Captains Courageous, 1937

Spencer Tracy is Manuel Fidello, the man who saves the life of a little brat. The brat was played by Freddie Bartholomew, a popular British child star. He is shown in the beginning of the film as a legend in his own mind. He needs to be taken down a notch, but no one is able to fix what is broken in the boy. His dad tries to keep an eye on him while allowing him plenty of time to play and be a boy. When the boy is swept overboard and his dad isn’t close enough to notice, he is picked up by a nearby fisherman. Enter Spencer Tracy.

I loved how Spencer Tracy’s Manuel disciplined and cared for him. Manuel showed him how to be a real man of the sea.

The movie was adapted from a novel by Rudyard Kipling. Spencer Tracy won the Best Actor Academy Award. The film was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Writing of a Screenplay.

Lionel Barrymore is the captain of the fishing boat that took the boy in. He gave him a chance to grow up and learn about life. Barrymore is well known for playing Mr. Potter in It’s A Wonderful Life, but he would have to wait almost ten years after this film before he could take on that role.