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Old Ironsides (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Old Ironsides
Film poster
Directed byJames Cruze
Written byDorothy Arzner
Harry Carr
Walter Woods (scenario)
Rupert Hughes (intertitles)
StarringCharles Farrell
Esther Ralston
Wallace Beery
George Bancroft
CinematographyAlfred Gilks
Music byHugo Riesenfeld
J. S. Zamecnik
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 6, 1926 (1926-12-06)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$1.1 million (U.S. and Canada rentals)[1]

Old Ironsides is a 1926 American silent historical war film directed by James Cruze and starring Charles Farrell, Esther Ralston, Wallace Beery, and George Bancroft.[2] It was produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Old Ironsides (Cruze, 1926) — 1080p
  • 1926: James Cruze - Old Ironsides (Esther Ralston & Wallace Beery)
  • Battle scene from "Old Ironsides" (1926)



Early in the 19th century, USS Constitution is launched as part of an effort to stop piracy in the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, a young man determined to go to sea (Farrell) is befriended by the bos'n (Beery) of the merchant ship Esther, and he joins its crew. When Esther reaches the Mediterranean, she too, along with Constitution, becomes involved in the battle against the pirates.


Gary Cooper was in the film as an extra.[3]

Production background

The movie was directed by James Cruze in a widescreen process that Paramount promoted as "Magnascope".[4] This process was used to heighten the visual effects in specific points in the film by switching to a larger "widescreen" thus enhancing the visual drama of the feature. It was reported that at the premiere of Old Ironsides the audience "stood up and cheered" when the Magnascope was activated.[5]

This lavish oceangoing epic features battle scenes with sailing ships and pirates; Wallace Beery would revisit the genre and portray Long John Silver in Treasure Island eight years later.

Box office receipts from the premiere at the Rialto Theater went to the USS Constitution restoration fund.



Paramount Studios released a VHS video tape edition in 1987.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City exhibited a restored 35mm print of the film in December 2008.

See also


  1. ^ "All-Time Film Rental Champs". Variety. October 15, 1990. p. M150.
  2. ^ "Progressive Silent Film List: Old Ironsides". Silent Era. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  3. ^ Dickens, Homer (1970). The Films of Gary Cooper. Citadel Press. pp. 22–24. ISBN 0-8065-0279-7.
  4. ^ Coles, David. "Magnified Grandeur, Widescreen 1926-1931". Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  5. ^ Westphal, Kyle. ""Enhanced in Entertainment Value By About 25% (In Our Estimation)": An Enlarged History of Magnascope | Chicago Film Society". Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  6. ^ Old Ironsides at IMDb

External links

This page was last edited on 6 August 2023, at 03:57
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