Zane Grey's South Sea Adventure

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Zane Grey's South Sea Adventures. Author Zane Grey leads a big-game fishing expedition from his home on Santa Catalina Island, off the California coast, to the South Seas.

  • Director: Zane Grey
  • Narrator: Wedgwood Nowell
  • Cast: Zane Grey; Romer Grey, Loren Grey (Zane's son); Captain Lawrence Mitchell

Synopsis: 47-50 minutes

Noted novelist Zane Grey goes on a big game fishing expedition in the South Pacific. The expedition, which will last four months, will cost over $500,000, with Grey's dream yachtFisherman accounting for half that total. Another $50,000 will be spent on fishing tackle. Guiding the yacht on this long journey will be Captain Lawrence Mitchell, a veteran of World War I, and a close friend of Grey. The journey begins from Grey's home on Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast, with its first destination Zihuatanejo, Mexico, which is 1,600 miles away. In Zihuatanejo, Grey's brother R. C. catches a 120 pound sail fish, the first such fish caught in the Pacific Ocean. Sailing south, they encounter an island inhabited by over one million birds on their way to the Cocos Islands, 1,900 miles from Zihuatanejo, where they kill a 1,500 pound devil fish with harpoons. Five hundred miles from Ecuador, they visit the Galapagos Islands, where they observe sperm whales. At their next stop, Rapa Island, they watch a native festival in which the entire village works together to "corral" fish in a man-made lagoon. Finally, they arrive at their true destination, Mercury Island in New Zealand. As they make camp, Captain Mitchell and crew scout the waters while Grey and his family relax. Out at sea, however, Mitchell hooks and lands a 976 pound marlin, setting a new world record. Grey then fishes the same waters for two months hoping to break the record, with no luck. He finally gives up, and the yacht heads for Tahiti. In Tahiti, Romer catches a 640 pound thrasher shark. The day before they are about to leave, Grey finally hooks a giant striped marlin, but as he is about to land the fish, it is attacked by sharks. As the crew beat the sharks away, the fish is landed, but it is too big to lift into the boat, so they are forced to tow it ashore. Twelve men carry the marlin ashore, and its final weight is measured at 1,040 pounds, setting a new world record for Grey. It is estimated that the fish actually weighed 1,300 pounds before the sharks attacked it. With his dream finally fulfilled, Zane Grey and the company head home.

Premiered in New York March 25, 1932