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The Sea Hawk (1924)

Passed  -  Adventure | Drama | Romance  -  14 June 1924 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 316 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

A wrongly convicted English gentleman goes from galley slave to pirate captain.



(by), (adapted for the screen by), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Milton Sills ...
Sir Oliver Tressilian
Lady Rosamund Godolphin
Lloyd Hughes ...
Lionel Tressilian
Captain Jasper Leigh
Marc McDermott ...
Sir John Killigrew (as Mark MacDermott)
Wallace MacDonald ...
Peter Godolphin (as Wallace Mac Donald)
Bert Woodruff ...
Claire Du Brey ...
Lionel Belmore ...
Justice Anthony Baine
Christina Montt ...
The Infanta of Spain (as Christine Montt)
Albert Prisco ...
Frank Currier ...
Asad-ed-Din - Basha of Algiers
William Collier Jr. ...
Medea Radzina ...
Fred DeSilva ...
Ali (as Fred De Silva)


The adventures of Oliver Tressilian, who goes from English gentry to galley slave to captain of a Moorish fighting ship, all the while trying to regain his lady love. Follows the novel, unlike the 1940 movie of the same name. Written by Robert Tonsing <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 June 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Águia dos Mares  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1994 restoration print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Edited into Captain Blood (1935) See more »


Sea Hawk
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by Modest Altschuler
Words by John LeRoy Johnston
See more »

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User Reviews

If You Can Fill the Screen, You Can Fill the Theaters
15 June 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In the brave, bold swashbuckling days when Queen Elizabeth reigned, and waves crashed mightily onto England's Cornish coast, seafaring knight Milton Sills (as Oliver "Noll" Tressilian) courts neighboring pretty Enid Bennett (as Rosamund Godolphin). Ms. Bennett's brother Wallace MacDonald (as Peter Godolphin) doesn't want her to wed Mr. Sills, calling him a "blood-thirsty buccaneer!" Their guardian, Marc McDermott (as John Killigrew), agrees, and swords are raised. Sills is merciful, but likewise handsome young half-brother Lloyd Hughes (as Lionel "Lal" Tressilian) kills Mr. MacDonald in a duel.

Covering for his beloved brother, Sills allows himself to be blamed for Mr. Hughes act. Hughes is anything but grateful, making a deal with dastardly Wallace Beery (as Jasper Leigh) that lands Sills on a slave ship. While using his muscular frame on a ship's galley slave row, Stills gets cozy with partner Albert Prisco (as Yusuf-Ben-Moktar). The brawny men successfully break the chains that bind them, but Mr. Prisco dies in sniper fire. Making his escape, Stills rejects Christianity and converts to the Moslem faith of his deceased friend. Sills changes his name to "Sakr-el-Bahr" ("The Sea Hawk"), and enacts his revenge...

"The Sea Hawk" had audiences coming back for multiple viewings, and was a big hit for First National; it also moved director Frank Lloyd further into the small circle of epic filmmakers. The film boasts big - and big-looking, thanks to Lloyd's incredible use of the picture frame

  • production values; and, it is beautifully paced. Watch how well Lloyd

fills the screen during the "interrupted wedding" between Hughes and Bennett. Much of the seafaring footage was plundered to insert in later Warner Bros. films - and, it's likely not all of the stolen scenes were returned to the original; witness, for example, Sills' escape from slavery.

Critically acclaimed, as well as popular, "The Sea Hawk" was cited as the year's "Best Picture" by "Motion Picture" magazine. "Photoplay" declared "The Dramatic Life of Abraham Lincoln" the winner, while "Film Daily" had "The Thief of Bagdad" edging out "The Sea Hawk" by one vote. Moreover, the later two immediately began placing high on "all-time" greatest film lists. The heroic Sills may be uncommonly staid; but, in hindsight, this is preferable to the usual overplaying. Hughes performed exceptionally; he rose to #6 in a "Motion Picture" star poll, with Sills behind at #13. Bennett has relatively little to do, but Mr. Berry certainly makes a good impression; soon, he would become the biggest star from the cast, which has a dozen notable actors.

******** The Sea Hawk (6/2/24) Frank Lloyd ~ Milton Sills, Lloyd Hughes, Wallace Beery, Enid Bennett

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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