Captains Courageous

Director: Victor Fleming
Year Released: 1937
Rating: 3.5

The bratty son of a wealthy business owner gets 'drunk' on ice cream sodas while aboard the Queen Mary and falls into the ocean, only to end up saved by a Portuguese fisherman (Spencer Tracy) who acts as surrogate father to the boy and forces him to do something the bourgeoisie aren't accustomed to: manual labor. Seems to be a statement by Rudyard Kipling about 'absentee' parenting - a major issue in today's society - and how a child needs attention, discipline and a good role model - naturally, it's also an extremely well-directed and fun adventure story, with delightful side characters (Melvyn Douglas is the stuffy, out-of-touch father, Lionel Barrymore is the sea-captain). I only soured on it slightly when the overly-sentimental ending rolled around, but to be fair, the tragedy is telegraphed well ahead of time.