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John Paul Jones is a 1959 biographical epic film about John Paul Jones. The film was made by Samuel Bronston Productions and released by Warner Bros. It was directed by John Farrow and produced by Samuel Bronston from a screenplay by John Farrow, Ben HechtJesse Lasky Jr. from the story Nor'wester by Clements Ripley. The music score was by Max Steiner, the cinematography by Michel Kelber.

The film starred Robert Stack in the title role, Marisa PavanCharles CoburnMacdonald CareyJean-Pierre AumontDavid FarrarPeter CushingBasil SydneyThomas Gomez and Mia Farrow in her film debut. Bette Davis made a cameo appearance as Empress Catherine the Great.


By age 17, John Paul, a native of Kirkbean Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland, is an experienced ship's navigator. In 1773, nine years later, he is master of a ship in the West Indies, but after an incident that results in the governor of Tobago advising him to leave, John Paul adds the surname Jones and goes to visit a brother who lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The brother has recently died. Jones hires his attorney, Patrick Henry, to assist in business matters. He also takes a romantic interest in Henry's sweetheart, Dorothea Danders.

After serving as second-in-command of a battleship in the Bahamas, his adopted countrymen sign the Declaration of Independence. Jones gets his first command, sets sail towardNewfoundland and seizes 18 enemy ships, sending their supplies to American general George Washington.

Washington sends the young officer to France, where he is appreciated for heroic feats at sea. Benjamin Franklin then urges Johns to take a frigate and invade the British Isles. A new vessel is built for him at the suggestion of Marie Antoinette, and the only condition of his majesty King Louis XVI is that Jones' ship fly under an American flag.

Jones' successes ultimately lead him to Russia in 1790 at the behest of the empress, Catherine the Great. He gains acclaim as one of the most brave and daring naval figures of his time.