Parisian Love/Down to the Sea in Ships [DVD]

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Down to the Sea in Ships
This whaling drama is most famous as the screen debut of Clara Bow (Bow had actually made one previous film, Beyond the Rainbow, but her scenes wound up on the cutting-room floor). Besides that, it is also solid entertainment, offering both the best (documentary-like scenes of a whale being gutted) and the worst (some scenery-devouring histrionics) that silent film had to offer. It's a period piece, taking place in a seaside town of the mid-1800s. Charles Morgan (William Walcott) is a Quaker who owns a successful whaling business. He has lost his son to the sea and is raising his tomboyish granddaughter, Dot (Bow). Morgan wants his own daughter, Patience (Marguerite Courtot) -- Dot's aunt -- to marry a Quaker whaler. Patience, however, is in love with Allan Dexter (Raymond McKee), the non-Quaker boy next door, who has just returned from school. Meanwhile, Jake Finner (Pat Hartigan) and Samuel Siggs (J. Thornton Baston) are plotting to get Morgan's fortune. Siggs, disguised as a Quaker, goes to work for Morgan and convinces him that he should marry Patience. Dexter, however, loves Patience so much he is willing to change both his religion and his profession to win her. He winds up on a whaling ship, captained by the wicked Finner, gets involved in the subsequent mutiny, and harpoons his first whale. Dot has stowed away on the ship because she has a crush on one of the boys (James Turfler) who is on the crew. Dexter returns home just in time to prevent Patience from marrying Siggs. Although Courtot spends most of her time merely looking pretty, there's a palpable chemistry between her and McKee -- they actually fell in love in real life and married. With her vivacious personality and natural acting, Bow (who looks far younger than her 16 years) steals almost every scene she is in. She obviously had star quality, even this early in her career -- something that did not go unnoticed amongst critics and filmgoers. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Parisian Love
In her pre-Paramount days, Clara Bow was shoved into some pretty dismal pictures. This aimless drama was one of the worst. Marie (Bow) and Armand (Donald Keith) are two lovers who belong to a band of Apaches (members of the Parisian underworld, not the Native Americans). When they believe that wealthy scientist Pierre Marcel (Lou Tellegen) is away from his home, they go with another associate, Knifer (Jean deBriac), to burglarize it. But Marcel is home, and Armand stops Knifer from killing him. The grateful man protects Armand when the police show up. Knifer is killed and Marie escapes. Armand, who has been wounded, is nursed back to health by Marcel, and he goes on to lead an honest life. Marie sees Armand kissing another girl and she becomes bent on revenge. Armand goes away on business, and with the financial aid of the Apache leader (Otto Marieson), Marie poses as a convent-bred girl. She wins Marcel's love and marries him, only telling him of her plot after the ceremony is completed. Armand returns from London and she rushes to him. The Apaches, believing that they are being double-crossed, take a shot at her. Although she is wounded, she recovers. Marcel goes to America and arranges a divorce so that the two lovers can be together. Luckily for Bow, The Plastic Age would be released just a few months later, effectively erasing the memory of poor films like this one. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Raymond McKee
    Raymond McKee - Thomas Allan Dexter
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    William Walcott - Charles W. Morgan
  • Image coming soon
    William Cavanaugh - Henry Morgan
  • Image coming soon
    Marguerite Courtot - Patience Morgan
  • Clara Bow
    Clara Bow - "Dot" Morgan

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