Set at the time of Stephen Decatur’s defeat of the Barbary pirates in Tripoli, the film follows three young men who join the Merchant Marines, particularly an able-bodied seaman and his romantic interest, a damsel-in-permanent-distress. Based on the poem, “Constitution,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes, a reconstruction of the USS Constitutionactually appears in the film. Starring Wallace Beery, Boris Karloff, Esther Ralston and Charles Ferrell, it remains a classic story of action and adventure with unforgettable battle scenes. Directed by James Cruze. Produced by Paramount.
Introduced by Brian Taves, Staff Member, Library of Congress and author of The Romance of Adventure: The Genre of Historical Adventure in the Movies.