THE YANKEE CLIPPER
Starring William Boyd, Elinor Fair and Junior Coghlan
The best of "The Yankee Clipper" is that it is outside the general run of sea pictures, but it might have been so much further away from the average that tears are shed for the lost opportunity. It has beauty, atmosphere, and fair acting; the pity of it is that it remains trivial for all that, because it conveys little or no emotion.
The maritime rivalry between the United States and Great Britain in the middle decades of the nineteenth century has been used as the basis for the story, which begins when the youthful Queen Victoria bids God-speed to Lord Huntington, whose clipper is about to sail on her maiden voyage to China. From Boston, The Yankee Clipper also sets sail for Foochow, under command of her owner's son, Hal Winslow. In the Orient he meets Jocelyn Huntington, unmasks her craven fiancé, falls in love with her, and enters the Yankee Clipper in a race to Boston with the British vessel, the stake being Foochow's tea trade.
You know, of course, that the Yankee Clipper will win, because she is commanded by William Boyd.
There are scenes of great beauty, in which the simple majesty of the ships is eloquent. William Boyd is likable as the young captain. Elinor Fair, all fluffy ruffles, remains crisply starched throughout the long voyage, and Junior Coghlan expectorates a great deal of tobacco juice as a means of comic relief.
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