~Down To The Sea In Ships~
~Plot Synopsis~
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.

Plot Synopsis by Janiss Garza, allmovie.com
Directed by: Elmer Clifton

Written by: John L.E. Pell

Marguerite Courtot ...  Patience Morgan
Raymond McKee ...  Thomas Allan Dexter
William Walcott ...  Charles W. Morgan
Clara Bow ...  'Dot' Morgan
James Turfler ...  Jimmy
Leigh Smith ...  Scuff Smith
Pat Hartigan ...  Jake Finner
Jack Baston ...  Samuel Siggs
Curtis Pierce ...  The Town Crier
Ada Laycock ...  'Henny' Clark
William Cavanaugh ...  Thunderbolt Bill
Juliette Courtot ...  Judy Peggs (uncredited)
Elizabeth Foley ...  Baby Patience Morgan (uncredited)
Anita Louise ...  (uncredited)
James A. Tilton ...  Captain of The Morgan (uncredited)
Clarice Vance ...  Nahoma (Patience's Indian servant) (uncredited)
Tom White ...  Baby Thomas Dexter (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Whaling Film Corp.

Distribution Company: W.W. Hodkinson

Produced by: Elmer Clifton
Cinematography by: Paul H. Allen & Alexander G. Penrod
Additional Photographers: Albert Doubrava & Maurice E. Kains

Length: 9 Reels
Runtime: 83 Minutes
Released: March 4, 1923