Monday, October 17, 2005

The Ghost Ship


(1943)***1/2

Fresh out of training, Tom Merriam is hired as a Third Officer to work on the ship Altair. Captain Stone and Tom hit it off right away. For Captain Stone, Tom reminds him of himself in his early seafaring years, and for Tom, Captain Stone is the first adult to not only treat him with respect, but also as a friend. Soon after the Altair launches, Stone’s unorthodox ideas about leadership and power begin to endanger the crew. After some of the crewmembers begin to meet terrible fates, Tom begins to suspect that Stone is a sociopath. His concerns, of course, fall on deaf ears and the crew begins to accuse Tom of being mutinous.

This was such a pleasant surprise and one of my first good finds of Horrorthon 2005! Captain Stone’s ability to justify his nefarious behavior with twisted logic almost convinces you that what he’s doing makes a whole lot of sense. I love the ship setting and the idea of not really being able to hide anywhere because there’s only a finite amount of space. The fact that this film is in black and white only adds to the claustrophobic feel. This is the best of the 40s films that I’ve watched this year.

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