John Paul Jones (film)
|John Paul Jones|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||John Farrow|
|Produced by||Samuel Bronston|
|Written by||John Farrow
Jesse Lasky Jr.
by Clements Ripley
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Edited by||Eda Warren|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Box office||$1 million (est. US/Canada rentals)|
John Paul Jones is a Technicolor 1959 biographical epic film about John Paul Jones. The film was made by Samuel Bronston Productions and released by Warner Bros. It was directed by John Farrow and produced by Samuel Bronston from a screenplay by John Farrow, Ben Hecht, and Jesse Lasky Jr. from the story Nor'wester by Clements Ripley. The music score was by Max Steiner, the cinematography by Michel Kelber. It was the final film directed by Farrow.
The film starred Robert Stack in the title role, Marisa Pavan, Charles Coburn, Macdonald Carey, Jean-Pierre Aumont, David Farrar, Peter Cushing, Basil Sydney, Thomas Gomez and the director's daughter Mia Farrow in her film debut. Bette Davis made a cameo appearance as Empress Catherine the Great.
The film begins with a United States Navy officer telling sailors the story of John Paul Jones.
By age 17, John Paul (Robert Stack), a native of Scotland, is an experienced ship's navigator. In 1773, nine years later, he is master of a ship in the West Indies, but after an incident that results in the governor of Tobago advising him to leave, John Paul adds the surname Jones and goes to visit a brother who lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The brother has recently died. Jones hires his attorney, Patrick Henry (Macdonald Carey), to assist in business matters. He also takes a romantic interest in Henry's sweetheart, Dorothea Danders (Erin O'Brien).
After serving as second-in-command of a man-of-war in the Bahamas, his adopted countrymen sign the American Declaration of Independence. Jones receives his first command, sets sail towards Newfoundland and seizes eighteen enemy ships, sending their supplies to American general George Washington (John Crawford).
Washington sends the young officer to France, where he is appreciated for heroic feats at sea. Benjamin Franklin (Charles Coburn) then urges Jones to take a frigate and invade the British Isles. A new vessel is built for him at the suggestion of Marie Antoinette (Susana Canales), and the only condition of his majesty King Louis XVI (Jean-Pierre Aumont) is that Jones' ship sail under an American flag.
A dying Jones, begins to dictate to Aimee (Marisa Pavan) the type of man required and training to be given a future United States Navy officer. The final scenes show the present day (1959) Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Admiral John Paul Jones gains acclaim as one of the bravest and most daring naval figures of his time and in the United States Navy of all time. John Paul Jones remains are located beneath in the Naval Academy Chapel rotunda in Annapolis, Maryland.
- Robert Stack as John Paul Jones
- Marisa Pavan as Aimee de Tellison
- Charles Coburn as Benjamin Franklin
- Erin O'Brien as Dorothea Danders
- Macdonald Carey as Patrick Henry
- Bette Davis as Empress Catherine the Great
- Jean-Pierre Aumont as King Louis XVI
- David Farrar as John Wilkes
- Peter Cushing as Captain Pearson
- Susana Canales as Marie Antoinette
- Georges Rivière as Russian Chamberlain
- Tom Brannum as Peter Wooley
- Bruce Cabot as Gunner Lowrie
- Basil Sydney as Sir William Young
- John Crawford as George Washington
- Archie Duncan as Duncan MacBean
- Thomas Gomez as Esek Hopkins
- Bob Cunningham as Lt. Wallingford
- John Charles Farrow as John Paul
- Eric Pohlmann as King George III
In his review of the film for The New York Times, Bosley Crowther observed: "Stack performs the knotty little Scotsman as though he were a slightly dull but talkative member of a conservative gentleman's club."
Musician John Paul Jones (born John Baldwin), best known as the bassist of English rock band Led Zeppelin, took his stage name at the suggestion of Andrew Loog Oldham, who had seen the film's poster.
- "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, January 6, 1960 p 34
- Variety film review; June 17, 1959, page 6.
- Harrison's Reports film review; June 13, 1959, page 94.
- Vansittart p. 2
- Pencak p. 347
- Thompson p. 162
- Pencak, William. Pennsylvania's revolution. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2010.
- Thompson, Gordon. Please please me: sixties British pop, inside out. Oxford University Press, 2008.
- Vansittart, Peter. John Paul Jones: a restless spirit. Robson Books, 2004.