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The Ghost Ship

Released Dec 16, 1943 1h 9m Mystery & Thriller List
82% Tomatometer 11 Reviews 53% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Tom Merriam (Russell Wade) boards the freighter Altair in San Pedro, where he meets Capt. Will Stone (Richard Dix). During that first voyage, Tom begins to suspect that Stone is crazy, but he also learns that the crew is fiercely protective of him. When fellow sailor Louie (Lawrence Tierney) is killed in a freak accident, Merriam suspects Stone. However, he has no proof. As the killings continue, Tom decides to leave the ship, but the captain has other plans. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (11) Critics Reviews
Time Out This Val Lewton production may not scale the heights of Cat People or I Walked with a Zombie, but it has its impressive moments. Jun 24, 2006 Full Review Bosley Crowther New York Times A nice little package of morbidity all wrapped around in gloom. Rated: 2/5 Mar 25, 2006 Full Review Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader The least known, though far from least interesting, of producer Val Lewton's exemplary, poetic B-films. Aug 8, 2002 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row It may end a bit too abruptly, but it's 69 minutes of slowly mounting terror that constantly puts the audience's perception of reality in question - and Dix's brilliantly modulated performance keeps us guessing right to the end. Rated: 3/4 Nov 29, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Cross Mutiny On the Bounty with The Sea Wolf and add a dash of Moby Dick, and that's pretty much what you have here. Rated: 3/4 Oct 29, 2021 Full Review Eddie Harrison film-authority.com ...a damning indictment of the corruption that power can provide... Rated: 4/5 Feb 20, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Aldo G Another Val Lewton minor-masterpiece. This one has a singular theme: authoritarianism. This title is misleading. This isn't a movie containing supernatural activities, but a warning against subjugation. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/15/23 Full Review martin a The title here is very misleading as there is no Ghost, but a Captain that starts to kill off his crew. He kills for a variety of reasons but when the Second captain realized, he has him tied up and drugged, when he escapes no one believes him as he tries to stop the captain. It is a great film, very enjoyable. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member The Ghost Ship is a short and simple film that shows the battle between a newly-appointed third officer on a ship and the captain who has gone a bit mad with power. The ideas in the film are great, and I think it could make for a strong film if it was explored a little more carefully and with a bit more skill. The fact that it becomes obvious early on that the captain is indeed going crazy, and that the third officer is right the entire time, there is less intrigue in the film. It still had some tense moments, because they created an atmosphere reminiscent of a slasher film. Several times you became tense and worried who would die next and if the protagonist would survive. I still think the plot would have been better if we weren’t sure if it was the captain or the third officer who was going crazy, but at least they maintained some tension to keep me interested. One other thing worth mentioning is the horrendous voiceover for a mute officer. That was a ridiculous choice that did not work at all. The Ghost Ship has some potential, but as it stands, I found it a bit lacking. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 07/20/19 Full Review Audience Member One of the five collaborations between director Mark Robson and producer Val Lewton (best known for his low-budget RKO horror films which included Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie, both directed by Jacques Tourneur). Although Robsonâ(TM)s best Lewton film is certainly The Seventh Victim (also 1943) about a nihilistic Satanic cult, The Ghost Ship manages to summon up a similar sense of dread in places. Russell Wade plays Tom Merriam who has just signed on to be the Third Officer on the ship Altair, captained by Richard Dixâ(TM)s Will Stone. Stone is a sombre character, weighted down by his âauthorityâ? which we wields with a heavy hand, although alternating with moments of fatherly warmth. When Merriam begins to think the captain is deranged and suspects foul play, he calls the shipping company to turn him in. After that, the forces of doom seem aligned against him and shadows lurk in every corner of the ship. His former friends turn against him. Will there be any escape from the sullen and brooding captain? As in other Lewton pictures, a real sense of menace and dread is created here using very subtle means: darkness, a camera shot fixed on a slowly opening door, noises from offscreen. A creepy mute sailor adds a further spooky touch. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member A moody maritime mystery with murder and mutiny! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member not entirely a horror movie in 21st century terms but an interesting use of sound effects and a catchy singing motif "ho ho blow the man down..." Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Ghost Ship

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Movie Info

Synopsis Tom Merriam (Russell Wade) boards the freighter Altair in San Pedro, where he meets Capt. Will Stone (Richard Dix). During that first voyage, Tom begins to suspect that Stone is crazy, but he also learns that the crew is fiercely protective of him. When fellow sailor Louie (Lawrence Tierney) is killed in a freak accident, Merriam suspects Stone. However, he has no proof. As the killings continue, Tom decides to leave the ship, but the captain has other plans.
Director
Mark Robson
Producer
Val Lewton
Production Co
RKO Radio Pictures Inc.
Genre
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 16, 1943, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 9m
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