Captain Scarface


From IMDB: A man desperate to leave South America books passage on a freighter, and learns that the captain has made plans to force a scientist to participate in a mission of destruction.

Captain Scarface is a 1953 American thriller film directed by Paul Guilfoyle (actor born in 1902).


In the waters off South America, the Soviets torpedo the tramp steamer and Banana boat (ship) SS Banos and murder the survivors with the cooperation of the ship's radioman, Clegg who escapes with his life and a promise of $5000. The Soviets have mocked up their own ship as the SS Banos that contains an atomic device with the goal of sailing the Banos to the locks of the Panama Canal where they will detonate their ship on an atomic suicide mission.
To avoid suspicion the new crew of the mocked up Banos takes the contingent of passengers scheduled to sail on the original Banos. One last minute addition is American expatriate Sam Wilton who has overstayed his welcome as a plantation overseer by making love to the plantation owner's wife. As a result, Sam and his lover's husband are both wounded in a gunfight. Sam needs to escape to the United States without his passport that is still at the plantation.
At the Los Rios Hotel in the port city of San Brejo that is also Sam's watering hole, Sam asks his friend Manuel the owner to get him a passport in a false name to escape the vengeance of the plantation owner and the sympathetic local authorities. As Sam waits and drinks he observes the passengers of the SS Banos in the hotel; an older American couple Fred and Kate Dilts, American Everett Crofton, the mysterious Mr Kroll, and two Germans, Dr Yeager and his daughter Elsa. The new Captain of the Banos, "Captain Scarface" sends Clegg to meet Kroll at the Los Rios Hotel for his just reward. When the passengers are taken to the Banos, Kroll, Clegg and Sam remind behind at the hotel. In the interest of economy and security Kroll attempts to murder Clegg, but Clegg kills Kroll first. Escaping with the money, Clegg shoots at Manuel and Sam, who responds by shooting Clegg. Never wasting an opportunity, Sam splits the $5000 with Manuel and modifies the late Mr Kroll's passport with own photograph, and takes Kroll's boarding pass to the Banos.
Boarding the ship, Sam as Kroll delays meeting Captain Scarface in order to interview Elsa to find out the lay of the land. He pieces together that Dr. Yeager is a German atomic scientist allowed to escape from the Soviet Union in order to work the atomic device in exchange for the safety of his daughter and Kroll was a Soviet agent assigned to bring in the Yeagars and kill Clegg.
Also on the ship is a venomous Bothrops lanceolatus snake concealed in a cargo of bananas.


  • Barton MacLane as Capt. 'Scarface' Trednor
  • Virginia Grey as Elsa Yeager
  • Leif Erickson (actor) as Sam Wilton
  • Peter Coe (actor) as Perro, Trednor's Mate
  • Rudolph Anders as Dr. Yeager
  • Howard Wendell as Fred Dilts, passenger
  • Isabel Randolph as Kate Dilts, passenger
  • Paul Brinegar as Clegg, saboteur
  • Don Dillaway as Everett Crofton, passenger
  • Martin Garralaga as Manuel, tavern keeper
  • John Mylong as Kroll, Soviet

Category:1953 films
Category:1950s drama films
Category:American films
Category:American drama films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:1950s thriller films
Category:Cold War espionage
Category:Cold War spy films
Category:American anti-communist propaganda films
Category:Films about nuclear war and weapons
Category:Directorial debut films
Jack Rieger

More Public Domain Movies