The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Crime, Drama

The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959) Poster

A disgraced merchant marine officer elects to stay aboard his sinking cargo ship in order to prove the vessel was deliberately scuttled and, as a result, vindicate his good name.



  • Charlton Heston in The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
  • The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
  • Gary Cooper in The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
  • The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
  • Charlton Heston and Virginia McKenna in The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
  • Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston in The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)

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24 May 2006 | bkoganbing
| Piling the Ship On the Minquieries
The Wreck of the Mary Deare was the next to last film of Gary Cooper and it pairs him with Charlton Heston who was fresh off his Oscar from Ben-Hur. Between the two of them they were the heroes of six sound Cecil B. DeMille films. And this film does have some special effects old C.B. DeMille might have enjoyed.

Salvage tug captain Charlton Heston based in the UK comes across an abandoned freighter named the Mary Deare. Only Gary Cooper, sporting a head injury, and acting very mysterious is on the vessel. When raging seas prevent Heston from reboarding his ship, Cooper saves his life by hauling Heston on board when he can't hold on to the rope.

In the meantime Cooper completes his objective which was to beach the ship on a series of jagged rocks in the English Channel named the Minquieries. He's doing this because he suspects skullduggery from the crew and the late captain of the Mary Deare.

Americans Cooper and Heston are given good support by a cast of players from the UK such as Emlyn Williams, Michael Redgrave, Alexander Knox, and Mary Ure. The villain of the piece is second officer Richard Harris in one of his early and acclaimed parts before he became a star.

The Minquiries have a lot of legend about them. They are the top of an Atlantic based plateau. None of them are big enough to rate being called an island. Smugglers and pirates in centuries passed piled many a ship on them and looted the contents. Today the only thing on them are small fishing huts. They are a well known hazard to navigation.

The scenes involving the wrecking and salvage of the ship are well done. Many years ago I saw a picture of MGM's special effects man Buddy Gillespie inside the tank with the model of the Mary Deare. It was an interesting insight into the special effects game on the high seas.

Fans of both Cooper and Heston will like this film. I suspect C.B. DeMille regretted not having a chance to direct his two favorite leading men in a joint project.

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