7.2/10
412
10 user 7 critic

The Sea Hawk (1924)

A wrongly convicted English gentleman goes from galley slave to pirate captain.

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writers:

Rafael Sabatini (by), J.G. Hawks (adapted for the screen by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Sea Hawk (1940)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the king is drugged and abducted by his ambitious brother, a lookalike relative must take his place to keep the evil sibling off the throne.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Lewis Stone, Alice Terry, Robert Edeson
Mare Nostrum (1926)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of a female German spy who willingly sacrifices her life for her country.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Apollon Uni, Álex Nova, Kada-Abd-el-Kader
I'm No Angel (1933)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Circus performer Tira seeks a better life pursuing the company of wealthy New York men with improbable comic complications along the way.

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff
Hell's Angels (1930)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Edmund Goulding, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow
La Bohème (1926)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of starving artists try to survive in 1830s Paris, including a seamstress and the would-be playwright she loves.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Lillian Gish, John Gilbert, Renée Adorée
Roadblock (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Honest LA insurance detective Joe Peters becomes corrupt after falling in love with sensual gold-digger model Diane.

Director: Harold Daniels
Stars: Charles McGraw, Joan Dixon, Lowell Gilmore
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon
Downstairs (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An amoral chauffeur seeks to seduce a young bride.

Director: Monta Bell
Stars: John Gilbert, Paul Lukas, Virginia Bruce
Girl Shy (1924)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A shy, young man, who is completely incapable of talking to women, decides to write a book that details to other bachelors how to find a girlfriend.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Richard Daniels
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

On a volcanic island near the kingdom of Hetvia rules Count Dakkar, a benevolent leader and scientist who has eliminated class distinction among the island's inhabitants. Dakkar, his ... See full summary »

Directors: Lucien Hubbard, Benjamin Christensen, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Jacqueline Gadsdon, Lloyd Hughes
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Milton Sills ... Sir Oliver Tressilian
Enid Bennett ... Lady Rosamund Godolphin
Lloyd Hughes ... Lionel Tressilian
Wallace Beery ... Captain Jasper Leigh
Marc McDermott ... Sir John Killigrew (as Mark MacDermott)
Wallace MacDonald ... Peter Godolphin (as Wallace Mac Donald)
Bert Woodruff ... Nick
Claire Du Brey ... Siren
Lionel Belmore ... Justice Anthony Baine
Christina Montt Christina Montt ... The Infanta of Spain (as Christine Montt)
Albert Prisco Albert Prisco ... Yusuf-Ben-Moktar
Frank Currier ... Asad-ed-Din - Basha of Algiers
William Collier Jr. ... Marsak
Medea Radzina Medea Radzina ... Fenzileh
Fred DeSilva Fred DeSilva ... Ali (as Fred De Silva)
Edit

Storyline

The adventures of Oliver Tressilian, who goes from English gentry to galley slave to captain of a Moorish fighting ship, all the while trying to regain his lady love. Follows the novel, unlike the 1940 movie of the same name. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Vast, stirring scenes of high Adventure on land and sea in which a whole Fleet of ancient ships and thousands of people form the background of a romance both noble and passionate See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 June 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Águia dos Mares See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$780,187, 31 December 1925
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1994 restoration print)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Highest grossing movie of 1924 See more »

Quotes

Title Card: Fenzileh, the Basha's favorite wife. Marsak, her son, harem-born and woman-raised.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Captain Blood (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Sea Hawk
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Modest Altschuler
Words by John LeRoy Johnston
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"That proud and powerful kingdom"
6 April 2011 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

In the 1920s motion pictures were bigger than at any other time. They were big in all directions, and their bigness was all the more impressive because it was based in doing everything for real. The widescreen epics of the 1950s may be more readily called to mind, but in truth they cut corners and tricked the eye wherever possible. The Sea Hawk is a nautical adventure with real ships, real mansions and palaces, real hordes of extras, all purposely built or acquired for one colossus of a production.

Producer-director Frank Lloyd was great at this sort of thing, an expert in blending the large canvas with the small. He opens with a cavernous shot of the protagonist's home, showing off both the height and depth of the lavish set in what is a typical piece of mid-20s extravagance. It's not dwelt on though. While Lloyd eschews close-ups, the majority of his action takes place in delicately composed mid-shots, encouraging the actors to play out their scene with the minimum of fuss. He doesn't move the camera very much but movement within the frame is crucial to Lloyd's style. Rather than fashioning action scenes with lots of rapid cross-cutting, as was the norm back then, he uses gradual shifts in the image, building up tension before a big sea battle by having the attacking ship slowly hove into view. In a shot of dozens of men fighting on deck, the focus is changed as the two opposing captains cut across the foreground. Lloyd even uses things moving on or off the screen for emotional effect, as in Sir Oliver's poignant farewell to his loyal corsairs.

Big in scope, The Sea Hawk is also big in story and may seem a little slow-paced at times. It is a bit frustrating that we are thirty-five minutes into the two-hour runtime before our seafaring hero is actually bounding over the main (that means "at sea", landlubbers). Luckily however, the Rafael Sabatini source novel is pure adventuresome fare, and even on dry land we get plenty of duels and dastardly intrigue. The lengthy runtime also serves to give the story a sense of stature, making Sir Oliver's adventures seem like an odyssey taking place over many years, rather than the simple caper on the briny that a mere 90 minutes would be.

A big production demands big stars. However lead man Milton Sills was not quite in the front rank of stars, and is more or less forgotten today. While not up there with Douglas Fairbanks and Ramon Navarro he can hold his own, with subtle, naturalistic acting and a very piercing gaze. In fact there are smooth understated performances all round, leading lady Enid Bennett refreshingly calm in an era when most actresses were required to go into over-the-top hysterics at the drop of a hatpin. Her scene with Sills as they kiss-and-make-up after his duel with Godolphin is absolutely sublime, and typical of the kind of tasteful melodrama that Frank Lloyd oversaw. The only player who is a bit hammy is Lloyd Hughes, who portrays the hero's double-dealing brother. Hughes looks uncannily like unsung silent comic Charley Chase. I must also mention Wallace Beery who, putting on his best lovable rogue act, is excellent as always. He can draw attention to himself without ever once appearing to show off, standing out from the crowd in the victory march after the corsairs' return from England with that little extra swagger in his step.

The large pictures of the 1950s have been lambasted by some critics, both then and now, as being overblown and soulless behemoths. You have to admire the audacity of these silent epics however, made with the seemingly limitless resources of the roaring twenties, and complete with confidence in their own scale. Rather than seeing what they could knock together on the back lot, they would actually put out to sea and do it all for real. And nothing, not even the most advanced CGI, can top that. But to do that and still tell the human story with tact and dignity is a feat indeed. In fact, compared to the 1950s epics, where the whole point was to show off the big set-pieces (and thus compete with TV), The Sea Hawk is not especially ostentatious. The big ships and buildings are there, but we aren't made to marvel at them; they are simply there because they should be, a very expensive yet faithful backdrop. And the genuine nature of this backdrop brings The Sea Hawk to us as a real-life adventure. If only all epic cinema could be like this.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed