Adapted from four one-act plays by O'Neill, Ford's tribute to the plight of plucky seamen aboard a British freighter as WWII begins features his usual mixture of romanticised cameraderie and courage, boisterous braggadocio and brawling, and banal homespun philosophy. Beginning with an erotic skirmish with exotic island maidens, and ending with the death of Mitchell, shanghaied while drunkenly rescuing Wayne (oddly cast as an innocent Swedish farm-lad) from the clutches of another crew, the film is chiefly noted for Gregg Toland's remarkable high-contrast camerawork which even manages to alleviate Ford's most maudlin excesses. None the less, a strong cast of risibly mixed accents copes gamely.
The Long Voyage Home
Cast and crew