Flotsam, the daughter of lighthouse keeper Amos Bart, uses her experience maneuvering in the perilous New England reefs to save Mrs. Elmer, who is vacationing with her son Edward and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Edward Elmer
Marie Coverdale ...
Mrs. Elmer (as Mary Coverdale)
Louise Prussing ...
Clarice Stapleton
John Smiley ...
Amos Bart
Cyril Chadwick ...
Reggie Hughes
Joey Clark


Flotsam, the daughter of lighthouse keeper Amos Bart, uses her experience maneuvering in the perilous New England reefs to save Mrs. Elmer, who is vacationing with her son Edward and friends on their yacht, from drowning. Edward and Flotsam spend much time together and fall in love, but when he proposes, Amos' helper, the brutish Joey Clark, who wants Flotsam, reveals that years earlier Amos murdered Edward's father. Amos, who believes that he committed the crime while intoxicated, confesses that Flotsam is not his daughter, but that of a dying woman who brought her to his wife to raise. After he tells Flotsam to go with the Elmers, Edward's jealous former sweetheart tells her about the murder that Amos committed. Flotsam returns, followed by the yacht, and she and Edward see Clark taunt Amos by confessing that he murdered Edward's father. After Amos chases Clark up the lighthouse steps, their struggle causes the light to go out. Flotsam carries a flaming torch to save the yacht from ... Written by Pamela Short

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Release Date:

21 December 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De vuurtoren in den storm  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Charming Ollie
7 March 2016 | by (France) – See all my reviews

three is nothing much to add to the existng review except to point out that the reviewer has unfortunately got the names of the characters muddled. Amos Bart (played by John Smiley) is the lighthouse keeper and the father of Flotsam and Joey Clark (played by Edward Ellis) is the slimy villain, Bart's assistant and unwanted pretendant to Flotsam's hand in marriage, who turns out to be the real murderer.

The film also contains a relatively rare example of a flashback that shows what turns out to be a false representation of what has occurred. It is common enough for characters to lie about events or for flashbacks to show only from one point of view which serves to conceal the truth (as in The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance), but in this case the depiction of the murder (as first described by Bart and shown on the screen) is actually false (although neither Bart nor the audience knows it). This is rare because it (rather mildly in this case) breaks an unwritten rule (particularly in US film) that whatever appears on the screen should represent "what actually happened". When Clark later reveals that he was in fact the murderer, a second very brief flashback therefore shows a different sequence of events, so two different versions of the same event are actually shown. There is nothing very extraordinary about it and it is in fact rather surprising in some ways how rare this is in film (both before Kurosawa's Rashomon and since) because it appears to contravene quite a strong cinematic taboo.

Out Yonder is very much a melodrama but it is quite atmospheric (you cannot really go too far wrong with lighthouses) and it is always a pleasure to gaze upon Olive Thomas who may not, thankfully, be "glamorous" here (there is nothing worse than "glamorous" silent film-stars) but is nevertheless very cute.

She herself died in a rather ghastly tragedy in 1920 (so bizarre and improbable, in fact, that one wonders if she wasn't really murdered by her good-for-nothing husband Jack Pickford). I only have two other films that feature her - Love's Prisoner (191) and The Flapper (1920). All three films are available on the internet.

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