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Captains Courageous Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

A boy learns life-changing lessons about the importance of friendship and the dignity of labor in this adventure saga based on a story by Rudyard Kipling. Young Harvey Cheyne (Freddie Bartholomew) is the working definition of a spoiled brat; the only child of a wealthy widowed businessman, Harvey has everything he needs, but never stops asking for more, convinced he can get anything if he yells, pouts, or throws the right tantrum. Even other boys his age are disgusted with his antics, and when he accompanies his father on an ocean cruise, he finds he has no friends to play with. After wolfing down six ice-cream sodas, Harvey gets sick to his stomach and while vomiting over the side of the ship, he falls into the drink. He is rescued by Manuel (Spencer Tracy), a Portuguese old salt who drags him on board a Gloucester fishing boat where he's a deck hand and doryman. Harvey shows no gratitude to Manuel for saving his life and demands to be taken home immediately; Manuel and the crew, not the least bit sympathetic, inform him that once they've filled the ship's hold with fresh catch, they'll return to shore, and not a moment sooner. Over the next few weeks, Harvey grows from a self-centered pantywaist into a young man who appreciates the value of a hard day's work, and in Manuel he finds the strength, guidance, and good sense that he never got from his father. Spencer Tracy earned an Academy Award for his performance in Captains Courageous and even sings a bit; the story was parodied years later (with a few rather drastic changes) in the Chris Elliott vehicle Cabin Boy. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marc Connolly Best Screenplay 1937 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Spencer Tracy Best Actor 1937 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Lee Mahin Best Screenplay 1937 Nominee

Cast

Spencer Tracy
as Manuel
Freddie Bartholomew
as Harvey Cheyne
Lionel Barrymore
as Captain Disko
Melvyn Douglas
as Mr. Cheyne
Charles Grapewin
as Uncle Salters
John Carradine
as "Long Jack"
Mickey Rooney
as Dan Troop
Oscar O'Shea
as Cushman
Jack LaRue
as Priest
Walter Kingsford
as Dr. Finley
Donald Briggs
as Tyler
Sam McDaniel
as "Doc"
Billy Burrud
as Charles
David Kerman
Lester Dorr
as Corridor Steward
Dave Wengren
as Lars
Gladden James
as Secretary Cobb
Larry Fisher
Sherry Hall
Charles Trowbridge
as Dr. Walsh
Dick Howard
Murray Kinnell
as Minister
Wally Albright
as Boy
Jimmy Conlin
as Thin Man
Mira McKinney
Tommy Bupp
as Boy
Gene Reynolds
Wade Boteler
as Skipper of Blue Gill
David Thursby
as Tom
Don Brodie
Myra Marsh
as Chester's Wife
William Stack
as Elliott
Leo G. Carroll
as Burns
Jack Sterling
Norman Ainsley
as Robbins
Billy Gilbert
as Soda Steward
Charles Coleman
as Butler
Lloyd Ingraham
as Skipper of Ship
Bobby Watson
as Reporter
Frank Sully
as Taxi Driver
James Kilgannon
Christian Rub
as Old Clement
Gil Perkins
Katherine Kenworthy
as Mrs. Disko
Philo McCullough

Crew

Victor Fleming
Director
Rudyard Kipling
Book Author
Marc Connolly
Screenwriter
John Lee Mahin
Screenwriter
Harold Hal Rosson
Cinematographer
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Clifford Vaughan
Composer (Music Score)
Gus Kahn
Songwriter
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edwin B. Willis
Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie
Art Director
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