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Captain Caution

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Captain Caution
Film poster
Directed byRichard Wallace
Produced byGrover Jones
Richard Wallace
Written byKenneth Roberts
Grover Jones
Based onCaptain Caution
1934 novel
by Kenneth Roberts
StarringVictor Mature
Music byIrvin Talbot
Phil Ohman
CinematographyNorbert Brodine
Edited byJames E. Newcom
Hal Roach Studios
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • August 9, 1940 (1940-08-09)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Captain Caution is a 1940 American adventure film directed by Richard Wallace set during the War of 1812.[1] The film stars Victor Mature, Bruce Cabot and Alan Ladd. It was based on the novel of the same name by Kenneth Roberts. Elmer Raguse was nominated for an Academy Award for Sound Recording.[2][3]



Kenneth Roberts' novel was published in 1934[5] and became a best seller.[6] Film rights were bought by Hal Roach who made the film as part of a five-picture deal he had with United Artists. (The others were The Housekeeper's Daughter, One Million Years BC, Of Mice and Me and a novel by Thorne Smith.[7]) Eugene Sollow was assigned to write the script.[8]

Plans to make the film were pushed back following the entry of Britain into World War II out of fear the film could be seen as anti British.[9] However "sea pictures" were in vogue at the time (e.g. The Sea Hawk, South of Pago Pago) so Roach decided to proceed.[10]

The anti-British tone of the novel was softened and the script rewritten by producer Grover Jones, who said "in the main we won't be giving them much time to think about whether they like the theme of the picture or not. We'll be giving them action and more action. And if we let a little plot to trickle in to let them know why they are getting all that fighting, we do it only because the camera needs a new set up now and again."[11]|author=Filming started April 1940.[12]


  1. ^ "Captain Caution". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2012. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  2. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  3. ^ John L. Scott (October 3, 1940). "Contrasting Screen Fare Offered at Two Theaters". Los Angeles Times. p. 12.
  4. ^ Freese, Gene Scott (April 10, 2014). Hollywood Stunt Performers, 1910s-1970s: A Biographical Dictionary (2nd ed.). McFarland & Company. p. 75. ISBN 9780786476435.
  5. ^ The War of 1812: CAPTAIN CAUTION. By Kenneth Roberts. 310 pp. New York: Doubleday, Doran & Co. $2.50. Wallace, Margaret. New York Times; November 11, 1934: BR7
  6. ^ "Best Sellers Here and Elsewhere". New York Times. November 12, 1934. p. 17.
  7. ^ "32 Films for United Artists". The Christian Science Monitor. May 8, 1939. p. 17.
  8. ^ DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (November 9, 1939). "NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Fox Buys Play 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow'--Greta Garbo at Music Hall in Her First Comedy Role Chosen for Jack Benny's Film Of Local Origin". New York Times. p. 26.
  9. ^ DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (November 27, 1939). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Paramount Schedules 'Miami,' Modern Musical Romance, as Mary Martin Vehicle FIVE OPENINGS THIS WEEK 'Destry Rides Again,' Starring Marlene Dietrich, at the Rivoli on Wednesday Revival of "Champ" Reported Coast Scripts Of Local Origin". New York Times. p. 13.
  10. ^ "Rollers Ahead For Hollywood In Latest Cycle". The Washington Post. February 9, 1940. p. 11.
  11. ^ Frank Daugherty (June 21, 1940). ""Roberts' 'Captain Caution' on Way to Screen: Hollywood Goes to Sea". The Christian Science Monitor.
  12. ^ Staff Correspondent (April 23, 1940). "News of the Screen". The Christian Science Monitor. p. 16.
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Captain Caution
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