Torture Ship (1939)

57 or 62 mins | Drama | 22 October 1939

Director:

Victor Halperin

Writer:

Milton Raison

Cinematographer:

Jack Greenhalgh

Editor:

Holbrook Todd

Production Designer:

Fred Preble

Production Company:

Producers Distributing Corp.
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HISTORY

A news item in HR stated that Rex Hale was set to direct this picture. Hale was a pseudonym used occasionally by the film's director, Victor Halper. According to the CBCS, John Miller was to have played the role of Jesse, and according to a news item in HR , Harvey Huntley was to have shared screenwriting credit with George Sayrem, but his participation in the final film has not been ... More Less

A news item in HR stated that Rex Hale was set to direct this picture. Hale was a pseudonym used occasionally by the film's director, Victor Halper. According to the CBCS, John Miller was to have played the role of Jesse, and according to a news item in HR , Harvey Huntley was to have shared screenwriting credit with George Sayrem, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
22 Nov 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 39
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 39
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Sep 39
pp. 62-63.
Variety
29 Nov 39
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd eng
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "A Thousand Deaths" by Jack London in Black Cat Magazine (May, 1899).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 October 1939
Production Date:
began late August 1939 at Grand National Studios
Physical Properties:
Sound
Duration(in mins):
57 or 62
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5714
SYNOPSIS

Convinced that glandular disorders are at the seat of all criminality, Dr. Herbert Stander begins experimenting with endocrine injections. To conduct his experiments without interference, the doctor charters a yacht, which he convinces his nephew, Lieutenant Bob Bennett, to captain, then helps eight killers escape from jail and brings them aboard as guinea pigs. On board, a fight erupts when Mary Slavish, a passenger of the boat, accuses her secretary, Joan Martel, of turning her into the police for murder. Joan, who was unaware that her boss was poisoning people to collect on their insurance policies, falls in love with Bob, who asks his uncle for help in proving her innocence. After one of his subjects dies, the doctor decides that he must experiment on a normal person and designates Bob as his next subject. Joan grabs a gun and tries to save Bob, and in the confusion, he switches the solution in his injection to water. When the doctor plans to use Joan as his next subject, Bob feigns confusion from the injection, steals a gun, frees the killers, and organizes a mutiny. After seizing control of the boat, the criminals take over and shoot the doctor. Impersonating his uncle, Bob broadcasts a warning to the killers, telling them that they will all die without their next injection. When one of them drops dead, the others rush to the doctor's office, where Bob and the orderlies take them prisoner. As they sail home, the doctor's experiments are vindicated when Mary awakens from her treatment and repents her ... +


Convinced that glandular disorders are at the seat of all criminality, Dr. Herbert Stander begins experimenting with endocrine injections. To conduct his experiments without interference, the doctor charters a yacht, which he convinces his nephew, Lieutenant Bob Bennett, to captain, then helps eight killers escape from jail and brings them aboard as guinea pigs. On board, a fight erupts when Mary Slavish, a passenger of the boat, accuses her secretary, Joan Martel, of turning her into the police for murder. Joan, who was unaware that her boss was poisoning people to collect on their insurance policies, falls in love with Bob, who asks his uncle for help in proving her innocence. After one of his subjects dies, the doctor decides that he must experiment on a normal person and designates Bob as his next subject. Joan grabs a gun and tries to save Bob, and in the confusion, he switches the solution in his injection to water. When the doctor plans to use Joan as his next subject, Bob feigns confusion from the injection, steals a gun, frees the killers, and organizes a mutiny. After seizing control of the boat, the criminals take over and shoot the doctor. Impersonating his uncle, Bob broadcasts a warning to the killers, telling them that they will all die without their next injection. When one of them drops dead, the others rush to the doctor's office, where Bob and the orderlies take them prisoner. As they sail home, the doctor's experiments are vindicated when Mary awakens from her treatment and repents her crimes. +

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

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