Sunday, August 15, 2021

A-Sailing We Will Go: Favorite Sailing Films

Sea shanties enjoyed a revival of interest during the year of COVID confinement. Why, I cannot say. But if you find enjoyment from hearing sailor voices soar together you’d be hard pressed to find any better examples of sea shanty singing than in “Moby Dick,” the 1956 adaptation of Herman Melville’s whaling classic.

Inspired Saturday by watching for the umpteenth time Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab take on the great white whale, here is my list of notable movies about ships transported across the seas under sail, though some also used manpower, usually slaves or prisoners, to propel them forward.

Billy Budd

Moby Dick

The Sea Wolf

Captain Courageous

Ben-Hur (1925 and 1959)

The Old Man and the Sea

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935 Clark Gable, Charles Laughton version)

Captain Blood

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Sea Hawk


Master and Commander

Two Years Before the Mast

The Vikings

All is Lost

Down to the Sea in Ships (1949)