Wealthy young man Ramon Laredo is abducted and put into service aboard a ship commanded by a none-too-scrupulous smuggler. When the ship encounters the foundering "Lady Letty," some of the Letty's crew is brought aboard, including Letty 'Moran' Sternerson, feisty daughter of the Letty's captain. Moran and Ramon have little use for each other, but when trouble erupts and the smuggler Captain Kitchell turns his evil eye on Moran, it is Ramon who comes to her rescue. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character played by Rudolph Valentino was called "Ross Wilbur" in the novel by Frank Norris on which the film was based, but the name was changed to "Ramon Laredo" for the film to accommodate Valentino's non-American appearance. See more »
Except for Dorothy Dalton, whose name appears on the title frame, actors were not credited in this movie at the start or at the end. Instead, 7 additional actors and their character names are credited in the intertitles right before they appear onscreen and are listed in the same order in the IMDb cast. All other actors are marked uncredited. See more »
On the sailing vessel the Lady Letty, we meet Moran (Dorothy Dalton), a Norwegian tomboy, reared as a seaman, who wears pants and works the ship right alongside the men. In San Francisco on Nob Hill lives rich and handsome Ramon (Valentino), idol of the débutantes, who spends his time throwing house parties and sailing on yachts. One day he's late for one of his yacht parties and gets himself shanghaied by a ship full of sea-outlaws. Forced to become Second Mate on a voyage headed towards Mexico, Ramon seems to take a shine to being shipboard and changes rapidly from dandy to able-bodied seaman, and before you know it he's happily swabbing the decks and looking gorgeous in white sleeveless t-shirt. Meanwhile, sailing in the same waters is the Lady Letty which suddenly catches on fire, and the outlaws go aboard to loot it, coming back with nothing but rum and a "loco sailor" - actually Moran dressed as a boy, brought over by Ramon who tries to keep her hidden away from the evil Captain. Now Ramon seems to develop a crush on Moran, but this may not work out for him - see, she wishes she were born a boy!
This film is packed with lots of shipboard action, fights, etc. - a bit too much for my taste actually. There is also a plot element that seems a little odd to me and that is the fact that Ramon seems so happy being on the ship with bad men who kidnapped him and are committing crimes. I am also not sure I like the match between Valentino and the woman, I kind of like them better as just "mates". The mainly sepia-tinted print shown on TCM looked okay, a tiny bit washed-out here and there but pretty good as a whole, and featured an excellent music score that matched the action well. For me, Valentino is the main reason to see this - he looks stunningly handsome in all of his scenes - sigh! I like Dorothy Dalton too, well cast in her tomboy part. Worth seeing for the beauty of Valentino alone.
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