Directed by Robert Julian
USA 1927

 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Discover a time when the truest adventure had the wind at your back and an infinite horizon all around. UNDER FULL SAIL: SILENT CINEMA ON THE HIGH SEAS proudly collects five breathtaking films that preserve the romance, grandeur and allure of windjammers sailing open waters, exquisitely photographed in the style of the time.

The Yankee Clipper (1927), produced by Cecil B. DeMille and directed by Rupert Julian, restored to the most complete version available since the film’s release, is a feature-length melodrama recreating the real-life race from Foo Chow to Boston for the China tea trade. The gorgeous production filmed at sea for six weeks aboard the 1856 wooden square-rigger Indiana with stars William Boyd, Elinor Fair and Frank “Junior” Coghlan. Renowned organist Dennis James, in his solo DVD premiere, accompanies the film on an original-installation 1928 Wurlitzer pipe organ, recorded at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.

Around the Horn in a Square Rigger (1933) was filmed by noted sailor and author Alan Villiers documenting the record-breaking 83-day voyage of the 1902 barque Parma from Australia to England in the 1933 Grain Race. Villiers writes, “We wanted to make a picture that would capture some of the stirring beauty of these ships, that would perpetuate, in the realm of shadows at least, something of the glory of their wanderings … some glimmer of understanding of the attraction which they hold over those who sail in them.” Music by Eric Beheim.

The Square Rigger (1932), an early sound short filmed as part of Fox’s Magic Carpet of Movietone, shows life aboard the schoolship Dar Pomorza, “The White Frigate.” Built in 1909 as the Prinzess Eitel Friedrich, it was ceded from Germany to France as a prize of World War I, and was later donated to the Polish State Maritime School in 1930 where it served 50 years and trained more than 13,000 cadets.

Ship Ahoy (1928) is a unique record of the conditions and traditions of the North American lumber trade featuring an unidentified schooner equipped with a fore and aft rig as it transports lumber from the Carolinas up the coast to a northern port. Music by Eric Beheim.

The collection is rounded off with a ten-minute sequence from Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) documenting an authentic whale hunt from the 1878 wooden ship Wanderer out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The camera-men risk their lives to capture practices unchanged since Herman Melville immortalized them in Moby Dick. Music by Dennis James.

DVD bonus features include an audio reminiscence by Frank “Junior” Coghlan about the filming of The Yankee Clipper. An enclosed booklet includes detailed program notes by film scholar and U.S. Navy marine engineer John E. Stone and an essay about the scoring of The Yankee Clipper by organist Dennis James
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Excerpt from Flicker Alley Website located HERE

Theatrical Release: March 23rd, 1927

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DVD Review: Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:20:45 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.45 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio Silent (Music - Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles  None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Flicker Alley

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Around the Horn in a Square Rigger (1933) - 16:19
• The Square Rigger (1932) - 9:13
• Ship Ahoy (1928) - 9:25
• Ten-minute sequence from Down to the Sea in Ships (10:00)
• Audio reminiscence by Frank “Junior” Coghlan about the filming of The Yankee Clipper.
•  Enclosed 16-page booklet includes detailed program notes by film scholar and U.S. Navy marine engineer John E. Stone and an essay about the scoring of The Yankee Clipper by organist Dennis James.

DVD Release Date:
April 14th, 2009
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 11

 

Comments:

It's hard not to admire Flicker Alley - they have their thing - they do it without excessive marketing fuss - and they do it very well.

The image quality is about what you may expect and if you haven't seen Flicker Alley's transfers of silent films before - you may be very impressed in certain segments. There is obviously scratches, other small blemishes and flickering contrast (but not too heavy). It is picture-boxed, slightly tinted, progressively transferred on a dual-layered disc and essentially establishes an impressive viewing - especially for fans of silent films.

This package is more of David Shepard's excellent production work and he states at Amazon: "The Yankee Clipper" failed commercially on its initial release and it's possible that the film was trimmed following its premiere; however, the version on the DVD is conflated from four different original source copies of the film and for it to be incomplete, the same footage would have to have been missing from all of them. Without shot-by-shot documentation of the original continuity it's impossible to claim that it's utterly complete, but certainly it is as complete as source material from three countries can make it!"  

There are no subtitles offered and intertitles seem original and are in English (sample below). There is a new - occasionally rousing - music score by renowned organist Dennis James, in his solo DVD premiere, via an original-installation 1928 Wurlitzer pipe organ. Advertised as recorded at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. You may also access an audio reminiscence by Frank “Junior” Coghlan about the filming of The Yankee Clipper which I am sure some will find quite fascinating.

The other shorts (documentaries) also share the subject of sea-faring - and the three silent ones have newly created music scores. I especially enjoyed the ten-minute sequence from Down to the Sea in Ships with the dangerous whale hunting - part of the sea-faring culture of New England at the end of that era. It is amazing to imagine how they got those shots! There is also an enclosed 16-page booklet with photos and detailed program notes by film scholar and U.S. Navy marine engineer John E. Stone and an essay about the scoring of The Yankee Clipper by organist Dennis James.

It is very easy to succumb to the charms of these packages and settle yourself into the historical film era. I find the music scores really establish this well. In the modern world we can easy forget the ways of the past - beyond filmmaking but those involving vocations of the sea. Silent Era fans should have no qualms about indulging in this - another great package from an appreciated production company. I've actually included it in a pile to show bits to friends when they come over. We certainly recommend! Please keep up the great, and important, work Flicker Alley!       

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Intertitle Sample

 

 

 


 

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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Flicker Alley - Region 0 - NTSC




 

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