Review: ‘Two Years Before the Mast’

Chief credit for this one [based on Richard Henry Dana Jr's novel] belongs to director John Farrow. With the emphasis on action throughout, Farrow keeps his cast thesping to the hilt and achieves several little bits of suspense.

Chief credit for this one [based on Richard Henry Dana Jr’s novel] belongs to director John Farrow. With the emphasis on action throughout, Farrow keeps his cast thesping to the hilt and achieves several little bits of suspense.

Although Alan Ladd and the other stars top the cast, it’s Howard da Silva, as the pitiless ship’s captain, who walks off with the blue ribbon.

Rest of cast, from leads to minor bit parts perform excellently. Ladd does a nice job as the fop who finds his regeneration while fighting to get human treatment for the merchant seamen of that day. Bendix gives a restrained reading to his role as the tough but necessarily sympathetic first mate, and Barry Fitzgerald adds the comedy touches as the ship’s cook.

Two Years Before the Mast

Production

Paramount. Director John Farrow; Producer Seton I. Miller (assoc.); Screenplay Seton I. Miller, George Bruce; Camera Ernest Laszlo; Editor Eda Warren; Music Victor Young; Art Director Hans Dreier, Franz Bachelin

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy William Bendix Barry Fitzgerald Howard da Silva Esther Fernandez
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