Captain Calamity (November 29, 1936)

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George Houston is Captain Calamity
 

Released November 29, 1936: Captain Calamity encounters trouble when everyone on a small South Seas island becomes convinced that he has a treasure of gold doubloons aboard his schooner.

Produced by George A. Hirliman

Directed by John Reinhardt

The Actors: George Houston (Captain Bill Jones), Marian Nixon (Madge Lewis), Vince Barnett (Burp), Juan Torena (Mike), Movita (Annana), Crane Wilbur (Dr. James Kelkey), George J. Lewis (Black Pierre), Roy D'Arcy (Samson), Margaret Irving (Mamie Gruen), Barry Norton (Carr), Louis Natheaux (E.D. Joblin), Lloyd Ingraham (Trader Jim), Alberto Gandero (Gandero, sailor), Harold Howard (Guy Warren), Charles Moyer (Mac, sailor), Bobby Hale (Drunken Sailor), Gordon Jones (henchman), Maria Kalamo (Mary, Jim's housekeeper), John Van Pelt (the potato peeling sailor)

 

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Calamity Bill and the Lucky Gold Doubloon

There are a couple of actors in this South Seas adventure with interesting back-stories, but first is the story of an actor who was paid to prank people when he wasn’t acting in a motion picture.

This master of insult was paid to prank and insult Clark Gable at a party hosted by Joan Crawford, and he almost got knocked out cold when Gable swung at him.

He pranked Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and others without getting hit in return.

With the bluster of a man unafraid of anything or anyone, he greeted the legendary Greta Garbo one day with a cheery, ‘Good morning Miss Hepburn’.

While in New York he dressed and acted like a member of the New York City Police Vice Squad and badgered Mae West, who was starring in a Broadway Show ‘Diamond Lil’. He threatened to shut down the show because of the sexy dialogue and ordered her to take the next train out of town.

Vince Barnett, the chubby bald ship’s cook named ‘Burp’ in this story, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and got his smart-alecky pranking ways honestly, watching his father play pranks on unsuspecting people every day.

Crane Wilbur, the nephew of Tyrone Power Sr., acted in silent movies and as sound movies came into being tried his hand at directing and screenwriting.

In this adventure he is Doctor Kelkey, and he also wrote the screenplay for this movie, but two years earlier he wrote and directed a movie that was banned in several states. That movie is packed with actors you will recognize, but the story was too sensational and controversial for 1934 America.

It seems that in the first decades of that century there was a common but rarely talked about practice of forced sterilization of the mentally retarded, habitual criminals, addicts and the physically disabled.

The practice of forced sterilization as part of the theory of eugenics was not ended by this movie, because courts stopped many theaters from showing the story. It wasn’t until the horrors of the Hitler regime during World War II that this practice entered the spotlight and was ended around the world.

– As an aside, I have searched for and found a copy of this movie and after it arrives I will hopefully share this movie that was a few years ahead of its time.

This South Seas sailor adventure opens with an introduction to happy-go-lucky sailor Captain Bill Jones. He doesn’t make much money and his six man crew rarely enjoys a payday, but they happily cruise the South Pacific searching for adventure, booze and Island girls.

When he is fortunate enough to get a Spanish gold doubloon from a passenger, he shows it to several people on his next island stopover and hints that there is plenty more where that one coin came from.

Soon his life and his schooner are in danger as several shady characters try to find his horde of treasure. Calamity seems to follow Captain Bill wherever he goes, but he and his men will successfully enjoy the booze, the fights . . . . And even the Island girls. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Barry Norton and George Houston
Barry Norton and George Houston
Barry Norton
Barry Norton
Crane Wilbur
Crane Wilbur
Crane Wilbur and George Houston
Crane Wilbur and George Houston
Crane Wilbur and Marian Nixon
Crane Wilbur and Marian Nixon
Crane Wilbur
Crane Wilbur
Crane Wilbur
Crane Wilbur
George Houston
George Houston
George Houston meets Charles Moyer
George Houston meets Charles Moyer
George Houston and Harold Howard
George Houston and Harold Howard
George Houston and Juan Torena
George Houston and Juan Torena
George Houston and Louis Natheaux
George Houston and Louis Natheaux
George Houston, Marian Nixon and George J. Lewis
George Houston, Marian Nixon and George J. Lewis
George Houston and Marian Nixon
George Houston and Marian Nixon
George Houston and Vince Barnett
George Houston and Vince Barnett
George Houston kisses Marian Nixon
George Houston kisses Marian Nixon
George Houston meets Marian Nixon
George Houston meets Marian Nixon
George Houston and Juan Torena
George Houston and Juan Torena
George Houston
George Houston
George J. Lewis
George J. Lewis
Harold Howard and Marian Nixon
Harold Howard and Marian Nixon
Harold Howard
Harold Howard
John Van Pelt
John Van Pelt
Juan Torena
Juan Torena
Juan Torena, Barry Norton and George Houston
Juan Torena, Barry Norton and George Houston
Juan Torena and George Houston
Juan Torena and George Houston
Juan Torena and Marian Nixon
Juan Torena and Marian Nixon
Juan Torena and Vince Barnett
Juan Torena and Vince Barnett
Juan Torena
Juan Torena
Lloyd Ingraham
Lloyd Ingraham
Louis Natheaux
Louis Natheaux
Louis Natheaux and Alberto Gandero
Louis Natheaux and Alberto Gandero
Louis Natheaux and Alberto Gandero
Louis Natheaux and Alberto Gandero
Louis Natheaux and George Houston
Louis Natheaux and George Houston
Louis Natheaux
Louis Natheaux
Margaret Irving and George Houston
Margaret Irving and George Houston
Margaret Irving and Movita
Margaret Irving and Movita
Margaret Irving and Roy D'Arcy
Margaret Irving and Roy D'Arcy
Margaret Irving and George Houston
Margaret Irving and George Houston
Margaret Irving
Margaret Irving
Maria Kalamo
Maria Kalamo
Marian Nixon
Marian Nixon
Marian Nixon, Crane Wilbur and George Houston
Marian Nixon, Crane Wilbur and George Houston
Marian Nixon and Crane Wilbur
Marian Nixon and Crane Wilbur
Marian Nixon and Harold Howard
Marian Nixon and Harold Howard
Marian Nixon and Crane Wilbur
Marian Nixon and Crane Wilbur
Marian Nixon
Marian Nixon
Movita and George J. Lewis
Movita and George J. Lewis
Movita and Juan Torena
Movita and Juan Torena
Movita and Marian Nixon
Movita and Marian Nixon
Movita and George J. Lewis
Movita and George J. Lewis
Movita
Movita
Roy D'Arcy, George J. Lewis and Margaret Irving
Roy D'Arcy, George J. Lewis and Margaret Irving
Roy D'Arcy and Margaret Irving
Roy D'Arcy and Margaret Irving
Roy D'Arcy
Roy D'Arcy
Roy D'Arcy
Roy D'Arcy
Vince Barnett
Vince Barnett
Vince Barnett
Vince Barnett