14 October 2005 | Mike-764
Tom Merriam is a third mate on the Altair, a cargo ship headed by Captain Stone, who Merriam looks to as a father figure, since Stone has the experience and the full loyalty of the crew. Merriam's opinion of his commanding officer is changed after a series of events (including the death of a mate due the captain's interference) and Merriam believes that Stone is unfit to command the ship. A hearing at the ship's port has the crew and line agent side with Stone, and Merriam is relieved of his duties as third mate. While on shore, Merriam is knocked out for trying to stop a fight, and is put back on the Altair much to his and Stone's disapproval. Stone says Merriam is now a guest on the ship, but the crew shuns him and Merriam believes that Stone is going totally insane and plans to kill Merriam, who now has to find someone to believe him before its too late. Underrated (and for a long time, unseen) classic from the Lewton-RKO 9, with above average script, camera-work, cinematography, but highlighted by probably Dix's best performance as Stone, as a man who is insane try to fool himself and those around him by acting normal. Excellent moments of suspense (especially for me when Merriam notices the lock missing from his door) make this a film one to get a hold of. Rating, 8.