The Decks Ran Red


1h 24m 1958
The Decks Ran Red

Brief Synopsis

Dishonest seamen plan a murderous mutiny.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Infamy, Infamy at Sea, Terror at Sea
Genre
Drama
Thriller
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Oct 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Andrew L. Stone, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Santa Monica, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,561ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Just off the coast of New Zealand, the captain of an American freighter, the S.S. Berwind , dies unexpectedly, prompting the cook and steward to desert what they consider an ill-fated ship. Meanwhile, luxury cruise ship S.S. Mariposa docks in Los Angeles where first officer Edwin B. Rumill receives a surprising call from his wife Joan, asking him to meet her immediately. Joining Joan are representatives of the ship line, who offer Ed command of the Berwind provided that he depart for New Zealand immediately. Despite Joan's protests about the strain the new position will place on their family life, Ed accepts the promotion as a career advancement after learning that the Berwind 's first officer, Mr. Moody, is too old for command. Meanwhile as the Berwind awaits its new captain, boiler room technician Henry Scott plots with partner Leroy Martin to provoke a mutiny, murder the crew and turn the ship in for the enormous salvage reward. Despite Leroy's protests, Scott then enlists seaman Mace, a former petty criminal, in their scheme. Upon arriving in New Zealand, Ed is met by officer Alex Cole who informs him that Moody and many of the crew are resentful of Ed's appointment. When Moody tells Ed that they need a cook and steward before setting sail, Ed learns of a native Maori cook, but is dismayed to learn he insists on bringing his wife. Conscious of the loss of income with each day the ship is not as sea, Ed reluctantly agrees. Soon after the cook Pete and his striking wife Mahia come aboard, Ed realizes his error in judgment as Mahia's presence causes a palpable tension among the crew. Later, Leroy blatantly accosts Mahia in front of Pete who is helpless to defend his wife's honor as the crew leers at her. Once at sea, Mace refuses to help murder the crew and Scott and Leroy threaten to throw him overboard. Scott tells Mace he intends to stir up the crew so that the log will document evidence of rising tensions and an eventual mutiny. Several days later, Moody dies in his sleep and the crew's resentment against Ed grows. Later, when a jealousy-crazed Pete attacks Leroy for his continued attentions to Mahia, Ed orders the cook locked in his quarters. Frustrated by Mace's continual resistance and hoping to incite panic among the crew, Scott follows through on his threat and he and Leroy throw Mace overboard late one night. His disappearance has the desired effect of unsettling the crew and Ed. Scott and Leroy tell Ed of rumors that crew members are considering violence in order to free Pete and thus re-instate cooked meals. Although each crew member is questioned about Mace's disappearance, Ed learns nothing, but realizes that the tensions are not as severe as Scott has maintained. Late the next night, Scott meets with several crew members in an attempt to convince them that Ed is unfit and that they should storm Pete's quarters to free him. Concerned over the gathering, Ed and his officers discuss whether to take action. Meanwhile, several seaman accuse Scott of coercion and of murdering Mace. Frustrated by their failure to rouse the crew, Scott and Leroy destroy the radio room, cutting off all communication. Believing the crew is planning to revolt, Ed and the other officers are bewildered when they discover that most of the crew have retired to their cabins. Scott tells Leroy they must proceed with their plan and unveils several pistols and ammunition that he has hidden. Returning to the engine room secretly, Scott and Leroy then murder the four engineers. Shortly after discovering the vandalized radio room and upon receiving no response from the engine room, Ed and Cole find the murdered engineers and bring the Berwind to a halt. Ed frees Pete and orders the crew to the mess area where several seamen voice their suspicion that Scott and Leroy are responsible for the murders. When the officers advise Ed to evacuate the crew in lifeboats for their safety, Ed hesitates, concerned that the armed Scott and Leroy might fire upon the defenseless men. After realizing that Mahia is missing, Ed finds her in her cabin and they successfully evade Scott. When, officers Elliott and Karl Pope go topside to search for Leroy, Pope is killed and Elliott wounded by Leroy. Distressed, Pete grabs a machete and goes topside where he is also shot by Leroy. After Elliott crawls below deck to report, Mahia becomes hysterical about Pete and pleads tobe allowed to help her husband. The crew become anxious and when many demand they leave the ship, Ed agrees, unaware that Mahia has snuck topside to search for Pete. When Ed and the men arrive on deck, Scott calls out to them that he is holding Mahia and will kill her unless everyone abandons ship immediately. Ed acquiesces, but plans to swim back to the ship and crawl aboard using a path log line hanging over the stern. While the crew evacuates, Leroy questions Scott about the wisdom of allowing the men to escape alive, and Scott assures him they will ram the lifeboat later. As dawn breaks, Ed swims back to the Berwind and although officer "Bull" Pringle insists on accompanying him, the officer drowns in the cold rough water. Ed struggles aboard alone as Scott and Leory start the engines and direct the ship at the lifeboat. Consumed by fear, Mahia nearly attacks Ed until she realizes who he is and discloses Scott and Leroy's locations. While Ed sneaks down to the engine room, Mahia distracts Leroy, then shoots him with his own pistol. When Scott receives no response from the engine room, he goes below and he is attacked by Ed. After a furious fight, Ed kills Scott and turns the Berwind away from the lifeboat in time to save the crew.

Photo Collections

The Decks Ran Red - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for The Decks Ran Red (1958). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
The Decks Ran Red - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from The Decks Ran Red (1958). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Film Details

Also Known As
Infamy, Infamy at Sea, Terror at Sea
Genre
Drama
Thriller
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Oct 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Andrew L. Stone, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Santa Monica, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,561ft (8 reels)

Articles

The Decks Ran Red - Airs 9/27


On page one of the October 12, 1905 edition, a New York Times headline "Mutineers Kill Five, Including the Captain" preedes a description of the deadly mutiny aboard the SS Berwind, "the decks of the schoner [sic] crimson with blood." Bodies not left on deck had been foisted overboard, including that of its Captain Rummill, and "three negroes," led by one Henry Scott, had been detained. A contretemps over the quality of the coffee was improbably offered as the massacre's origin. A subsequent (rampantly editorializing) article in the Wilmington Messenger posited that the mutineers' plan was to waterlog the vessel and claim to be the sole survivors of a storm hit. Maritime law at the time would then award them part of the value of the salvage.

A half-century later, MGM dramatized and generously modified this sordid blot on seafaring in The Decks Ran Red, the opening titles of which assure us that this is, "A story which actually happened... the most infamous, diabolically cunning crime in the annals of Maritime history." To hammer home the point, the "Red" of the title card "drips" with animated black-and-white blood, a nice touch. Reliable studio workhorse Andrew L. Stone wrote and directed, and also produced together with his wife Virginia L. Stone, who edited. Stone's unadorned direction serves a banal sense of menace that the sterile, largely music-free presentation only serves to boost.

Foggy gloom pervades the 1958 film from the start, in which the Berwind's previous captain's body is jettisoned for burial at sea, after death under mysterious circumstances. Multiple mates announce that they'll refuse to sail with her again, and the rottenness at the core of the crew's morale is personified by Henry Scott. Here Scott is a white man played by Broderick Crawford, among the most singular physical presences in cinema; the racial switch allowed the studio to skirt thorny issues of subjugation and racial rebellion that truer representation would have forced. Scott and his accomplice Leroy (hirsute fireplug Stuart Whitman) immediately announce their willingness to murder everyone onboard to collect the $1 million salvage payout. They're tickled to learn of the ship's new, greenhorn Captain Edwin Rummill (James Mason), whom they assume can be manipulated or dispensed with easily. Rummill takes the assignment against his wife's wishes because "a man must," but starts regretting it upon seeing the rickety Berwind (his voiceover: "The nearer I approached her, the more depressed I'd get"). Soon after the ship sets sail, Scott and Leroy begin sowing rancor among the crew in pursuit of their salvage scheme. An added source of unruliness comes from the crew's reaction to the ship's steward, Mahia (Dorothy Dandridge), who was brought aboard by her husband, the Maori cook Pete (Joel Fluellen). Feeding the volatility of the otherwise all-male crew, the stage is set for the film's rousingly action-filled second half. The capper is a brutally matter-of-fact bloodbath (rifle-shot murders in the engine room accompanied by the chilling popping sound of the guns' reports) which Rummill and Mahia conspire to thwart.

Stone's diversified portfolio isn't all crime-ridden, though he made several solid noirs including The Steel Trap (1952) and Cry Terror! (also 1958 and also starring Mason). He helmed the delightful Stormy Weather, a 1943 musical biopic of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson that stars Bojangles himself and features rare filmed performances by titans like co-lead Lena Horne, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. Its innovation (along with the same year's Cabin in the Sky) as a mainstream musical with an entirely black cast connects it directly to Otto Preminger's all-black Carmen Jones (1954), the film that propelled Dandridge to major stardom. Dandridge was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as the sashaying, colorfully clad free spirit Carmen. It could have been a stepping stone to yet greater heights, but a combination of factors including industry racism, personal insecurity, and the influence of Preminger, who advised her to only accept starring roles, curtailed her rise. Dandridge would also star in Preminger's Porgy and Bess (1959), but eventually did have to settle for supporting roles in films like The Decks Ran Red and the soapily libidinous interracial affair drama Island in the Sun (1957, co-starring Mason) for the few remaining years of her career, before a drug overdose in 1965 killed her at 42.

Even in these smaller roles, the star power of the spellbinding former stage singer radiates. And in The Decks Ran Red, Dandridge's Mahia has a full arc, maturing from a flirty layabout complaining about staying in her cabin to a canny manipulator who cozies up to murderous Leroy before snatching the gun from his waist and shooting him twice point-blank. The ever-watchable Mason delivers a committed if standard performance as Rummill, who must feign outrage when he's (rightly) accused by the mutineers of having eyes for Mahia, and who snaps into quick-thinking action once bodies start accruing. But it is Crawford who seems most in tune with the film's sense of unventilated ill-will and avarice--his Scott is like a diseased barnacle on the cursed ship, who's so at home on board he might as well have been born there. Tossing one turtlenecked would-be conspirator overboard in broad daylight brings a smirk of joy to his saggy face, and he has no qualms shooting others in the back. Crawford's Scott might be his most hateful creation (among more than a few), and deserves inclusion in the pantheon of seafaring cinematic villains like Robert Ryan's Claggart (Billy Budd) and Edward G. Robinson's Wolf Larsen (The Sea Wolf)--a proud lineage of disgrace.



To read the article at Film Comment and explore the website, Click Here. To learn more about Film Comment magazine, please visit www.filmcomment.com and to subscribe go to www.filmcomment.com/subscribe-to-film-comment-magazine/.


The Decks Ran Red - Airs 9/27

The Decks Ran Red - Airs 9/27

On page one of the October 12, 1905 edition, a New York Times headline "Mutineers Kill Five, Including the Captain" preedes a description of the deadly mutiny aboard the SS Berwind, "the decks of the schoner [sic] crimson with blood." Bodies not left on deck had been foisted overboard, including that of its Captain Rummill, and "three negroes," led by one Henry Scott, had been detained. A contretemps over the quality of the coffee was improbably offered as the massacre's origin. A subsequent (rampantly editorializing) article in the Wilmington Messenger posited that the mutineers' plan was to waterlog the vessel and claim to be the sole survivors of a storm hit. Maritime law at the time would then award them part of the value of the salvage.A half-century later, MGM dramatized and generously modified this sordid blot on seafaring in The Decks Ran Red, the opening titles of which assure us that this is, "A story which actually happened... the most infamous, diabolically cunning crime in the annals of Maritime history." To hammer home the point, the "Red" of the title card "drips" with animated black-and-white blood, a nice touch. Reliable studio workhorse Andrew L. Stone wrote and directed, and also produced together with his wife Virginia L. Stone, who edited. Stone's unadorned direction serves a banal sense of menace that the sterile, largely music-free presentation only serves to boost.Foggy gloom pervades the 1958 film from the start, in which the Berwind's previous captain's body is jettisoned for burial at sea, after death under mysterious circumstances. Multiple mates announce that they'll refuse to sail with her again, and the rottenness at the core of the crew's morale is personified by Henry Scott. Here Scott is a white man played by Broderick Crawford, among the most singular physical presences in cinema; the racial switch allowed the studio to skirt thorny issues of subjugation and racial rebellion that truer representation would have forced. Scott and his accomplice Leroy (hirsute fireplug Stuart Whitman) immediately announce their willingness to murder everyone onboard to collect the $1 million salvage payout. They're tickled to learn of the ship's new, greenhorn Captain Edwin Rummill (James Mason), whom they assume can be manipulated or dispensed with easily. Rummill takes the assignment against his wife's wishes because "a man must," but starts regretting it upon seeing the rickety Berwind (his voiceover: "The nearer I approached her, the more depressed I'd get"). Soon after the ship sets sail, Scott and Leroy begin sowing rancor among the crew in pursuit of their salvage scheme. An added source of unruliness comes from the crew's reaction to the ship's steward, Mahia (Dorothy Dandridge), who was brought aboard by her husband, the Maori cook Pete (Joel Fluellen). Feeding the volatility of the otherwise all-male crew, the stage is set for the film's rousingly action-filled second half. The capper is a brutally matter-of-fact bloodbath (rifle-shot murders in the engine room accompanied by the chilling popping sound of the guns' reports) which Rummill and Mahia conspire to thwart.Stone's diversified portfolio isn't all crime-ridden, though he made several solid noirs including The Steel Trap (1952) and Cry Terror! (also 1958 and also starring Mason). He helmed the delightful Stormy Weather, a 1943 musical biopic of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson that stars Bojangles himself and features rare filmed performances by titans like co-lead Lena Horne, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers. Its innovation (along with the same year's Cabin in the Sky) as a mainstream musical with an entirely black cast connects it directly to Otto Preminger's all-black Carmen Jones (1954), the film that propelled Dandridge to major stardom. Dandridge was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as the sashaying, colorfully clad free spirit Carmen. It could have been a stepping stone to yet greater heights, but a combination of factors including industry racism, personal insecurity, and the influence of Preminger, who advised her to only accept starring roles, curtailed her rise. Dandridge would also star in Preminger's Porgy and Bess (1959), but eventually did have to settle for supporting roles in films like The Decks Ran Red and the soapily libidinous interracial affair drama Island in the Sun (1957, co-starring Mason) for the few remaining years of her career, before a drug overdose in 1965 killed her at 42.Even in these smaller roles, the star power of the spellbinding former stage singer radiates. And in The Decks Ran Red, Dandridge's Mahia has a full arc, maturing from a flirty layabout complaining about staying in her cabin to a canny manipulator who cozies up to murderous Leroy before snatching the gun from his waist and shooting him twice point-blank. The ever-watchable Mason delivers a committed if standard performance as Rummill, who must feign outrage when he's (rightly) accused by the mutineers of having eyes for Mahia, and who snaps into quick-thinking action once bodies start accruing. But it is Crawford who seems most in tune with the film's sense of unventilated ill-will and avarice--his Scott is like a diseased barnacle on the cursed ship, who's so at home on board he might as well have been born there. Tossing one turtlenecked would-be conspirator overboard in broad daylight brings a smirk of joy to his saggy face, and he has no qualms shooting others in the back. Crawford's Scott might be his most hateful creation (among more than a few), and deserves inclusion in the pantheon of seafaring cinematic villains like Robert Ryan's Claggart (Billy Budd) and Edward G. Robinson's Wolf Larsen (The Sea Wolf)--a proud lineage of disgrace.To read the article at Film Comment and explore the website, Click Here. To learn more about Film Comment magazine, please visit www.filmcomment.com and to subscribe go to www.filmcomment.com/subscribe-to-film-comment-magazine/.

The Decks Ran Red


By and large, observers of the career of the beautiful, talented and tragic African-American actress Dorothy Dandridge have accorded footnote status to The Decks Ran Red (1958), the offbeat, low-budget thriller that she made just prior to the filming of Otto Preminger's Porgy and Bess (1959). It's unfortunate, because this odd little throwaway gave her the opportunity to project her considerable sensuality to an unprecedented degree while presenting her as an object of glamour in a manner uncommon for black actresses of the day. Filmed on Catalina Island, off the coast of California, The Decks Ran Red is also unique for opting to use the natural sounds of the ocean and daily shipboard life instead of a commissioned music score.

The screenplay, a concoction by the filmmaking team of director Andrew L. Stone (Cry Terror!, 1958) and his wife/editor Virginia Lively, opens on the sudden demise of the captain of the S.S. Berwind, a dingy, ancient freighter harbored in New Zealand. The parent line offers the command to Edwin Rummill (James Mason), the buttoned-down, by-the-book first mate of a luxury liner; Rummill, desirous of the career advancement guaranteed by a captaincy, even of this dubious scow, accepts. Determined to have the Berwind put to sea ASAP, Rummill makes the chancy call to replace its AWOL cook with a local Maori (Joel Fluellen) who's adamant about bringing along his striking wife Mahia (Dandridge), despite the leering attentions of the crew.

While the Berwind crew is rife with sullen louts, the most unsavory by far are Henry Scott (Broderick Crawford) and Leroy Martin (Stuart Whitman), who are concocting a scheme as audacious as it is heinous. Their intent is to wait until the vessel is deep enough into the shipping lane, at which point they intend to scuttle the engines and systematically murder everyone else on board. From there, they can subsist for months on the ship's provisions until their anticipated rescue, and thereafter put in a million-dollar salvage claim on the Berwind and its cargo. Once they start putting their plan in motion, Rummill has a harrowing battle--with the aid of the gutsy Mahia--to preserve his vessel and all aboard.

Stone, who reportedly based his screenplay on a real-life 1905 incident at sea, had strong impressions of Mason from having worked with him back to back on Cry Terror! and The Decks Ran Red. "I had the impression of a very unhappy man, but what I liked about him was that he wasn't one of those phony Englishmen like Niven, who created a character for himself as that cheery soldier," Stone recounted for Sheridan Morley's James Mason: Odd Man Out (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). "[Y]ou always knew where you stood with him and he would never let you down. The pictures we made together could maybe have been a bit better, but we were very pressed for time and James was always there on cue, always professional...But there was something churning inside of him, and although he never let it show in his work, you could always sense it. He was a tenacious son of a bitch, and a great survivor, but I think he was maybe too intelligent for some of the work he had to do in movies."

Stone also spoke well of the leading lady for Donald Bogle's biography, Dorothy Dandridge (Amistad). "She was extremely professional. I never worked with any star that I liked better or was more competent," the director recalled. Stone's admiration was obvious from the way he showcased Dandridge from scene to scene, starting with her memorable entrance aboard the freighter where her beauty dazzles the transfixed sailors. For all the racially charged aspects, including a scene where Stuart Whitman forces himself upon Dandridge, kissing her violently, The Decks Ran Red didn't cause much of a ripple upon its release. Preminger reportedly taunted Dandridge about her work on the film on the set of Porgy and Bess. Still, it's a singular showcase for a magnetic performer who logged all too little time on-screen, but glowed in the few roles she did win.

Producer: Andrew L. Stone, Virginia L. Stone
Director: Andrew L. Stone
Screenplay: Andrew L. Stone
Cinematography: Meredith M. Nicholson
Film Editing: Virginia L. Stone
Cast: James Mason (Capt. Edwin Rummill), Dorothy Dandridge (Mahia), Broderick Crawford (Henry Scott), Stuart Whitman (Leroy Martin), Katharine Bard (Joan Rummill), Jack Kruschen (Alex Cole).
BW-85m.

by Jay S. Steinberg

The Decks Ran Red

By and large, observers of the career of the beautiful, talented and tragic African-American actress Dorothy Dandridge have accorded footnote status to The Decks Ran Red (1958), the offbeat, low-budget thriller that she made just prior to the filming of Otto Preminger's Porgy and Bess (1959). It's unfortunate, because this odd little throwaway gave her the opportunity to project her considerable sensuality to an unprecedented degree while presenting her as an object of glamour in a manner uncommon for black actresses of the day. Filmed on Catalina Island, off the coast of California, The Decks Ran Red is also unique for opting to use the natural sounds of the ocean and daily shipboard life instead of a commissioned music score. The screenplay, a concoction by the filmmaking team of director Andrew L. Stone (Cry Terror!, 1958) and his wife/editor Virginia Lively, opens on the sudden demise of the captain of the S.S. Berwind, a dingy, ancient freighter harbored in New Zealand. The parent line offers the command to Edwin Rummill (James Mason), the buttoned-down, by-the-book first mate of a luxury liner; Rummill, desirous of the career advancement guaranteed by a captaincy, even of this dubious scow, accepts. Determined to have the Berwind put to sea ASAP, Rummill makes the chancy call to replace its AWOL cook with a local Maori (Joel Fluellen) who's adamant about bringing along his striking wife Mahia (Dandridge), despite the leering attentions of the crew. While the Berwind crew is rife with sullen louts, the most unsavory by far are Henry Scott (Broderick Crawford) and Leroy Martin (Stuart Whitman), who are concocting a scheme as audacious as it is heinous. Their intent is to wait until the vessel is deep enough into the shipping lane, at which point they intend to scuttle the engines and systematically murder everyone else on board. From there, they can subsist for months on the ship's provisions until their anticipated rescue, and thereafter put in a million-dollar salvage claim on the Berwind and its cargo. Once they start putting their plan in motion, Rummill has a harrowing battle--with the aid of the gutsy Mahia--to preserve his vessel and all aboard. Stone, who reportedly based his screenplay on a real-life 1905 incident at sea, had strong impressions of Mason from having worked with him back to back on Cry Terror! and The Decks Ran Red. "I had the impression of a very unhappy man, but what I liked about him was that he wasn't one of those phony Englishmen like Niven, who created a character for himself as that cheery soldier," Stone recounted for Sheridan Morley's James Mason: Odd Man Out (Weidenfeld & Nicolson). "[Y]ou always knew where you stood with him and he would never let you down. The pictures we made together could maybe have been a bit better, but we were very pressed for time and James was always there on cue, always professional...But there was something churning inside of him, and although he never let it show in his work, you could always sense it. He was a tenacious son of a bitch, and a great survivor, but I think he was maybe too intelligent for some of the work he had to do in movies." Stone also spoke well of the leading lady for Donald Bogle's biography, Dorothy Dandridge (Amistad). "She was extremely professional. I never worked with any star that I liked better or was more competent," the director recalled. Stone's admiration was obvious from the way he showcased Dandridge from scene to scene, starting with her memorable entrance aboard the freighter where her beauty dazzles the transfixed sailors. For all the racially charged aspects, including a scene where Stuart Whitman forces himself upon Dandridge, kissing her violently, The Decks Ran Red didn't cause much of a ripple upon its release. Preminger reportedly taunted Dandridge about her work on the film on the set of Porgy and Bess. Still, it's a singular showcase for a magnetic performer who logged all too little time on-screen, but glowed in the few roles she did win. Producer: Andrew L. Stone, Virginia L. Stone Director: Andrew L. Stone Screenplay: Andrew L. Stone Cinematography: Meredith M. Nicholson Film Editing: Virginia L. Stone Cast: James Mason (Capt. Edwin Rummill), Dorothy Dandridge (Mahia), Broderick Crawford (Henry Scott), Stuart Whitman (Leroy Martin), Katharine Bard (Joan Rummill), Jack Kruschen (Alex Cole). BW-85m. by Jay S. Steinberg

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles for the film were Infamy at Sea, Infamy and Terror at Sea. Although the Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Daily Variety reviews indicate a 97 minute running time for the film, copyright records list it as 84 minutes, the approximate running time of the print viewed. Voice-over narration provided by James Mason as "Capt. Edward B. Rumill" is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to a Los Angeles Times article on October 7, 1957, actor Robert Ryan was originally cast as Rumill.
       Although the film was set in the 1950s, according to a November 1958 review in the Beverly Hills Citizen News and publicity material on the film, the story was based upon an 1905 actual case history of mutiny aboard the S.S. Berwind. The mutiny, led by Henry Scott, occurred just off Cape Hatteras, as the ship was returning from Cuba to Philadelphia, just off of Cape Hatteras. Scott and two surviving seaman were later tried and found guilty. After Scott was sentenced to death and the seaman sentenced to life imprisonment, Scott confessed to a minister that the seaman did not instigate the mutiny. President Theodore Roosevelt commuted their life sentences, and later the men were pardoned by President Taft. Scott was hanged in 1906. The film was shot on location at Santa Monica Harbor, CA.