The Seafarers

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The Seafarers
Seafarers title.jpg
title card
Directed byStanley Kubrick
Produced byStanley Kubrick
Lester Cooper
Written byWill Chasen
Narrated byDon Hollenbeck
Distributed bySeafarers International Union
Release date
  • October 15, 1953 (1953-10-15)
Running time
30 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Seafarers is Stanley Kubrick's fourth film and third short documentary, made for the Seafarers International Union, directed in June 1953.[1]

There are shots of ships, machinery, a canteen, and a union meeting. The film was shot in color, and was supervised by the staff of The Seafarers Log, the union magazine. For the cafeteria scene in the film, Kubrick chose a long, sideways-shooting dolly shot to establish the life of the seafarer's community; this shot is an early demonstration of a signature technique that Kubrick would use in his feature films. Another such shot involves a group of seafarers walking across screen from a shaded area to a sunlit space as they approach the SIU Union hall.

The film was "discovered" in 1973 by film scholar and filmmaker Frank P. Tomasulo, who arranged for a 16mm print of the documentary to be deposited in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress' Motion Picture Division.

The Seafarers was released on DVD in 2008 with audio commentary from directors Roger Avary and Keith Gordon, as well as an interview with one of Kubrick's daughters.

The short is also available as an extra on the 2012 release of Kubrick's first full-length film Fear and Desire.


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