Cast & Crew
After the stock market crash of 1929, the formerly wealthy Geoffrey Colt-Stratton, Jr. and his family are forced to toil at menial jobs. Although they have no car, the Colt-Strattons maintain the only remnant of their past glory, a fully operational yacht. When social organizer Nella Fitzgerald suggests to them that they rent out their yacht to a group of nouveaux riches , Geoffrey coldly declines the offer. His practical daughter Linda, however, convinces him to accept the idea, and Nella begins combing the Social Register of 1929 for down-and-out "blue bloods" to employ on the cruise. Shortly before sailing, Linda catches the eye of gambler Barry Forbes, who with his sidekick, Freddy Finn, stow away on the yacht. During the cruise, which is populated by crude entrepreneurs and gangsters, Freddy and Barry set up a "Monte Carlo" roulette wheel in hopes of raising money for Linda. Unknown to Linda, Freddy has rigged the wheel so that only the house wins, and when the passengers eventually uncover the deception, they accuse Linda of thievery. At that moment, however, the captain, "Sunny Jim" Roberts, deliberately runs the yacht aground, and the passengers find themselves stranded on a South Sea island called Malakamokolu. While the island natives hold the passengers at gunpoint, the captain negotiates their future with the Caucasian queen of Malakamokolu. Sunny Jim offers to "share" the wealthy passengers with the queen, but she locks up the captain and takes the money for herself. After the natives exchange clothes with the captives, the ruthless queen forces everyone, rich and poor, to work for her. Eventually tiring of her new subjects, the queen offers them their freedom on condition that Barry stay behind and marry her. Although he loves Linda, who is still angry over the gambling incident, Barry accepts the queen's deal. However, when the fickle queen hears Freddy playing his saxophone, she falls in love with him and orders a bomb placed on the yacht. Forgiven by Linda, Barry unanchors the yacht, saving the passengers, but not the boat. Now permanently stranded, the queen's captives happily accept their new home in the tropics.
Pandro S. Berman
P. J. Faulkner Jr.
Hugh Mcdowell Jr.
Van Nest Polglase
Retakes in August 1934 reportedly re-shot about 25 percent of the movie. Sam White directed the retakes while producer Lou Brock supervised.
"Lou Brock' had complete freedom producing the film, which went considerably over budget. It was his last production at RKO.
On 25 April 1934, Hollywood Reporter reported that to "speed things up" during filming, the production was split into two units, with producer Lou Brock directing one unit, and credited director Paul Sloane, the other. According to an August 1934 news item in Daily Variety, Sam White was then hired to direct retakes, which Brock supervised. The retakes reportedly involved reshooting twenty-five percent of the story. A Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Dot Farley was replacing Maude Truax in the cast. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Peter Hancock, Maxine Topper, Virginia Reid, Cynthia Hobart, Peggy Combel and Alice Moore to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to modern sources, Brock, who produced the very successful 1933 musical Flying Down to Rio for RKO, was given carte blanche while making this film and consequently went considerably over budget. Down to Their Last Yacht was Brock's last production at RKO.