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The Sea Hawk


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Product Details

  • Actors: Enid Bennett, Lloyd Hughes, Wallace Beery Milton Sills
  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002PAP6J8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sea Hawk" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Galleon slaves strain against the oars...warships blast cannonades of death...and one of the great seafaring swashbucklers of the Silent Era (presented with added music) sails anew on DVD. Milton Sills, a stalwart silent-movie actor sure to be better known today if not for his untimely death, plays the gentleman pirate - The Sea Hawk - who escapes the treachery of a dastardly sea dog (Wallace Beery) and becomes the scourge of Spain's navy. Two-time Academy Award(r) winner* Frank Lloyd helms the excitement, hewing closer to the Sabatini novel than would the later Errol Flynn movie, using full-sized ships during filming and finding his sea legs years before guiding 1935's Oscar(r)-winning Best Picture Mutiny on the Bounty.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 19, 2010
Format: DVD
First National's spectacular 1924 silent adaptation of The Sea Hawk may share only three things in common with the better-known Errol Flynn version - the Elizabethan setting, Spanish villains and the odd galleon - but it's a rather splendid adventure in its own right. While in many ways the Flynn film could almost be seen as a prequel, this sees Milton Sills' retired privateer's plans to marry the girl of his dreams thwarted when his brother kills her brother in a duel and, afraid of being sentenced to death, the cowardly lad persuades Wallace Beery's pirate to sell our hero into slavery only for the Spanish to capture him and sentence him to the galleys. There his friendship with a fellow Moorish galley slave and his abandoning Christianity stands him in good stead when they're liberated by a famous Moorish pirate, setting him on the path to conversion to Islam and even greater fame as Sakr-el-Bahr, the `Hawk of the Sea.' Though he's careful never to wage war on the English, that changes when his perfidious brother plans to marry his beloved and he kidnaps both of them on their wedding day, leading to his eventual redemption but not before some spectacular melodrama (in the best sense of the word).

Although it takes its time getting going, once it does it's rather a ripping yarn, and all splendidly staged on not one but three full-sized ships by Frank Lloyd, who would later go on to make the Gable-Laughton version of Mutiny on the Bounty. Warner Archive's DVD-R offers a fine tinted print (there's even a brief bit of hand-coloring with some torches) and a good presentation despite Robert Israel's accompanying score being limited to a single organ, though it makes fine use of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Am an Englishman in the final moment of truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan Dean Foster on September 18, 2012
Format: DVD
Superb silent swashbuckler starring the sadly forgotten Milton Sills, an honest rival to Doug senior in acting talent and appearance if not natural athleticism. The camera work is fine for its time, though modern audiences used to swooping and swinging stabilized cameras might find themselves fidgeting now and then at a number of static scenes. Full-sized (adapted for the film) ships battling it out on the high seas (if Catalina coves can be considered the high seas) because director Frank Lloyd realized that even in 1924, audiences wouldn't buy unbelievable miniature models.

Interesting treatment of Islam after hero Sills converts, from the accurate (married woman must be veiled) to the invented (some of the language in the subtitles). Sills' character converts, fully and completely (and never is shown reconverting back to Christianity) and the Muslim characters are as human and fully developed and oft-times as sympathetic as the English, with the Spaniards being the real villains here. Later, the Pasha of Algiers would have a bit of trouble with the navy of a brand-new country, but here he's something of a wizened father figure to Mills freed galley slave. Wallace Beery steals every scene he's in simply by showing up and squinting, presaging a long and honored career in a role here that could be a rehearsal for his portrayal of Long John Silver in TREASURE ISLAND. I kept expecting a subtitle where his character goes, "Ah, Jim...".

Robert Israel essays the daunting task of putting together an organ accompaniment for a long film. Note his use of Berlioz's overture to THE CORSAIRS when a scene appears with Mills exhorting his "brave corsairs".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Peterson on February 9, 2013
Format: DVD
The cover description is one of the longest running three sentences I've ever typed.

From the DVD case:
Galleon slaves strain against the oars...warships blast cannonades of death...and one of the great seafaring swashbucklers of the Silent Era (presented with added music) sails anew on DVD. Milton Sills, a stalwart movie actor sure to be better known today if not for his untimely death, plays the gentleman pirate - the Sea Hawk - who escapes the treachery of a dastardly sea dog (Wallace Beery) and becomes the scourge of Spain's navy. Two-time academy award winner, Frank Lloyd, helms the excitement, hewing closer to the Sabatini novel that would the later Errol Flynn movie, using full-sized ships during filming and finding his sea legs years before guiding 1935's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Mutiny on the Bounty.

The film itself runs 124 minutes, and is truly a good film. The quality of the print is as good as can be expected with the output from cameras of that time period. This is a restoration of the film for this specific DVD creation, and actually better than expected judging by some other silent classics I own. The original music score by Robert Israel is fitting, and was created for the 1994 restoration of the print. Mr. Israel was born in 1963. From the looks of his ImDb page, he has been very busy in a number of silent/restoration projects.

[...]

There is a notice on the case which states:
"This disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "Play Only Devices", and may not play back in other DVD devices, including records and PC Drives."

This is an accurate statement. When I got the DVD, I put it into our main DVD player of use, a Sony VHS/DVD combo which plays and records in either format, and the Sea Hawk DVD wouldn't play. That was when I checked the box for information, and saw the notice. I switched the disc to a secondary player we had hooked up, and it played fine.
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