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See I Conquer The Sea (1936).
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See A Lady Takes a Chance 1943 HD .
See 1954 The Sea Shall Not Have Th.
See Airborne (1962) BOBBY DIAMOND.
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Sea Spoilers finds John Wayne as the commanding officer of a Coast Guard Cutter on duty in the Pacific Northwest looking for seal poachers. This was the first of six movies that Wayne did in 1936-1937 for Universal in an effort to broaden his acting horizons. Not one of these B movies for Universal was a western.It gets true private after Wayne's sweetheart, Nan Grey, witnesses the murder of a drunken playboy on his yacht. The playboy, Ernest Hilliard realizes he's been the dupe of these seal poachers for some time and threatens to spill to the authorities. The head of the outfit, Russell Hicks, has a thing for Grey and instead of just killing the only witness, kidnaps her and takes her to his Aleutian hideaway.In the meantime Wayne also has been superseded in command of his vessel by William Bakewell who is the son of the commanding officer George Irving. Trust it or not Bakewell has a phobia about water and wants to be in the air. He eventually gets his wish, but the villains capture him for his trouble.Sea Spoilers is a competently made action movie and the final war with the Coast Guard and the poachers is very well staged, especially considering this is a B film. Fuzzy Knight fulfills the role of sidekick, just as if this were a western. He and the Duke worked well together, a pity he didn't do any more movies with Wayne another than Shepherd of the Hills.I have a difficult time though wrapping my mind around the idea of a Coast Guardsman with a water phobia. It's explained, but how did Bakewell receive in the service in the first zone even with a father that had a lot of pull? And did Russell Hicks have that terrible a thing for Nan Grey?Sea Spoilers should have used a better story. Still it's not a terrible action movie and some of the westerns the Duke was doing for Lone Star movies were a entire lot worse at this time.
SEA SPOILERS – 1937 This one plays out as a western set on the sea. The storyline is by veteran western writer, Dorrell McGowan. McGowan pumped out stories or screenplays for 50 plus dusters between 1936 and 1950. These were mostly weak budget fare for Gene Autry and Roy Rogers programmers. They all followed the same formula, with a nice guy getting mixed up with a terrible guy, and a damsel in distress somewhere in the tale. In this one, screenwriter George Waggner takes one of McGowan's standard tales and transfers it to the sea. Instead of rustlers stealing cattle, we have the villains poaching seals. The Coast Guard stands in for the US Cavalry. It was also the first of a six picture deal Universal Pictures signed with the then, 30 year old John Wayne.Wayne is a Coast Guard officer in temporary command of a huge Cutter. He receives a radio message to report to his Commanding officer, George Irving. Wayne assumes the meeting is to give him full command of the ship. Not so, Irving assigns his own son, William Bakewell to command, with Wayne as second in command.While in port, Wayne pays a visit to his girl, Nan Grey. Grey is a famous up and coming singer at the better clubs. Wayne is named back to the ship as orders to leave port have arrived. At the same time, Miss Grey is doing a gig on-board a yacht. This turns out to be for Miss Grey, the wrong zone at the wrong time.The yacht has been used to smuggle seal-skins out of Alaska. The owner had been duped by the villain of the piece, Russell Hicks. Hicks actually kills the yacht's owner, kidnaps Miss Grey, then beats a hasty retreat before the Coast Guard shows. (The storyline here should have been better) Anyways, Hicks and his mob sneak back to Alaska to hide out taking Grey as a hostage. They have a huge money business in poached seal-skins to run. One lost load is not the end of the world. Wayne of course is rather distraught over the kidnapping of his lady fair.Wayne and the cutter, actually under Bakewell's command, are later in Alaska waters searching fishing boats etc for seal. One of the native fishermen, Chester Gan, shows them a tiny island where the local seal population has been slaughtered. During the landing on the island, Bakewell messes up and the tiny boat is swamped. It is only the swift action of Wayne that saves the day.It actually turns out that Bakewell is not all that keen with being on the water. He only agreed a waterborne assignment to please his father. He is really a pilot by training. When back at port, Bakewell is transferred to the air patrol branch of the Coast Guard.Wayne is offered command of the cutter. He declines and asks to go undercover to test and search the seal poachers. And of course look for his girl, Grey at the same time. He is given the okay by Irving to try. Wayne, along with Fuzzy Knight, take, a tiny fishing trawler through all the cities along the coast looking for clues.Several weeks go by with no luck. Then they catch a break when young Bakewell's sea plane is forced down with engine trouble. Wayne and Knight happen to be close and race to the location. No aircraft or wreckage is found, but there is a tiny out of the method hamlet nearby.Needless to tell this turns out to be the hideaway for the sealskin smuggling racket. Wayne and Knight test to bluff their method into the gang but are recognized. They are tossed in a locked room where they search Bakewell. The pilot and his plane had been collared by the poachers. Of course the damsel in distress, Grey, is also in the village.Wayne manages to receive a radio signal off and the cavalry, er, I mean, the Coast Guard are later on the scene. There is a full-fledged gun war between the poachers and the Coast Guard before the former are beaten. Villain, Hicks, is nice enough to have himself blown up in the battle. Wayne and Miss Grey are united and the surviving terrible types tossed in the ship's brig.The movie overcomes the less than stellar storyline by McGowan, and sloppy screenplay from George Waggner. Waggner was capable of better work. Still, with only a 62 minute runtime it speeds by and is entertaining enough. Waggner would score a large hit with THE WOLF MAN in 1941. He would also direct John Wayne in few late 40's features. The film's director, Frank Strayer was greatest known as the helmsman on a dozen or so of the very famous Blondie and Dagwood films. Future Oscar champion Archie Stout handles the cinematography duties.Fuzzy Knight was known as the ultimate cowboy sidekick. He appeared with Gene Autry, Russell Hayden Tex Ritter, Johnny Mack Brown and others in variety of weak budget westerns. Nan Grey was out of movies by 1941. She would soon become the wife of singer Frankie (Rawhide) Laine. Also in the movie with a tiny part, is the drop dead gorgeous, Lotus Long.
John Wayne is Bob Randall, the greatest boatswain in the Coast Guard. His ship is heading home and he's looking forward to two things: he expects to be promoted to skipper of his ship, and he knows he'll see his woman Connie. Alas, things don't work out—at least not right away.First, the commander back in port passes over Bob and appoints his own son to command the ship. The Duke is disappointed but grits his teeth—he is too much the professional to allow it affect his work. But second, Connie is kidnapped by a gang of seal smugglers and taken out to sea and who knows where. Can this be allowed to stand? Sea Spoilers does not exactly stretch the intellect, but it's fun, nevertheless.Nan Grey is spirited as Connie, the girlfriend. Her part is not huge but she has a several nice scenes—she directs some fiery speeches at the head terrible guy (Russell Hicks), and she displays smarts when a swift escape becomes vitally necessary.Hicks is a particularly nasty baddie; suave in appearance and manner, he exults in the early success of his evil plans and freely insults his captives and enemies.Some minor subplots distract briefly, such as the young commander's fear of rough water, and the seal brought on board by the Duke's assistant and pal (Fuzzy Knight, as combination right hand boy and comic relief). But it's really John Wayne's show: he plays a handsome, dutiful and daring young officer who's tall and powerful and not a large talker. What's not to like?
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