One morning, Captain Haddock's nap is interrupted by the announcement that his friend, Themistocle Paparanic, has passed away, and as part of his will, Haddock has inherited his ship, the Golden Fleece. Tintin and Haddock travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to retrieve the ship, but find that it's a rusty, dilapidated shell of its former glory. More surprisingly, a businessman named Anton Karabine offers to buy the rusty old ship for a very large sum of money, and soon turns to violence when his offers are refused. Tintin must search for Paparanic's old crew, and along the way learns of a hidden fortune in gold which he has hidden.
The movie got a sequel in 1964, Tintin and the Blue Oranges.
- Adaptational Curves: The actor who played Tintin (Jean-Pierre Talbot) was ripped as his Shirtless Scene shows. His clothes are still lose enough to hide it.
- Better Manhandle the Murder Weapon: Midas Papos is shot while talking with Tintin and Haddock, and the gun used to do the deed is then tossed through the window, into the room. Haddock doesn't hesitate to pick up the weapon, getting his fingerprints all over it, right as people come in to check out what happened. Unsurprisingly, this leads to Tintin and Haddock's arrest, though thankfully the Thom(p)sons are able to get them out of jail.
- Big Bad: The main villain is Anton Karabine, whose obsession with Paparanic's lost gold drives the film's conflict as he attempts to take out Tintin and Haddock, among other crimes.
- Book-Ends: The movie begins and ends with the mailman delivering a letter to Captain Haddock, waking him up as he takes a nap in a hammock outside of Marlinspike Hall.
- Chekhov's Gun: At the start of the movie, Professor Calculus invents a new, super-powerful fuel. This doesn't get brought up again until much later, when the Golden Fleece's fuel has had its fuel tanks maliciously emptied: Calculus uses this fuel to help the ship reach its destination.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Turns out that the treasure chest was a Red Herring: Paparanic's gold was hidden in the Golden Fleece's railings all along!
- No Macguffin No Winner: After being subdued by Tintin, Karabine decides that if he can't have the gold, neither will anyone else, and drops the chest into the sea, where it falls into a deep trench, making it irretrievable. Subverted when it turns out the chest only contained copper, and the gold was hidden in the Golden Fleece's railings all along.
- Red Herring: The treasure map hidden in the label of Alexander's bottle. Turns out it leads to a chest full of copper, while the gold is in the Golden Fleece's railings.
- Scenery Porn: There are many beautiful shots of the scenery of Turkey and Greece.