The Cinema Museum, London

Kennington Bioscope presents The Sea Hawk (1924)

Wed 7 Sep 2022 @ 19:30 · Events

The Kennington Bioscope is a regular cinema event featuring live accompaniment to silent films that takes place at the Cinema Museum.

The Sea Hawk (1924), directed by Frank Lloyd, and starring Milton Sills, Enid Bennett, Lloyd Hughes and Wallace Beery.

Based on Rafael Sabatini’s 1915 novel, The Sea Hawk was adapted for the screen by J.G. Hawks and produced and directed by Frank Lloyd. The story – about an English baronet (Milton Sills) who is framed for murder by his half-brother (Lloyd Hughes), becomes a galley slave then escapes to reinvent himself as the buccaneering `Sakr-el-Bahr’ – is set amid the high-seas piracy of the late 16th century. Aware that audiences had learned to recognise the use of scale models, Lloyd spent $200,000 for the construction of authentic-looking sea vessels, hiring Buster Keaton’s prop designer Fred Gabourie – who had previously built replicas of Stephenson’s Rocket and a hobby-horse bike for Keaton’s Our Hospitality – to create wooden cladding that would convert modern ships into those suitable for the period setting. The results were so convincing (the New York Times considered it `far and away the best sea story that’s yet been done up to that point’) that Warner Brothers subsequently re-used the footage in the Errol Flynn vehicles Captain Blood (1935) and the nominal remake of The Sea Hawk in 1940. Filming of these scenes took place off Catalina Island, with 150 tents supplied for the use of 1,000 extras, 21 technicians, 14 main actors and 64 sailors. The Sea Hawk also stars Enid Bennett, Wallace Beery and Marc McDermott.

Because of the length of The Sea Hawk it was released theatrically with an interval. We will begin the evening with a Felix The Cat cartoon from the mid 20s, followed by a short introduction to the main feature and the first half of the film. There will then be a 15 minute interval, and then the second half of the feature. The programme will finish just after 22.00.

Colin Sell will be providing live piano accompaniment for The Sea Hawk and John Sweeney will be playing for the supporting cartoon.

Silent film with intertitles which may be suitable for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Tickets & Pricing

£7. Seats are limited, so please arrive early or request an invitation using the email

The Sea Hawk (1924)