Monday, November 24, 2014

Captains Courageous (1937)

Today’s film was enjoyed by both my daughter and I together.  It is an old film, but still can be enjoyed by kids today. Today’s film is Captains Courageous.

So, our main character is Harvey, who is a spoiled brat.  His father is a business tycoon, who is very busy doing business all the time.  He shows his love to his son with gifts and money, not by spending time with him.  Harvey is the worst kind of child, who already at his age is using his wealth to get his way and also to be mean to other children.

Since Harvey was suspended from school for his behavior, his dad decides it's time for them to spend more time together.  He takes him on a boat trip to his next business trip.  While on the boat, Harvey falls overboard and is picked up by a fishing vessel.

Harvey soon learns that his money means nothing to these fishermen.  He has to wait a few weeks before going to shore because they're not going to give up on their fishing season.  Nobody coddles him and no one puts up with his whining.  The fisherman who watches over him the most is Manuel.  The only problem I had was having a hard time understanding Manuel, and yes, I speak Portuguese.  I just couldn't place his accent anywhere.  I looked it up, and apparently, Spencer Tracy based it on a Yiddish accent he used this one time in a theater performance.  So, just so you know, Yiddish=Portuguese obviously.

Harvey bonds with his new father figure, Manuel, who spent more time and attention on him than his real dad ever did.  Unfortunately, Manuel dies accidentally before they reach the shore.  At the shore, Harvey is reunited with his father, who is surprised at how mature he's become.  Well no shit, somebody actually parented him during that time.  Moral of the story: Spending time with kids is more important than spending money.  I will give this film a 7/10.


  1. Good movie, but perhaps a bit tough on children? I had no idea that Manuel's accent was yiddish. It sounded believable to me. One of Spencer Tracy's best roles.

    1. I loved Spencer Tracy's character in this film. He was probably the best part. At work, I see so many terribly rude and awful tourist children and it's because their rich parents don't pay them any attention. This movie reminded me of that.