Shark Monroe is the captain of a sealing vessel in Alaskan waters. He takes on Marjorie Hilton and her brother Webster as working passengers when they are left stranded. Though a tough, ... See full summary »

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Shark Monroe
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Marjorie Hilton
Joseph Singleton ...
Big Baxter
George A. McDaniel ...
Webster Hilton
Bert Sprotte ...
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Shark Monroe is the captain of a sealing vessel in Alaskan waters. He takes on Marjorie Hilton and her brother Webster as working passengers when they are left stranded. Though a tough, hard-bitten man, Monroe finds himself mellowing under the influence of Marjorie. He protects her from the unclean desires of the white slaver Big Baxter, and ultimately Marjorie sees the decent man behind Monroe's coarse exterior. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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alaska | See All (1) »


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30 June 1918 (USA)  »

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Havsörnen  »

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1.33 : 1
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The Land Shark
29 October 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I love the work of William S. Hart. Although his popularity declined in the 1920s, he still went out with the great TUMBLEWEEDS. The same year as this movie, he appeared in a great western, RIDDLE GAWNE. Some of his movies of the 1910s are among the finest of that era. Unfortunately, this isn't one of them.

When we are introduced to "Shark" Monroe and we find him the tough skipper of a sealing ship bound for Skagway with the ingénue's drunken brother needing redemption at his beastly hands. We think "Aha! Wolf Larsen!" Then when they all go prospecting -- not together -- we decide this is a pastiche of Jack London. No, it's not, because William Hart is stony-faced bonkers for the perpetually distraught Katherine MacDonald. Later, when the plot seems to mutate into SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (I kept waiting for Buster Keaton and Ivan Mouskojine to show up as the brothers), you want to blame writer C. Gardiner Sullivan. Unfortunately Hart directed as well as starred. He has to accept some of the blame.

Well, it wasn't Hart's only misfire in 1918. I still think BLUE BLAZES RAWDEN is a comedy, although no one else does or ever did. This one might have been intended that way too, given its one-hour running time. Or it might just indicate that they kept cutting in order to make something out of the mess and never really succeeded. I like blaming the fact that Hart starred in ten films that year. Even in the silent era, there were practical limits.

Joe August's camera work around Truckee is beautiful, as one would expect, as is the work aboard ship. The print is in excellent shape, with some nice tinting. It's just a pity that the movie doesn't measure up to the print.


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