|~The Zeppelin's Last Raid~
Though Thomas H. Ince was credited as director of the propagandistic melodrama The Zeppelin's Last
Raid, the man who actually wielded the megaphone was Irvin Willat, who also wrote the script. Intended
as a companion picture to Ince's pacifist epic Civilization, Zeppelin's Last Raid argued that the only way
to ensure a lasting peace after WWI was to expunge Prussian militarism from the hearts of the German
people. Surprisingly, very few aerial-warfare films were made during WWI, so this Ince production,
concentrating as it did on a seemingly indestructible Zeppelin and its crew, was considered something of
a novelty back in 1917. Likewise unusual was the fact that the airship-commander hero, played by
Howard Hickman), was a German -- albeit a conscience-stricken one who ultimately refuses to bomb
innocent civilians, choosing to take his own life instead (This last-mentioned plot twist was characteristic
of director Willat, who admitted in later years that he was not altogether unsympathetic to the Germans).
Zeppelin's Last Raid no longer exists, but production stills indicate that most of the flying sequences were
accomplished with miniatures and trick photography.
Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
|Directed by: Irvin Willat
Alfred Hickman ... The commander
Enid Markey ... The girl
Production Company: Thomas H. Ince Corporation
Distribution Company: U.S. Exhibitors' Booking Corp.
Supervisor: Thomas H. Ince
Edited by: Monte M. Katterjohn
Length: 5 Reels
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Released: November 1917