Two Years Before the Mast (film)

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Two Years Before the Mast
Two Years Before the Mast Poster.jpg
Directed by John Farrow
Produced by Seton I. Miller
Written by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (novel)
Seton I. Miller
George Bruce
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 22, 1946 (1946-11-22)
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million[1]
Box office $4.4 million (US/ Canada rentals) [2]

Two Years Before the Mast is a 1946 adventure film based on Richard Henry Dana, Jr.'s travel book of the same name.

Plot summary[edit]

Brian Donlevy, Esther Fernández and Alan Ladd in a promotional picture of the film.

In 1834, Charles Stewart (Alan Ladd), the spoiled, dissolute son of a shipping magnate, is shanghaied aboard the Pilgrim, one of his father's own ships. He embarks upon a long, hellish sea voyage under the tyrannical rule of Captain Francis Thompson (Howard Da Silva), assisted by his first mate, Amazeen (William Bendix). One of his crewmates is Richard Henry Dana Jr. (Brian Donlevy).


Edward Small announced plans to film the book in 1939 under his deal with United Artists.[3] However this was postponed due to World War Two.[4] Plans to film it were again announced in 1940 and 1941 but no movie resulted.[5] Paramount eventually bought the rights off Small in 1943, including a script Seton I Miller had written for the producer in 1939; Miller had since become a writer and producer at Paramount. Alan Ladd was announced as star.[6]

Alan Ladd injured his back during filming and had to miss a week of shooting.[7]



  1. ^ 'Two Years Before Mast' Personnel Assembling: Peter Lawford Chosen as Greer Garson Suitor; Noted Veterans on Active List Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 14 Feb 1944: 11.
  2. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. ^ Marshall Will Play in 'My Son, My Son': Europe Lures Notables Students Belittle Stars Tommy Kelly Assigned Ann Sheridan's New Role Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 28 Mar 1939: 15.
  4. ^ PRODUCERS GIRD FOR WAR: The Cinema Capital Contemplates Its Probable Effects Upon the Industry By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 Sep 1939: X3.
  5. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 01 Apr 1941: 29.
  6. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Paramount to Film 'Two Years Before Mast' -- 2 Broadway Openings This Week Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 06 Dec 1943: 21.
  7. ^ "ACTORS ATTEND SCHOOL OF SEAMANSHIP.". Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) (Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 22 October 1948. p. 10. Retrieved 3 March 2012. 

External links[edit]