A Fifteen-Year-Old Captain is based on a novel by French writer Jules Verne and when I think “classic Jules Verne book” I would pick Jess Franco to make the movie. I mean, I’d pick Jess to make a lot of movies, to be fair.
The hero is Dick Sand (José Manuel Marcos) and he’s a sailor on the Pilgrim, which soon becomes a ship without a captain, a role Dick ends up taking over. Other than En busca del dragón dorado, this would be the only kid-friendly movie in the Jess Franco Cinematic Universe but who knows, there could be a stash of never seen movies that will prove me wrong.
That said, it’s a kid movie with plenty of death, actual real whaling stock footage, Howard Vernon and William Berger as slave traders, Edmund Purdom as an admiral and a score by Bruno Nicolai and Daniel White.
Sometimes when I encounter one of the many Franco outliers, I think to myself, “This is the same man that zoomed cameras directly into the female anatomy and made Venus In Furs and Vampyros Lesbos and so many movies set in one hotel ballroom where women dance in slow motion.” Isn’t that great? We can jump all over the timeline and watch Franco’s film from any era and be amazed that they are all from him, as time no longer has meaning once he crossed over and all of his work exists all over cyberspace and on the shelves of my home.