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Windjammer (1937)

The fourth and last of the George A. Hirliman-produced films starring George O'Brien (preceded by "Daniel Boone", "Park Avenue Logger" and "Hollywood Cowboy") that were distributed by RKO ... See full summary »


Ewing Scott


Daniel Jarrett (screenplay) (as Dan Jarrett), James Gruen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview:
George O'Brien ... Bruce Lane
Constance Worth ... Betty Selby
William Hall ... Captain Morgan
Brandon Evans Brandon Evans ... Commodore Russell P. Selby
Gavin Gordon ... J. Montague Forsythe
Stanley Blystone ... Peterson (as Stan Blystone)
Lal Chand Mehra Lal Chand Mehra ... Willy
Ben Hendricks Jr. Ben Hendricks Jr. ... Dolan (as Ben Hendricks)
Lee Shumway ... Yacht Captain
Frank Hagney ... Slum
Sam Flint ... Marvin T. Bishop


The fourth and last of the George A. Hirliman-produced films starring George O'Brien (preceded by "Daniel Boone", "Park Avenue Logger" and "Hollywood Cowboy") that were distributed by RKO Radio. Hirliman sold O'Brien's contract to RKO, which then produced 18 series westerns starring O'Brien that ended when O'Brien went into the Navy at the outbreak of WW II. Long-time (past and future) O'Brien director David Howard served as Hirliman's Associate Producer on this film. "Windjammer" finds O'Brien as a subpoena server ordered to serve a subpoena on Brandon Evans (The Commondore) for a senate inquiry or lose his job. Posing as a playboy, he boards the Commodore's yacht during a yacht race, and the yacht is wrecked by a gun-running windjammer commanded by Captain Morgan (William Hall.) All hands are picked up by the windjammer, including the Commodore's daughter (played by Constance Worth, at her blonde, plumpish best) and put to work as galley slaves and such, but it isn't long before ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pirataria Moderna See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its earliest documented telecasts in Washington DC Thursday 8 January 1948 on WMAL (Channel 7), in Lowell MA (serving the Boston Area) Thursday 26 August 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4), in New York City Thursday 2 September 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Cleveland Tuesday 21 September 1948 on WEWS (Channel 5), in Detroit Saturday 13 November 1948 on WJBK (Channel 2) and in Los Angeles Saturday 5 February 1949 on KTSL (Channel 2). See more »


All through the race, shots of the vessels sometimes show them as one masted sloops and other times as two masted schooners. One shot shows two masted yawls. See more »

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User Reviews

A pretty good sea yarn
31 January 2009 | by pitcairn89See all my reviews

This is a pretty good George O'Brien "B" film. O'Brien was always a likable leading man, and, as everyone knows, was popular in the late-silent, early-talkie era. He is noteworthy for his role in Murnau's "Sunrise." He did much of his best work for John Ford, who seemed to be a kind of guardian angel for him. When his career was running out of steam, Ford put him in supporting roles in some of his later films. If what you read is true, O'Brien must hold some kind of military record. Aside from being a boxing champ in the navy, he fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and was highly decorated in those wars. He's good here as the cocky government attorney, determined to get his man.

The story segues from a light adventure yarn into a sort of variation of "The Sea Wolf." The actors playing the cutthroats on the ship our heroes encounter are pretty convincing. Particularly William Hall, who plays the captain. I'm not familiar with him, and he seems to have had a career playing small parts and bits. He's good, though, and convincing as a ruthless, piratical type. I'm not familiar with most of the actors here, though in a way that makes it more convincing, as they seem like real-life types. After O'Brien, and leading lady Constance Worth, the best known actor here is probably Gavin Gordon. He attained some kind of screen immortality by playing Lord Byron in the classic "The Bride of Frankenstein." And he played that part very well. He also appeared in "The Mystery of the Wax Museum," and dozens of other films, usually as a nasty, bullying villain (see "The Silver Horde," 1930, with Joel McCrea).

This isn't a great film by any means, but it is fun, and is the kind of sea adventure that you don't see anymore. For sailing ship fans, it is a treat as well. There are plenty of shots of 30s- era yachts, motor boats, and sailing ships, the kinds of ships that you don't see around the world any longer, except perhaps in offbeat locations. Places like the islands of Indonesia, or harbors in Djakarta. You really can see these vintage vessels in such places, and not as museum pieces, but as working ships. If you can't get to those places in reality, films like this might be of interest.

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