12 December 2010 | wes-connors
Rex Ingram's Tale of Brave Ulysses
Handsome seaman Antonio Moreno (as Ulysses Ferragut) grows up enthralled by the legendary goddess "Amphitrite". The bewitching blonde is described as "the mother and sweetheart of all Mediterranean sailors," and Mr. Moreno keeps a portrait of her in his Barcelona home. There, Moreno lives comfortably with dark-haired wife Kithnou (as Cinta) and their beloved son Michael Brantford (as Esteban). Moreno captains his freighter ship "Mare Nostrum" (Latin for "Our Sea") along the Mediterranean while his wife worries about their son's frequently absent father...
To be a better father, Moreno decides to give up the lovely "Amphitrite" illusion and his seafaring to spend more time at home. This would leave the "Mare Nostrum" in the hands of Frederic Mariotti (as Toni) and obese Christian cook Hughie Mack (as Caragol). But, two things alter Moreno's plans. First, the Great War (aka World War I) begins, making his shipping business more lucrative and important. Then, Moreno meets alluring Alice Terry (as Freya Talberg), who appears to be the sea goddess "Amphitrite" come to life. Alas, Ms. Terry is no goddess, she's spy for Germany!
Continuing to strive for art, director Rex Ingram slowed down his dramatic pace and vowed to film exclusively outside of Hollywood for "Mare Nostrum". It had all the ingredients of a blockbuster - successful director (Ingram), handsome star (Moreno), proved source material (Ibanez), and popular female (Terry) - all done at a healthy budget for MGM distribution. Trouble is, the film simply does not deliver the anticipated excitement. While it seems to presently be lacking its original soundtrack, the surviving print is great condition. It's beautifully shot in France, Italy and Spain.
****** Mare Nostrum (2/15/26) Rex Ingram ~ Antonio Moreno, Alice Terry, Hughie Mack, Mickey Brantford