The American ship Mary Celeste’ was found drifting in the middle of the Atlantic on December 5, 1872, abandoned and derelict.
In this reconstruction from the records of the Attorney General at Gibraltar, the story starts at New York Harbor in 1872, where Captain Benjamin Briggs (Arthur Margetson) is hard pressed to find a crew for the ‘Mary Celeste’. The ship has a reputation for being jinxed. However, he intends to sail at all costs, for he intends to marry the exquisite Sarah Briggs (Shirley Grey) on high seas. Captain Morehead (Clifford McLaglen) has already asked for her hand, and is willing to make a considerable sacrifice for her, but he loses out to the headstrong Briggs.
On the dock, the drunken, one-armed sailor Anton Lorenzen (Bela Lugosi) arrives at Simpson’s Bar, aged years beyond his time after a mishap at sea. When Capt. Briggs talks the local loan shark into shanghaiing a crew for him, he manages to lure Lorenzen into signing up with the promise of unlimited booze. But Capt. Briggs is still one man short, and approaches Morehead. Bent on revenge for being cheated out of his love, Morehead plants a saboteur on board. With an unwilling crew on board, the deck is set for disaster.
On November 11, Captain Briggs sends a communiqué - the crew is mutinous, and weather conditions are deteriorating. An attempt has already been made on his life. While the Mary Celeste is beset by a terrible storm, Lorenzo kills a man who is molesting Sarah Briggs below deck and earns the captain’s eternal gratitude. However, the crew is slowly being decimated by a mysterious killer…
What could have happened during the last hours of the Mary Celeste’s final voyage? What could explain the mysterious findings of the baffled boarding party that ultimately found her?
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Arthur Margetson, Clifford Mclaglen, Shirley Grey
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