Mutiny on the Blackhawk


1h 6m 1939

Brief Synopsis

Story deals with slave-running between Hawaii and California in 1840, featuring a wild mutiny aboard a slave ship on the high seas, the bartering of natives for slavery in a tropical paradise, and battle scenes between enraged California settlers and the Mexican Army.

Film Details

Also Known As
In Old California
Release Date
Sep 1, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 2 Aug 1939
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Captain Robert Lawrence, a United States officer, is dispatched to the Sandwich Islands to put an end to the slave trade operated by the captain of the Blackhawk . Stowing away on board the ship, Bob is befriended by Slim Collins, one of the crew, and incites the galley slaves to mutiny against their brutal captain and his cruel first mate. After taking control of the ship, they free the islanders who had been taken as slaves and imprisoned in the cargo hold. Landing off the coast of California in search of provisions, the crew and the islanders seek shelter at the American settlement at Fort Bailey, where they learn that under the incompetent leadership of Sam Bailey, the settlers are in danger of being driven from their lands by the Mexican army led by General Romero. Bailey's daughter Helen convinces her father to offer Bob and his men food and shelter, and Bob decides to fight for the settlers' rights. Angered by Bob's demands, Romero, who is secretly in league with Bailey's wife Tania to drive the settlers from their land, orders the Americans to leave the settlement. After Bailey commands him to leave the fort, Bob learns from Kit Carson that General John Fremont and his troops are stationed nearby and rides for help. Fremont agrees to send food to the fort, but just as it is delivered, Romero's army, alerted by Tania, attacks. Under Bob's leadership, the crew and settlers unite and hold off the invaders until Fremont and his troops arrive. With Romero defeated, the American flag is raised over California territory, and Bob prepares to return to Hawaii with Helen at his side.

Film Details

Also Known As
In Old California
Release Date
Sep 1, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 2 Aug 1939
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this picture was In Old California. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, production was postponed for one week on this picture while Andy Devine finished Geronimo. This was the first of eleven films featuring Richard Arlen and Andy Devine that Universal produced from 1939-1941. These films were all produced by Ben Pivar and all but three were directed by Christy Cabanne. Modern sources note that the film contained stock footage from Universal's 1936 production Sutter's Gold.