ⓘ The Children of Captain Grant (film)


ⓘ The Children of Captain Grant (film)

The Children of Captain Grant is a 1936 Soviet adventure film directed by Vladimir Vaynshtok and David Gutman and starring Nikolai Cherkasov, Ivan Chuvelyov and Yuri Yuryev. It is an adaptation of the 1868 novel In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne. The film was popular on its release, and was followed in 1941 by another Verne adaptation Mysterious Island. In the 1860s, two Scottish children go on a global search for their missing father, the sailor Captain Grant.


1. Plot

The crew of the Duncan yacht belonging to Lord Glenarvan, catches a shark in the waters of Scotland. When cutting the carcass, a bottle is found inside the fish, in which a request for assistance is written in three languages from a victim of a shipwreck. The documents have been strongly spoiled by water, however they manage to decipher that Captain Grants ship has crashed on the 37th degree south latitude. It is not possible to determine the longitude of the crash site.

Glenarvan goes to London to organize a rescue mission, but the government denies him, citing the vagueness and inadequacy of information. The implicit cause of the rejection was Captain Grant being a Scottish patriot who dreamed of independence for Scotland. Moreover, the main purpose of his voyage was to establish Nova Scotia.

During the absence of the Lord, Captain Grants children, son and daughter came to the boat in the hope to learn something about their father. When Glenarvan returns home, his wife persuades him to go in search of the captain on the Duncan.

The travelers move by land and sea, cross Patagonia by the 37th parallel, visit the islands of Tristan da Cunha, and Amsterdam, pass by the south-eastern Australia and New Zealand. Having experienced many dangerous adventures, they find Captain Grant on the small island of Tabor, which is also located at the 37° south latitude.


2. Cast

  • David Gutman as MacNabs
  • Nikolai Michurin as Innkeeper
  • Nikolay Adelung as Talkav
  • Nikolai Vitovtov as Edward Glenarvan
  • Olga Bazarova as Mary Grant
  • Yuri Yuryev as captain Tom Grant
  • Yakov Segel as Robert Grant
  • Mikhail Romanov as Captain John Mangles
  • Nikolay Cherkasov as Jacques Paganel
  • Ivan Chuvelyov as Ayerton
  • Mariya Strelkova as Elen Glenarvan
  • Iona Byi-Brodsky as consul uncredited

3. Soundtrack

In the film there are two songs composed by Isaak Dunayevsky based on the lyrics of Vasily Lebedev-Kumach:

  • "Roberts Song" "Sing us a song, merry wind…" performed by K. Krasheninnikovaya and Lyalya Sateeva.
  • "Song of the Captain" "There was once a brave captain", performed by Nikolai Cherkasov;

4. Interesting facts

  • In 1986 a new film adaptation was released; In Search of Captain Grant, where the popular melody written by Isaac Dunayevsky from the film was reused.
  • The 45th anniversary of the film was celebrated in the "Drummer" state cinema. It was attended by three of the surviving members of the films cast: assistant director Leonid Knyazhinskiy, who played one of the main roles, Yakov Segel and the assistant makeup artist N. Maslennikov.
  • For the film was written "Song of the Captain" which was performed by Nikolai Cherkasov himself.
  • In the cameo role of Captain Grant starred the famous stage actor, honored artist of the Imperial Theatre, Stalin Prize winner and the future Peoples Artist of the USSR Yuri Yuriev. It was one of the few appearances he had on the silver screen.
  • Initially Robert Grants role was planned for another actor. During filming on location in Nalchik, it became clear that the child playing the role of Robert Grant was afraid of horses. After this, Yakov Segel who passed the audition was called up for the filming of the main role. According to Yakov Segels recollections he was taught how to ride a horse in only one night by cinematographer Alexander Ptushko who previously served in the First Cavalry Army.