clear the decks

The Decks Ran Red

The Decks Ran Red is a 1958 MGM sea-going suspense drama based on the book Infamy at Sea, and directed by Andrew L. Stone. The film received generally poor reviews, but received wide viewership for Dororthy Dandridge's role. Filming took place in southern California aboard the Chios, Greece-registered SS IGOR (originally the SS PHILIP C. SHERA), a World War II Liberty Ship owned by the Los and Pezas shipowning families.


Edwin Rumill (James Mason) is the former first mate of a luxury ocean liner who jumps at the opportunity to take full command of a vessel. Unfortunately, the New Zealand-harbored SS Berwind isn't exactly the luxury ocean liner he dreamed of commanding -- it is a utilitarian freighter whose captain has recently died. His crew is also a disappointment, often ill-tempered with their own plans for the ship's fate: two members of the crew, Leroy Martin (Stuart Whitman) and Henry Scott (Broderick Crawford) have concoted a scheme to murder the ship's crew and Rumill and sell the ship for salvage to the highest bidder, expecting to earn around a million dollars. Rumill is faced with the task of rallying the ships crew to overtake Martin and Scott, a task made even more difficult because of Mahia (Dorothy Dandridge) - the cook's wife -- who makes everyone uncomfortable with her overly flirtatious nature.


Featured first interracial kiss between Stuart Whitman and Dorothy Dandridge.

Featured cast

Actor Role
James Mason Capt. Edwin Rummill SS Berwind
Dorothy Dandridge Mahia, Wife of Pete the Cook
Broderick Crawford Henry Scott, Oiler SS Berwind/Mutiny perpetrator
Stuart Whitman Major Ian Bone Leroy Martin, Scott's Accomplice

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