German spies, using Freya Talberg as bait, convince neutral Spaniard Ulysses Ferragut to navigate a ship to refuel German U-boats, telling him they would never fire on passenger ships. But one torpedoes the ship his son, Esteban, was on, killing him and many others. He sets out to punish the ones responsible.Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A young Spanish sea captain learns about life & death, great love & passionate hatred, while sailing the waters of MARE NOSTRUM - Our Sea.'
Brilliant & disturbing, this was the last important film from acclaimed silent director Rex Ingram. Produced to great effect on location in the Western Mediterranean, this was one of Metro's biggest films of the 1920's. Returning to the author who had already given him enormous success with THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE - Vicente Blasco Ibáñez - Ingram would once again produce a film of exceptional high quality. Today, it is all but forgotten...
Antonio Moreno gives a vivid performance as the Captain who is used so harshly by fate. His doleful eyes linger in the imagination of the viewer long after the end of the film. Alice Terry - Mrs. Rex Ingram - is sultry & beautiful as the Austrian spy who seduces Moreno. Her firing squad scene is considered a classic of pacing & composition, and she is magnificent in it.
Uni Apollon is very effective in his few minutes as an old Spanish sea dog. Madame Pâquerette, as a large, mannish German spy master is formidable. Hughie Mack, as an absolutely loyal, grossly obese Spanish servant, is especially satisfying. (This excellent character actor would die from heart disease the year after MARE NOSTRUM's release, at the age of only 42.)
The unfortunate use of obvious models for some of the scenes at sea is more than mitigated by the presence of real ships & submarines in others. The filming among the ruins in Italy's Pompeii & Paestum, as well as the spy chase along the waterfront in Marseille, add tremendously to the overall ambiance of this remarkable film.
The underwater sequences with Amphitrite, goddess of Mare Nostrum, are absolutely haunting.
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