The Adventures of Martin Eden (1942)

87 mins | Drama | 26 February 1942

Director:

Sidney Salkow

Writer:

W. L. River

Producer:

B. P. Schulberg

Cinematographer:

Frank F. Planer

Editor:

Al Clark

Production Designer:

Lionel Banks

Production Company:

Eden Productions
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HISTORY

The film's title card reads: "The Adventures of Martin Eden by Jack London." The film's working title was Martin Eden. London's novel was first serialized in Pacific Monthly (Sep 1908--Sep 1909). A Nov 1941 HR news item notes that Mimi Aguglia was originally to play the role of "Marie Sylva." The Adventures of Martin Eden marked Samuel Bronston's first effort as a producer. According to a news item in LADN, Bronston intially planned to produce the film with James Roosevelt, with Pat O'Brien in the title role. A Columbia publicity item contained in the AMPAS Library production file adds that Robert J. McDonald, who portrayed the judge in the picture, was Bronston's head legal counsel. London's novel was filmed twice before: by Bosworth, Inc. in 1914 as Martin Eden, directed by Hobart Bosworth and starring Lawrence Peyton (see entry); and in Russia in 1918 as Creation Can't Be Bought, directed by Nikandr Turkin and starring Vladimir Mayakowsky. ...

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The film's title card reads: "The Adventures of Martin Eden by Jack London." The film's working title was Martin Eden. London's novel was first serialized in Pacific Monthly (Sep 1908--Sep 1909). A Nov 1941 HR news item notes that Mimi Aguglia was originally to play the role of "Marie Sylva." The Adventures of Martin Eden marked Samuel Bronston's first effort as a producer. According to a news item in LADN, Bronston intially planned to produce the film with James Roosevelt, with Pat O'Brien in the title role. A Columbia publicity item contained in the AMPAS Library production file adds that Robert J. McDonald, who portrayed the judge in the picture, was Bronston's head legal counsel. London's novel was filmed twice before: by Bosworth, Inc. in 1914 as Martin Eden, directed by Hobart Bosworth and starring Lawrence Peyton (see entry); and in Russia in 1918 as Creation Can't Be Bought, directed by Nikandr Turkin and starring Vladimir Mayakowsky.

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PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Feb 1942
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1942
p. 3
Film Daily
26 Feb 1942
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1941
p. 4
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 1941
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1941
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 1942
p. 3
Los Angeles Daily News
5 Nov 1941
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Feb 1942
p. 525
New York Times
16 Mar 1942
p. 19
Variety
25 Feb 1942
p. 8
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Samuel Bronston Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Franz F. Planer
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Martin Eden by Jack London (New York, 1908).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Martin Eden
Release Date:
26 February 1942
Production Date:
4 Nov--5 Dec 1941; addl scenes week of 17 Dec 1941
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp.
18 February 1942
LP11066
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in feet):
7,849
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8027
SYNOPSIS

At a trial in San Francisco, seaman Joe Dawson is about to be sentenced for mutiny when fellow sailor Martin Eden interrupts the proceedings, claiming that he has been trying to present evidence from a diary he kept of the voyage. However, the judge refuses to listen to him and sentences Joe to ten years in prison. Martin tells Connie, Joe's sister, that he will show the diary to Amos Morley, the owner of the ship on which the mutiny took place. After Martin bursts in on a society party at the Morley mansion, Carl Brissenden, a famous author and Martin's idol, offers to read the diary and, accompanied by Morley's daughter Ruth, they go to Brissenden's study, where Martin relates his account of the voyage: He had boarded the cargo ship, The Lorelei , to find Captain "Butch" Ragan, whom he had known since childhood, in charge. Ragan's extreme brutality caused the death of Johnny, the cabin boy, and Martin began to keep a diary, documenting additional brutality, rotten food and poor conditions on board. Later a group of the sailors, led by Joe, took Ragan prisoner at gunpoint. After Martin concludes his account, Brissenden tells him that no one will believe it, but offers to send it, in novel form, to a publisher. Later, Ruth visits Martin's hotel room in Oakland to inform him that The Lorelei is in port and that her father has agreed to inspect it. When they go to the dock, however, Martin discovers that Ragan has been tipped off about the visit and everything is in order. Connie is becoming jealous of Ruth and feels that Martin, who is ...

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At a trial in San Francisco, seaman Joe Dawson is about to be sentenced for mutiny when fellow sailor Martin Eden interrupts the proceedings, claiming that he has been trying to present evidence from a diary he kept of the voyage. However, the judge refuses to listen to him and sentences Joe to ten years in prison. Martin tells Connie, Joe's sister, that he will show the diary to Amos Morley, the owner of the ship on which the mutiny took place. After Martin bursts in on a society party at the Morley mansion, Carl Brissenden, a famous author and Martin's idol, offers to read the diary and, accompanied by Morley's daughter Ruth, they go to Brissenden's study, where Martin relates his account of the voyage: He had boarded the cargo ship, The Lorelei , to find Captain "Butch" Ragan, whom he had known since childhood, in charge. Ragan's extreme brutality caused the death of Johnny, the cabin boy, and Martin began to keep a diary, documenting additional brutality, rotten food and poor conditions on board. Later a group of the sailors, led by Joe, took Ragan prisoner at gunpoint. After Martin concludes his account, Brissenden tells him that no one will believe it, but offers to send it, in novel form, to a publisher. Later, Ruth visits Martin's hotel room in Oakland to inform him that The Lorelei is in port and that her father has agreed to inspect it. When they go to the dock, however, Martin discovers that Ragan has been tipped off about the visit and everything is in order. Connie is becoming jealous of Ruth and feels that Martin, who is now trying to build himself a reputation as a writer, belongs at sea. Over dinner at a café one evening, Martin tells Connie about a new novel he is writing, which contains a romantic element. Brissenden then comes in drunk, and Martin invites him back to his hotel room, where he reads his incomplete South Seas novel to him. Brissenden thinks it is terrific and tells him that Ruth is in love with him. Martin and Ruth's relationship is rocky, however, and although he loves her, she rejects his roughness. When Ruth wants him to take a job with her father, Martin declines, as he wants to continue as a writer. They agree that he will have a year to see if he can become a successful writer, but several months later, Martin has only publishers' rejection slips to show for his efforts. The year is almost up when he receives an invitation to a dinner dance being given for Ruth by her parents. Connie, meanwhile, has become disillusioned with Martin and tells him that while he once fervently wanted to help Joe, he now only wants to be rich and famous. Despite her criticisms, she admits she sent his unfinished South Seas novel Continental Magazine and reveals that it has been accepted for serialization. In trying to collect money from another magazine that owes him money, Martin is arrested for disturbing the peace and jailed, thereby missing the party. When he is released, Connie brings him a copy of the magazine with his novel, The Girl From Moa Kaloa inside. Martin is overjoyed and tells Connie that he must skip their regular visit to Joe to go to see Ruth. However, Connie discovers that Brissenden has published Lady From Moa Kaloa under his own name in Odyssey Magazine . Ruth has also discovered this and when Martin shows her the Continental cover insisting that she now marry him, she accuses him of stealing the story from Brissenden. Although Martin swears that the reverse is true, Ruth does not believe him but is prepared to hear Brissenden's explanation. Martin confronts Brissenden, who does not remember reading his story as he was drunk. Eventually, however, Brissenden realizes that he unconsciously stole Martin's story and commits suicide. Martin wants to abandon writing but strives to restore his credibility by having Ragan attest to the truth of the events depicted in Death Wagon , the novel derived from the diary. Martin and Ragan have a brawl on board the ship and Martin is about to have Ragan write a confession, when he realizes that the ship has left harbor and he is a prisoner. Meanwhile, in Oakland, Connie is visited by the publisher of Continental Magazine , who is looking for the final chapters of the novel. Together they find the missing chapters and the publisher states that he wants to publish all of Martin's work and begins issuing Death Wagon . When the ship eventually reaches Tahiti, Ragan is fired because of Martin's book. Martin and Ragan have another fight, and after Martin beats him badly, Ragan signs a confession. Martin then returns to San Francisco, but Morley instructs his attorney to prevent Martin from presenting the confession at Joe's new trial. The attorney promises Martin that if he testifies that Death Wagon is fiction, they will arrange a pardon for Joe within a year. Although Martin meets Connie and tells her what is planned, Martin testifies at the trial that his book is all true and reads Ragan's confession. In so doing, he loses the Morleys but wins Joe's freedom, Connie and his self-respect.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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