Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Coffin Ship - 1911

The Coffin Ship: One reel of approximately 1,000 feet, June 20, 1911).
Love story filmed in Long Island Sound with a stowaway and a shipwreck, featuring William Garwood.
Print source: Nederlands Filmmuseum, 14 minutes, 37 seconds.
Cast: William Garwood.
Original music composed and performed by Andrew Crow (​people/​crowa.htm.)
Because of 1911 production convention, a sprawling adventure is truncated to one-reel length. Good location work, a strength of Thanhouser pictures, creates a visually strong seagoing story of a stowaway and a shipwreck. Long Island Sound locations were near the studio.
A review of The Coffin Ship in The Moving Picture World criticized at length errors of accuracy in the depiction of the merchant ship and its sailors, and technicalities of sailing and of the shipwreck, despite the good story and its dramatic effectiveness. Such criticism disproves the myth that critics and audiences accepted anything on the screen at face value.
This print's original German intertitles have been replaced by a new English translation.

For futher information on films by Thanhouser, visit the site above. Let’s keep memories of this great studio alive.

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