click the photos



“Jim Manzolillo led the kind of life that would make a movie. So, I made it.”

David Mailman - producer.

“Talk about a life well-lived! James Manzolillo's was one any of us would be proud to live up to. A Life of the Sea traces his long ship-woven years. It builds and builds, until you think there is no more to tell -- then there's more. It's hypnotic.”

Dr. John Lienhard. Author- “Engines of Our Ingenuity.

“I think it is the best documentary I ever saw, and my congratulations to you.”

Tom Bowerman – Webmaster - World War II U.S. Naval Armed Guard and

World War II U.S. Merchant Marine.

“Jim's establishment of his new Houston Maritime Museum is typical of how he has operated most of his life during an adventurous worldwide career that included a lot of things-except slowing down! That's something he can't seem to do.”

CDR Byron (Jug) Varner, U.S. Navy (RET),


You will be hugely entertained and inspired by this documentary film, “A Life of the Sea: The Jim Manzolillo Story,” based on the life of the founder of the Houston Maritime Museum.

This film tells the story of Jim Manzolillo, who sold papers as a boy, narrowly missed death when twice torpedoed as a Merchant Mariner in WWII, and ended up owning the largest private shipyard in Mexico. After selling the shipyard, Jim moved to Houston, but missed the ocean, and so took ninety-five cruises, seven times around the world. He collected ship models during his travels until he had no more room for them. He then started the Houston Maritime Museum, one of Houston’s little treasures.

The 56-minute film uses Jim’s narrative, the museum’s models, and archived photos and sounds to bring to life nautical history, such as the Victory Ship’s U-boat war in WWII, the Battle of Trafalgar, and the nautical adventures of Joshua Slocum, the first man to circumnavigate the world solo. This film is in the tradition of historical documentaries such as Ken Burn’s, “The War” and is a supplement to it.

HOME    next page   previous page