Old Ironsides

Old Ironsides

Esther Ralston
Director: James Cruze Cast: Esther Ralston
Esther Ralston
, Charles Farrell
Charles Farrell
, Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
James Cruze

DVD (Subtitled)

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Long derided by film historians as a talented but visually unimaginative director, James Cruze made up for any and all past artistic sins with his rousing Old Ironsides. Per its title, this 11-reel silent film is set at the time of Stephen Decatur's defeat of the Barbary pirates in Tripoli. Decatur himself (played by comic actor Johnnie Walker) is a secondary character herein -- most of the screen time goes to the romantic leads, able-bodied seaman Charles Farrell and damsel-in-permanent-distress Esther Ralston. The acting honors go to those inveterate scene-stealers Wallace Beery and George Bancroft, cast respectively as Bos'n and Gunner. The film accommodates everything from outsized sea battles to a daring rescue from the clutches of the lustful pirates. A life-sized replica of "Old Ironsides" (aka the "Constitution") was built for the film; it remained a useful piece of bric-a-brac for many a subsequent Paramount seafaring epic. When originally released, the film utilized a wide-screen technique during many of the battle sequences. The videocassette version of Old Ironsides is, of course, unable to convey this, but it does have the bonus of a rousing musical score by Gaylord Carter. This print, incidentally, is crystal clear, enabling sharp-eyed viewers to spot Boris Karloff in a bit as a menacing Saracen.

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/30/2018
UPC: 0738329231255
Original Release: 1926
Rating: NR
Source: Kino Classics
Region Code: 1
Sound: [silent]
Time: 1:54:00
Sales rank: 62,259

Special Features

Seleted scene commentary by film historian Toby Roan Booklet essay by film historian Peter Labuza

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Esther Ralston Esther
Charles Farrell The Commodore
Wallace Beery Bos'n
George Bancroft Gunner
George Godfrey Cook
Charles Hill Mailes Capt. Preble
Johnnie Walker Lt. Stephen Decatur
Frank Bonner Pirate Captain
Duke Kahanamoku Pirate Captain
William Conklin Esther's Father
Nick De Ruiz The Bashaw
Effie Ellsler Esther's Mother
Frank Jonasson Pirate Captain
Boris Karloff A Saracen Guard
Mitchell Lewis Pirate Chief
Guy Oliver 1st Mate
Spec O'Donnell Cabin Boy
Tetsu Komai Pirate
Jack Herrick Sailor
Gary Cooper Extra
Richard Arlen Extra
William Bakewell Extra
Eddie Fetherstone Lieutenant Somers
Fred Kohler 2nd Mate
Richard Alexander Extra

Technical Credits
James Cruze Director,Producer
Dorothy Arzner Screenwriter
Charles P. Boyle Cinematographer
Harry Carr Screenwriter
Alfred Gilks Cinematographer
Hugo Riesenfeld Score Composer
Laurence Stallings Original Story
Walter Woods Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Old Ironsides
255. Chapters
1. Congress Hall [9:18]
2. Frigate of Stout Oak [10:37]
3. Greenhorn Aboard [10:18]
4. Dirty Weather Ahead [7:53]
5. At the Wheel [12:47]
6. A Foggy Night [7:21]
7. Tripoli Harbor [3:17]
8. Decatur's Trick [8:29]
9. Rescue [11:46]
10. Give 'Em Hell [9:52]
11. Chapter 11 [23:03]

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