Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Ghost Ship (1943)

A young officer gets a job on a merchant ship as third officer. But this is a cursed ship. One might call it a "Ghost Ship". Others would just call it a bore.

Not much with the story. Is the captain coo-coo, or is the new office overreacting? No supernatural element, no mystery, no suspense. What we have is a well constructed movie with a poorly constructed story. It came on the same DVD as The Leopard Man, and being just over 60 minutes, I had to watch it before returnage. Plus it's a Val Lewton movie and I previously acknowledged that I will watch them all. This is the poorest effort so far.

One of the crewmen is mute and he observes the action and partially narrates with an disembodied voice. That is a device that could work. Unfortunately, it didn't. Additionally, it may have raised our expectations way beyond what the narrative could deliver. Our first impression is we are in for a story of supernatural mystery, of otherworldly adventure. Not even close. Plus, it was hard to sympathize with the third mate nor fear the captain. The dialog, while never completely failing, is weak at best. This Caine Mutiny on the Bounty lacks both thrill and drama. Without an angle, without great dialog, without any kind of hook, the only thing it had going for itself was the nice sets and photography, and it was short. Not enough to live off of. AMRU 2.5.

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