14 September 2007 | vandino1
Sails but doesn't soar
A young William Boyd stars as the captain of the title ship who is involved in a serious maritime challenge on behalf of the U.S. against arch rival Britain. It's a race to see which country's best sailing ship can get from Foochow, China to Boston the fastest. To do this they must sail across the Pacific and around the southern tip of South America. The prize is not only the Foochow tea trade but the winner gets the other's ship.
Boyd's journey quickly becomes encumbered by a young stowaway (Junior Coughlin) and the unexpected additions of a young woman and her craven fiancé. When one of Boyd's crew offers to help the woman and her fiancé escape, Boyd's troubles really start brewing up. From there it's fights, attempted mutiny, budding romance, and comedy relief... and, oh yes, a race to be won. The film has its moments and, thankfully, has none of the eye-rolling acting hysterics prevalent in so many silent movies. But it also doesn't have much personality. Boyd's star part lacks color, and the female lead's part isn't any better. Obviously the filmmakers keyed on the young boy to sell the movie to the real target audience.
The VHS copy I viewed comes with an intro from Junior Coughlin that looks like it was taped in the 80's.