Rulers of the Sea

Rulers of the Sea

Film poster
Directed by Frank Lloyd
Produced by Frank Lloyd
Written by Frank Cavett
Richard Collins
Talbot Jennings
Starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
Margaret Lockwood
Will Fyffe
George Bancroft
Music by Richard Hageman
Cinematography Theodor Sparkuhl
Edited by Paul Weatherwax
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • January 6, 1939 (1939-01-06)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Rulers of the Sea is a 1939 American historical drama film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Margaret Lockwood and Will Fyffe.[1] The film's story is based on the voyage of the SS Savannah, the first steamship to cross the North Atlantic, from Britain to the United States. The film was made by Paramount Pictures, but featured Lockwood and Fyffe who were two of the leading stars of the British Gainsborough Pictures studios. The supporting cast features Alan Ladd as Colin Farrell.



The film was one in a series of million-dollar "spectacles" from Paramount. It was based on the history of the Cunard Line.[2] This subject matter was inspired by the success of the movie Lloyds of London, which led to a series of movies revolving around the history of companies. (Others from this time include Spawn of the North (1938), Western Union (1940), and Hudson Bay Company (1940).)[3]

The film used the writer and director of the hit MGM film Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Talbot Jennings and Frank Lloyd.[4]

Will Fyffe, British film star, was borrowed from Gainsborough Pictures in the US to play engineer John Shaw.[5] Filming started on his arrival in Hollywood on 19 April 1939.[6] The film used two real ships.[7]

The film was made with the British audience in mind, so Paramount were worried on the declaration of war.[8]


Fairbanks Jr called it "a very boring story... very static. Lost a bundle."[9]


  2. PARAMOUNT LISTS NEW PRODUCTIONS: 1937-38 Schedule-Includes 22 'Million-Dollar' Films, the Company Announces BUDGET IS UP $10,000,000 Provides for an Unprecedented Number of Musicals-50 to 60 Features Planned Some of the Features Cartoon and Short Subjects New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 June 1937: 26.
  3. BIG BUSINESS CRASHING FLICKER INDUSTRY: Commercial Growth Glorified in Films Steel, Rails, Shipping, Banking Are Few of Subjects Promised Scott, John. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 Mar 1938: C1.
  4. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Lloyd Will Direct 'Rulers of the Sea,' Another in Series of 'Paramount Epics' METRO IS SEEKING CANTOR Don Ameche to Play Role of D'Artagnan in Fox Version of 'Three Musketeers' Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 06 Sep 1938: 17.
  5. NEW FILMS ABOUT SCOTLAND: MICHAEL POWELL'S ORCADIAN THRILLER The Scotsman (1921-1950) [Edinburgh, Scotland] 11 Apr 1939: 13
  6. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Negotiations Under Way for Purchase of Film Rights to Dreiser's 'Sister Carrie' 'DARK VICTORY' WILL OPEN Premiere Today for Picture in Which Bette Davis and George Brent Are Stars Of Local Origin By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 20 Apr 1939: 21
  7. Frank Lloyd Sets Off On New Voyage: Hollywood Letter Two Technical Experts Builds Own Ship By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file) [Boston, Mass] 22 Sep 1939: 10.
  8. PRODUCERS GIRD FOR WAR: The Cinema Capital Contemplates Its Probable Effects Upon the Industry By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 Sep 1939: X3.
  9. Bawden, James; Miller, Ron (4 March 2016). Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era. University Press of Kentucky. p. 101.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/1/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.