The Ghost Ship (1943) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first adult to ever treat him as a friend. But after a couple strange deaths of crew members, Merriam begins to think Stone is a psychopathic madman obsessed with authority. He tries to tell others, but no one believes him, and it only makes Stone angry..


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  • The film opens with a burial at sea as we go inside the mind of a mute sea hand who looks at the camera and in voice over tells us that this is a ghost ship and that death will continue. As we are introduced to Tom Merriam (Russell Wade) 3rd Officer of a ship being hired by Captain Will Stone (Richard Dix) who imparts some fatherly philosophy about camaraderie onboard ship and the community of men that needs to work under a guiding leader. As their schedule starts, unusual things begin happening onboard that appear dangerous. When crew deaths begin Tom becomes suspicious and confronts Captain Stone who tells him that he has indeed caused the deaths of some of his crew because the men were disrespectful. When Tom has the Captain brought up on official charges, he is expelled from the ship. But when an unusual turn of fate lands him back on board he finds that the rest of the crew shuns him and will not help him as he pleads for his life as he is threatened by the Captain. Tom finds that he is clearly in danger with no one to turn to for help as the Captain closes in for the kill.

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