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Thread: Captains Courageous Movie

  1. #1
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    Default Captains Courageous Movie

    Watched it (again) the other night on a DVD from Netflix.

    The IMDB suggests that the sailing scenes involved real schooners. Anyone know the ships used?
    The cure for everything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
    Isak Dinesen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    It's a great movie. here is what I found out.

    For those who haven't seen it, the film's story line is mostly based on a Grand Banks cod fishing schooner and has some good sailing scenes of these schooners, especially the race back to port to sell the fish. Anyways, this is going to be long winded but if interested or have seen the film maybe bear with me.

    Apparantly the schooner the film is set on was the "Henrietta", a genuine Grand Banks fishing schooner, and after the film was made it was sold to a Bostonian called Pete Sawyer who held a seagoing masters ticket - this prior to WWII. He apparantly then used her for scientific expeditions to Labrador and around the Arctic.

    He married an Australian and they cruised the "Henrietta" down to Australia but futher cruising was curtailed by the war breaking out. Sawyer then joined the Royal Australian Airforce, as a navigation instructor I assume as that is where he met Hilder who was also a master mariner and during WWII taught navigation in the RAAF (but later moving to flying catalinas). "Henrietta" was moored in Geelong and apparantly the Melbourne pilots were considering chartering her and took her Port Phillip Bay chart to correct it but failed to return it.

    One weekend Sawyer, Hilder and 2 others set out for Melbourne to dock the vessel there but found the Port Phillip Bay chart missing and ran into problems (remembering these were both professional navigators, Hilder especially used to navigating in difficult circumstances) when visibility was lost in showers and squalls. They ended up running onto a reef and they couldn't get the vessel off by their own efforts so sent a message ashore by a launch (as no radio) for a tug to be sent out. In the meantime the wind increased to a gale, being associated with a passing cyclone and "Henrietta" was driven further onto the reef and filled with water. Night came and they finished up in the rigging to keep out of the breaking seas and wrapped in a sail as they were suffering from the cold, it being midwinter.

    They were rescued off the bowsprit the next day and "Henrietta" was lost. Then just 3 months later Sawyer was killed in an aircraft crash and Hilder plus the two others who were with Sawyer when his "Henrietta" was lost scattered his ashes over the site of the wreck.
    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tta-13271.html
    In 1944 a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl, enclosing a card seeking her opinion.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    Thanks. So now the question is what other schooner was in the racing scenes. I loved the tacking duel, playing chicken with 100 plus foot schooner screaming along at 12 knots.
    The cure for everything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
    Isak Dinesen

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    In 1944 a children’s book club sent a volume about penguins to a 10-year-old girl, enclosing a card seeking her opinion.
    She wrote, “This book gives me more information about penguins than I care to have.”
    American diplomat Hugh Gibson called it the finest piece of literary criticism he had ever read.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    I watch this movie every few years. I see that it is now streaming on Amazon instant video (to your computer or whatever). $2.99

    Though I really like it, I always realize near the end, when the captain and his son are sitting in their living room looking at a model, that he murdered Manual! His character's ego was too big. I'm always surprised that the issue of his negligence or not, is not even hinted at in the movie.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    I work part time at an antiques place in Essex Ma, we recently sold a sterling silver schooner cahllenge cup at least 2 ft in height and of enormous weight, The inscription declared it as a cup for the "Fastest schooner on the Atlanic" (I dare say that covered the world at that point!) there were only a few boat names inscribed as winners on the cup, the name that caught my eye was Columbia

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    I have been struck by Spencer Tracey's part in the film ever since seeing it when it first came out. Bobby Breen got a well launched career as a result. I have often wondered what happened to him? My own life in boat building was greatly influnenced by this film!
    Jay

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Captains Courageous Movie

    I once saw a publication on how this classic movie was made. The dismasting scene was done with models. If you look close next time you see that.

    JD
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