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Down to the Sea in Ships (1949 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Down to the Sea in Ships
Milo Theater 1948 (75393634).jpg
Chicago theater showing the film
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Written bySy Bartlett
Screenplay byJohn Lee Mahin
Produced byLouis D. Lighton
StarringRichard Widmark
Lionel Barrymore
Dean Stockwell
CinematographyJoseph MacDonald
Edited byDorothy Spencer
Music byAlfred Newman
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • February 22, 1949 (1949-02-22)
Running time
120 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,650,000[1][2]

Down to the Sea in Ships is a 1949 American seafaring drama film directed by Henry Hathaway, starring Richard Widmark and Lionel Barrymore. The supporting cast includes Dean Stockwell, Cecil Kellaway, Gene Lockhart, and John McIntire. There is no connection between this picture and the silent film by the same name; the only thing they have in common is the title and the setting.[3]


Whaling ship captain Bering Joy (Lionel Barrymore) takes his grandson Jed (Dean Stockwell) on a whaling expedition in order to teach the young boy real-life values such as honesty, courage, wisdom, fairness and hard work. However it is First Mate Lunceford (Richard Widmark) who teaches him about life.



The New York Times February 23, 1949 review by “T. M. P.” praised the film, describing the action with relish and concluding: “Down to the Sea in Ships is a good adventure for man and boy, for it makes some points about character building which can do none of us any harm.”[4]

On December 31, 1948, Variety staff observed that the “first half is becalmed“ in thorough character development, but “In the last hour, picture really shakes out its sails and goes wing-and-winging before the wind. The taking of a whale and the rendering of blubber to oil, the dangers of fog and the menace of a wreck on an iceberg is sturdy excitement that serves as a fitting climax to the story of an old whaler captain, his young grandson and of a young first mate.”[5]

Leonard Maltin gives the film three out of four stars, calling it a “good atmospheric yarn”.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 223
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1949". Variety. 4 January 1950. p. 59.
  3. ^ "Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) - Articles -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  4. ^ P, T. M. (1949-02-23). "Fox Offers a Study of Men of the Sea". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  5. ^ "Down to the Sea in Ships". Variety. 1949-01-01. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  6. ^ "Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2020-05-01.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 March 2021, at 01:28
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