other elements of his character; his impetuousness, his brashness.
This is a refreshing movie. Wonderfully crafted in the movie industry's infancy. It shows how talented child actors can be (especially compared to today's offerings).
However be warned - this wonderful heart-warming story must only be watched with a box full of tissues beside you! Believe me, you'll need them!
A wonderful movie. Definiteley on the top ten list of movies you must see before you die.
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