Sea Master (1917)

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The Sea Master, like so many other pre-1920 films directed by the underrated Edward Sloman, apparently no longer exists. The plot, which can be pieced together from contemporary accounts, concerned itself with the relationship between roughneck sea captain Bull Dorgen (William Russell) and woebegone waterfront girl Emily Gordon (Francella Billington). Rescuing the girl from a barroom brawl, Bull spirits her away on his sailing vessel and later forces her into marriage. Bull spends the bulk of the picture punching out those unlucky souls who would dare to cast a lustful eye in Emily's direction. But when the kindly Reverend Hugh (George Fisher) enters the picture, Bull magnanimously gives Emily her freedom, watching in stoic silence as the heroine, her baby and the minister prepare to sail off into the sunset. But just before the picture fades, Emily astounds everyone -- including the audience -- with her decision to remain with the hard-shelled but soft-hearted Bull.