UNDER FULL SAIL: SILENT CINEMA ON THE HIGH SEAS collects five breathtaking films that preserve the romance, grandeur and allure of windjammers sailing open waters, exquisitely photographed in the style of the time.

THE YANKEE CLIPPER (1927), produced by Cecil B. DeMille and directed by Rupert Julian, restored to the most complete version available since the film’s release, is a feature-length melodrama recreating the real-life race from Foo Chow to Boston for the China tea trade.  The gorgeous production filmed at sea for six weeks aboard the 1856 wooden square-rigger Indiana with stars William Boyd, Elinor Fair and Frank “Junior” Coghlan.  Renowned organist Dennis James, in his solo DVD premiere, accompanies the film on an original-installation 1928 Wurlitzer pipe organ, recorded at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre.

AROUND THE HORN IN A SQUARE RIGGER (1933) was filmed by noted sailor and author Alan Villiers documenting the record-breaking 83-day voyage of the 1902 barque Parma from Australia to England in the 1933 Grain Race.  Villiers writes, “We wanted to make a picture that would capture some of the stirring beauty of these ships, that would perpetuate, in the realm of shadows at least, something of the glory of their wanderings … some glimmer of understanding of the attraction which they hold over those who sail in them.”  Music by Eric Beheim.

THE SQUARE RIGGER (1932), an early sound short filmed as part of Fox’s Magic Carpet of Movietone, shows life aboard the schoolship Dar Pomorza, “The White Frigate.” Built in 1909 as the Prinzess Eitel Friedrich, it was ceded from Germany to France as a prize of World War I, and was later donated to the Polish State Maritime School in 1930 where it served 50 years and trained more than 13,000 cadets.

SHIP AHOY (1928) is a unique record of the conditions and traditions of the North American lumber trade featuring an unidentified schooner equipped with a fore and aft rig as it transports lumber from the Carolinas up the coast to a northern port.  Music by Eric Beheim.

The collection is rounded off with a ten-minute sequence from DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS (1922) documenting an authentic whale hunt from the 1878 wooden ship Wanderer out of New Bedford, Massachusetts.  The cameramen risk their lives to capture practices unchanged since Herman Melville immortalized them in Moby Dick.  Music by Dennis James.

DVD bonus features include an audio reminiscence by Frank “Junior” Coghlan about the filming of THE YANKEE CLIPPER.  The 16-page enclosed booklet includes detailed program notes by film scholar and U.S. Navy marine engineer John

E. Stone and an essay about the scoring of THE YANKEE CLIPPER by organist Dennis James.



Format: DVD-NTSC / Region 0
(No Regional Code)


(US, 1927)

Director: Rupert Julian
Story: Dennison Clift
Adaptation: Garnett Weston
Titles: John W. Krafft
Cinematographer: John Mescall
Producer: Cecil B. DeMille Pictures Corporation
Distributor: Producers Distributing Corporation
Cast: William Boyd, Elinor Fair, Junior Coghlan, John Miljan, Walter Long, Louis Payne, Burr McIntosh, George Ovey, Zack Williams, William Blaisdell, Clarence Burton, Stanton Heck, Julia Faye & Harry Holden

• 81 minutes  
• B&W, Tinted


(US, 1928)

Producer/Distributor: Fox Film Corporation

• 9 minutes  
• B&W, Tinted

(US, 1932)

Producer/Distributor: Fox Film Corporation

• 9 minutes  
• B&W

(US, 1933)

Cinematographer: Alan J. Villiers

• 16 minutes  
• B&W

DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS: Whaling Sequence
(US, 1922)

Director: Elmer Clifton
Cinematographer: A.G. Penrod & Paul Allen
Producer: Whaling Film Corporation

• 10 minutes  
• B&W


 Bonus Material

(US, 2008)

Producer: Jeffrey Masino & David Shepard
Audio Recording Editor: Bret Hampton
Video Editor: Silas Lesnick

• 7 minutes  
• B&W


Total Running Time: 02:14:00

Language: Silent with English intertitles / sound

Musical Score: Eric Beheim & Dennis James

Booklet Text: John E. Stone & Dennis James

Published By: Flicker Alley

Institutional Price: $250 (plus shipping)

To order call: 212.280.8654 or click here for information on ordering by fax, e-mail or post.