Cast & Crew
Brock Trumbull is obsessed with continuing the heritage of his family shipbuilding business, Trumbull and Sons. His wife, aware of Brock's single-minded drive for a male heir, dies after giving birth to their son, Brock Trumbull VI. Brock virtually ignores his daughter Anne, who suffers because of his neglect. Years later, Anne is an eighteen-year-old woman and Brock, Jr. is an eight-year-old boy who does not share his father's interest in money or shipbuilding. Brock, Jr. is frail and believes he will not live to adulthood. Anne becomes friendly with Joe Warren, who had been in love with her mother and is a friendly rival of her father. At the urging of his father, Brock, Jr. christens a new ship, but catches pneumonia from standing in the cold rain. As Brock, Jr. lies dying, he asks for his sister, with whom he shared so much love, and his father feels rejected. His son's death destroys Brock, who sends Anne away to school and embarks on a yearlong trip, leaving the business in the hands of others. While Anne is in school, her only visitor is Joe, who falls in love with her. He is also the only person to attend her graduation, where he proposes to her. Anne declines for the present, hoping that she will come to love him in the future. She returns home to discover her father has married a gold digger, Paula Norcross. Brock overhears Anne tell Paula that he is selfish and cold, and his anger inspires her to leave home and marry Joe. Brock's business is in a shambles, with one of his best clients going to Joe for a contract. They agree to compete for the business: whoever finishes a ship first gets a contract for four more. Brock forces his workers to maintain unbearable hours, even after one worker's death. Nearing completion, Brock is refused a loan of $250,000 and asks Paula if he may borrow his wedding gift to her to complete the ship. She refuses and leaves him upon discovering he is broke. Brock mortgages his home and finishes his ship before Joe. The loss of the contract leaves Joe and Anne destitute, but they are content with their love for each other. Brock, however, has no one with whom to share his success, having alienated everyone throughout the years in favor of money. Finally cognizant of the error of his ways, Brock appears to go mad and in spite of resistance from his workers, loosens the moorings on his new ship. The ship sinks, and Joe is rewarded with the contract. Brock collapses and hugs Anne. Years later, Brock is a loving grandfather to his two grandchildren.
According to press information, the shipbuilding scenes were fimed in the Bethlehem shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts. Extras were provided by the New York Paramount studio.