The Ghost Ship (1943)
The Ghost Ship is an American black-and-white psychological thriller film, with elements of mystery and horror, directed by Mark Robson, starring Richard Dix and featuring Russell Wade, Edith Barrett, Ben Bard and Edmund Glover, along with Skelton Knaggs. It was produced by Val Lewton for RKO Radio Pictures as part of a series of low-budget horror films. The film can be seen as a "low-key psychological thriller", a "suspense drama", and a "waterlogged melodrama". The film is about a young merchant marine officer who begins to suspect that his ship's captain is mentally unbalanced and endangering the lives of the ship's crew. The ship's crew, however, believes the vessel to be haunted and cursed and several mysterious deaths occur. Upon its theatrical release on Christmas Eve, 1943, the film was a box office success but received a mixed critical reception. However, in February 1944, Lewton was sued for plagiarism by playwrights Samuel R. Golding and Norbert Faulkner, who claimed that the script was based on a play that was submitted to Lewton for a possible film. Because of the suit, The Ghost Ship was withdrawn from theatrical release and not shown for nearly 50 years.