Movie Details

John Frankenheimer directed this tepid World War II comedy set in the Philippines. When four American soldiers -- Lieutenant Morton Krim (Alan Alda), Cook 3rd Class W.J. Oglethorpe (Mickey Rooney), Gunner's Mate Orville Toole (Jack Carter), and Seaman 1st Class Lightfoot Star (Manu Tupou) -- are detached from their ship, they find themselves stranded on an uncharted island. Looking up from the surf, they see the vision of Lieutenant Commander Finchhaven (David Niven), immaculately dressed, standing atop an old gunboat and sipping some whiskey. The Americans set about repairing the gunboat, the H.M.S. Curmudgeon. After it is repaired, they set sail -- with the additions of Finchhaven and Jennifer Winslow (Faye Dunaway), a woman also stranded on the island. Almost immediately, the ship is attacked by the Japanese, but luckily the ship survives. All the while, Finchhaven simply stands on deck and sips his whiskey. It is then revealed that Finchhaven is a ghost, condemned to stay upon this ship for all eternity to redeem the family honor that was lost in 1914 when Finchhaven got drunk before his first battle and disgraced the family name. Regarded as an unmitigated disaster and the worst film Frankenheimer ever made, The Extraordinary Seaman barely received any sort of theatrical release, and opened and closed almost overnight in December 1969. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi