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A domineering father has told patience Morgan that she cannot marry a man that is neither a Quaker nor a whaleman. Scenes in the Quaker meetinghouse explain that marriage outside the sect is punished by expulsion and ostracism. But she loves her childhood sweetheart Allan Dexter recently returned from college. What is a girl to do?
Meanwhile, back in the office, villains plot to seize one of Father Morgan's ships and sail it to gold country. When one of the henchmen (Samuel Siggs) takes a liking to Patience, the fiends shanghai Allan and take him off to sea and never expect him to return. Siggs then masquerades as a Quaker and a whaleman and convinces Father Morgan to give his daughter's hand in marriage (`Make him a good wife').
The scenes in which Patience shows her love for Allan (by play acting with dolls) are sweet and show her capabilities to the fullest. Clara Bow has some good scenes early on but her small part appears to fade out as the film progresses.
There are some rather interesting scenes of life in New Bedford in the mid-19th Century. The town crier both spreads the news of a returning ship and the rumored departure of our hero to parts West. Life aboard the ship is not as harsh as portrayed by Dana in `Two Years Before the Mast' but is fraught with danger. Close ups of the crew as they mutiny are excellent. There are ample quotes from Melville and Dana to complement the story.
There are a couple of lengthy scenes that are better described as travelogues and not necessary for the story. The scenes with sharks and whales are probably real and not simulated. Dozens of pelicans diving to catch fish were probably a novelty to many viewers of the time. The storm at sea is probably about as technically advanced as it could be.
This is not a great movie, but if you are interested in sea stories or whaling, then you should watch it. It is the product of an independent film company (The Whaling Film Co.), was distributed by Wholesome Film Services, Inc., and had its debut in Providence, Rhode Island.
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