The Sea Hornet (1951)

84 mins | Adventure | 6 November 1951

Director:

Joseph I. Kane

Cinematographer:

Bert Glennon

Editor:

Tony Martinelli

Production Designer:

Frank Arrigo

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

Voice-over narration, spoken by Rod Cameron as "Gunner McNeil," is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to Mar and May 1951 HR news items, portions of the film were shot at Long Beach and Portuguese Cove near Palos Verde, CA, and for the underwater sequences, at the Isthmus of ... More Less

Voice-over narration, spoken by Rod Cameron as "Gunner McNeil," is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to Mar and May 1951 HR news items, portions of the film were shot at Long Beach and Portuguese Cove near Palos Verde, CA, and for the underwater sequences, at the Isthmus of Catalina. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
29 Sep 1951.
---
Daily Variety
21 Sep 51
p. 10.
Film Daily
26 Sep 51
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Mar 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 51
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Sep 51
pp. 1042-43.
Variety
26 Sep 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Sea of Darkness by Gerald Drayson Adams (unpublished).
SONGS
"A Dream or Two Ago," "I'm Afraid of You" and "Someone to Remember," music by Jack Elliott, lyrics by Nathan Scott.
DETAILS
Release Date:
6 November 1951
Production Date:
28 April--late May 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 September 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1301
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15339
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

A beautiful former WAVE, Sandra "Suntan" Radford, approaches deep sea diver Gunner McNeil with a job offer from seaside hotel manager Tony Sullivan. Sullivan wants Gunner to destroy a shipwreck, claiming that it is a menace to navigation, but Gunner, a Navy veteran, knows that a wreck 200 feet deep poses no threat, and flatly refuses the deal when Suntan will not name the wreck or its location. His buddy, Pete Hunter, is not so discerning, and smitten by Suntan's good looks and the big payoff, is lured away. He leaves a note for Gunner informing him that the job is located off Barracuda Point near Padre Harbor. Suspecting that the operation is illegal, Gunner sends his friend and co-worker, Swede, to play mother hen to the foolhardy Pete, but Swede joins the crew at the diving site just as Pete is pulled out of the water, dead from asphyxia. More mysteries await Gunner in Padre Harbor. The coroner's report, with information supplied by Sullivan, indicates that Pete died twenty miles from wreck, and though the sunken ship, Sea Hornet , carried $1,000,000 in gold, Sullivan failed to apply for salvage authorization. After learning this, Gunner negotiates with the insurance company for fifty percent of the wreck's salvage value and then checks into Sullivan's swanky Padre Inn, where Suntan works as a hostess. Believing her innocent demeanor to be a siren's facade, he is reproachful and distrusting during his encounter with her, and secretly curses all women, but then is tempted by the bold flirting of the inn's lounge singer, Ginger. That evening, as Gunner looks for the Revery ... +


A beautiful former WAVE, Sandra "Suntan" Radford, approaches deep sea diver Gunner McNeil with a job offer from seaside hotel manager Tony Sullivan. Sullivan wants Gunner to destroy a shipwreck, claiming that it is a menace to navigation, but Gunner, a Navy veteran, knows that a wreck 200 feet deep poses no threat, and flatly refuses the deal when Suntan will not name the wreck or its location. His buddy, Pete Hunter, is not so discerning, and smitten by Suntan's good looks and the big payoff, is lured away. He leaves a note for Gunner informing him that the job is located off Barracuda Point near Padre Harbor. Suspecting that the operation is illegal, Gunner sends his friend and co-worker, Swede, to play mother hen to the foolhardy Pete, but Swede joins the crew at the diving site just as Pete is pulled out of the water, dead from asphyxia. More mysteries await Gunner in Padre Harbor. The coroner's report, with information supplied by Sullivan, indicates that Pete died twenty miles from wreck, and though the sunken ship, Sea Hornet , carried $1,000,000 in gold, Sullivan failed to apply for salvage authorization. After learning this, Gunner negotiates with the insurance company for fifty percent of the wreck's salvage value and then checks into Sullivan's swanky Padre Inn, where Suntan works as a hostess. Believing her innocent demeanor to be a siren's facade, he is reproachful and distrusting during his encounter with her, and secretly curses all women, but then is tempted by the bold flirting of the inn's lounge singer, Ginger. That evening, as Gunner looks for the Revery , the boat used at the Sea Hornet diving site, he meets tiddly Mrs. Drinkwater, an amorous widow who lends her dory so that he can row out to the boat. Once there, Gunner arranges with its accordian-playing owner, Sprowl, to use the Revery the next morning, but as he returns to shore, a cruiser piloted by two of Sullivan's employees, Condor and Bone, crashes into the dory, and Gunner must swim to shore. The next day Ginger drives him downtown to talk to the police, but he gets an urgent message from Swede, and finds him fighting off Condor and Bone in his hotel room. After the thugs escape through the window, Gunner visits Lt. Drake, and convinces him to consider a murder investigation if he can find more evidence. Driving back, Ginger and Gunner pick up a hitchhiking sailor, who turns out to be Suntan's brother Johnny. At the inn, Suntan begs Gunner not to tell Johnny about the shipwreck, explaining that her father was its captain and died with the ship. Sullivan, who was the first mate, told her that Radford steered the ship into a reef while drunk. Out of loyalty, Sullivan reported that the ship has been torpedoed, and now wants to destroy evidence of Radford's misconduct before salvagers find it. Suntan claims that she wants to spare Johnny the truth about their father, but Gunner is skeptical of her story and angrily tells her so. That evening on their date, Ginger drugs Gunner, and when he awakens the next morning, the Radfords are waiting in his hotel room. Suntan explains that Gunner's harsh words prompted her to confide in Johnny, who agrees that Sullivan is hiding more than their father's supposed misdeed. They volunteer to help Gunner investigate the wreck, but warn him that Sullivan hired ex-convict Rocky to set the dynamite. Gunner still distrusts Suntan's relationship with Sullivan, until she explains that Sullivan and Ginger are secretly married. When Gunner, Swede and the Radfords board the Revery , Sprowl tries several tactics to delay their departure. After a fistfight, they throw him off the boat, and before he can cause more trouble, Mrs. Drinkwater knocks him out with a whiskey bottle. At sea, Rocky sets the dynamite on the wreck, but when the Revery approaches, Sullivan and his crew skip decompression procedures in a rush to bring him up, which kills him. Then they board the Revery when it pulls alongside their cruiser, but Gunner and his men beat them in a fight and tie them up. In spite of Sullivan's warning that the dynamite will explode in an hour, Gunner prepares to dive. Suntan begs him not to risk his life, finally convincing him of her sincerity, but he feels he must square things for Pete by learning the truth. After alerting the Coast Guard, Gunner dives and finds that the Sea Hornet was sunk by a hole blown from inside, not by a reef or torpedo. He also finds Radford's body stuffed in a closet. With fifteen minutes left before the explosion, Condor panics and confesses that Sullivan killed Radford for the gold and shut off Pete's air compression because he guessed the truth. Gunner ascends and a Coast Guard cutter arrives with a decompression tank and gets everyone safely away from the explosion. With Sullivan and his gang facing murder and battery charges, Condor confesses that the Sea Hornet 's gold is stashed in the Padre Inn's freezer. Because of his salvage contract, Gunner will get half of the gold's value, and though they have lost a lot, Gunner and Suntan are grateful to have each other. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.