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Port of Seven Seas

Port of Seven Seas
Port of Seven Seas poster.jpg
theatrical poster
Directed by James Whale
Produced by Henry Henigson
Written by Preston Sturges
Based on Fanny
by Marcel Pagnol
Starring Wallace Beery
Frank Morgan
Maureen O'Sullivan
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Karl Freund
Edited by Frederick Y. Smith
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • July 1, 1938 (1938-07-01)
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Port of Seven Seas is a 1938 drama film starring Wallace Beery and featuring Frank Morgan and Maureen O'Sullivan. The movie was written by Preston Sturges based on the plays of Marcel Pagnol and the films based on them, and was directed by James Whale (director of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man). The cinematography is by Karl Freund, who filmed Fritz Lang's Metropolis and I Love Lucy.

In the French port of Marseille, a lovely young woman named Madelon (Maureen O'Sullivan) is in love with a young sailor, Marius (John Beal). Madelon in turn is loved by Honore Panisse (Frank Morgan), a well-to-do middle-aged sailmaker. When Marius finds out he must go to sea for three years, he leaves without saying goodbye to Madelon; in a note he tells her that it would break his heart to tell her in person. She rushes to the dock, but sees his ship sailing away and faints. Marius's father Cesar, (Wallace Beery) who already thinks of Madelon as one of the family, carries her to her home.

Later, Madelon finds out that she is pregnant, and to spare her the shame of a child born out of wedlock, Panisse asks Madelon to get an abortion. She agrees, and goes to find a rusty clotheshanger. She proceeds with her attempt to kill her fetus. She did not succeed, and was rushed to the hospital bleeding.

A year later Marius unexpectedly returns from sea to buy some equipment for his ship. Visiting Madelon that night, he sees the baby and realizes that he is the father. He asks her to steal away with him, but she refuses. Despite her love for Marius, she knows that Panisse, who adores the child, will be a better father than Marius, who will be away at sea for many years at a time. Marius leaves, shaking Panisse's hand before he goes, and Panisse and Madelon happily look at their baby's first tooth.



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