Thursday, August 11, 2011

In the Tropical Seas -1914

Photographed by Carl Louis Gregory, Thanhouser's senior cameraman, this film employed the Williamson Submarine Tube, an air-filled iron tube. Location: Nassau Harbor, Nassau, Bahama Islands.
Print source: Nederlands Filmmuseum, 12 minutes 52 seconds.
Co-production of Submarine Film Company and Thanhouser, using the Williamson Submarine Tube, with the participation of J. Ernest Williamson and George M. Williamson.
Original music composed and performed by Ben Model (
Edited for Netherlands release from film taken by Thanhouser’s cinematographer Carl Louis Gregory in Nassau Harbor, Nassau, Bahamas, April-June 1914.
This was a joint project by Thanhouser and the Williamson Submarine Company produced some 20,000 feet of underwater footage in the Bahamas. Carl Louis Gregory, an important cinematographer in film history, was the Thanhouser cameraman, using the newly-perfected Williamson Submarine, aka Photosphere, a nine-foot-long underwater tube with a viewing window at one end where the camera operator could work perfectly dry while capturing actual underwater views in their natural settings. George M. Williamson and his brother J. Ernest Williamson, sons of the tube’s inventor Capt. C. Williamson, participated both in front and behind the camera.
The first Thanhouser release from this footage was the five-reel "The Terrors of the Deep." After three or four special screenings in July 1914 it was finally released in September. More material was assembled into "Thirty Leagues Under the Sea" (also released in September).
The shark footage of "In de Tropische Zee" is either the final reel of Thirty Leagues Under the Sea or additional footage not used in the two Thanhouser releases, here assembled in a special Dutch or European release by a Dutch distributor or exhibitor. This title is not mentioned in the Thanhouser records or in the U.S. trade press.

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

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