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“The Sea Hawk” Silent Film

April 15 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Join us for a night at the movies…Custom House style! Get your tickets here!

“The Sea Hawk” Silent Film

Saturday, April 15 5:30pm-7:30pm

Admission is $10 per person; $5 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased here or at the door. 

Travel back to the time of sailing ships and piracy on the high seas as shown in a classic movie released almost a century ago. ‘The Sea Hawk’ (1924), an epic silent adventure film, will be screened with live music on Saturday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water St., Newburyport, Mass.

Live music for the sea-going tale will be provided by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist. ‘The Sea Hawk’ is an American silent adventure film about an English noble sold into slavery who escapes and turns himself into a pirate king. Directed by Frank Lloyd, the screen adaptation was written by J.G. Hawks based upon a 1915 novel by Rafael Sabatini. ‘The Sea Hawk’ boasts an all-star silent era cast that includes Milton Sills, Enid Bennett, Wallace Beery, Lloyd Hughes, and George Bancroft. The swashbuckler was a big-budget extravaganza produced by First National Studios, a predecessor of Warner Bros. Director Lloyd recognized that moviegoers of 1924 would be put off by miniature models, and so instructed that full-sized ships be created for use in the film at the then-enormous cost of $200,000. This was done by outfitting the wooden exteriors of existing craft to the design of Fred Gabourie, known for his work in constructing props used in Buster Keaton films. The ocean scenes were filmed off the coast of California’s Catalina Island, with 150 tents set up on the island for housing and support of the film’s 1,000 extras, 21 technicians, 14 actors, and 64 sailors. When the film was released, a New York Times critic called it “far and away the best sea story that’s yet been done up to that point.” A movie with the same title (but an entirely different plot) was released in 1940 starring Errol Flynn. The studio used some key scenes from battles in the 1924 film. They spliced the scenes into the 1940 film, thinking they could not have been done better. See the sea-faring epic ‘The Sea Hawk’ (1924) on Saturday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water St. Newburyport, Mass.


Jeff Rapsis, a writer/editor, educator and also a composer/performer who specializes in creating live musical scores for silent film, will accompany “The Sea Hawk” film with organ playing, for an original experience!

Get your tickets here!


April 15
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950 United States
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Custom House Maritime Museum
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