Country: United States
Language: English, Portuguese
Director: Victor Fleming
Starring: Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy, Melvyn Douglas, Lionel Barrymore
Oscar nom: Best Actor (Spencer Tracy), Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Screenplay
RT score: 92%
Victor Fleming's adaption of Rudyard Kipling's Captains Courageous is the story about the young Harvey Cheyne (Freddie Bartholomew), a spoiled rich kid who uses his power to get what he wants because of his father's (Melvyn Douglas) influence. But one day when he's traveling with one of his father's cruise ships to Europe, he accidentally falls into the water and is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman named Manuel Fidello (Spencer Tracy) who takes Harvey with him back to the fishing schooner. The crew aboard says to Harvey that they can't go back to land because they are in the middle of the fishing season and they have to stay there for six mouths. This makes Harvey very angry at first, and he finds out that he have to work for a change. He later learn to love the life as a fisherman, and has found a father figure in Manuel. But what will happen when the season is over?
Captains Courageous is a great film, with some great performances, specially Spencer Tracy's Manuel with a thick Portuguese accent. You might have taken it for stereotypical, but his affection, his loss and love for life makes him indeed very believable. A wonderful performance. And there's the other fishermen, such character actors as Lionel Barrymore and John Carradine gives us the seance of actually being out on the sea, without overdoing the characters. It's a great story about the joy of life you misses if you are soiled and self-centered. A wonderful adventure of listening to others and makes the whole state of mind better for all.
You can read all my reviews on: