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THE BATTLES OF CORONEL AND FALKLAND ISLANDS

Director: WALTER SUMMERS

105 minutes, U.K., 1927, Silent, Black and White, D-Cinema


IFI CLASSIC

This virtually unknown film commemorates two key battles faced by the Royal Navy in the early days of World War One – the Battle of Coronel which took place on November 1st 1914 and the Battle of the Falkland Islands on December 8th 1914. The Battle of Coronel, off the coast of Chile, was a triumph for German Admiral von Spee – the first defeat of the British navy for a hundred years. The retaliatory strike was instigated six weeks later by ace British tactician Admiral Fisher who sent two large battle cruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, to the South Atlantic to restore British supremacy.

Summers’ film was originally released on Armistice Day to act as a memorial to the thousands who died. Filmed on real battleships supplied by the Admiralty, this monumental production was shot mostly at sea near Malta, with the Isles of Scilly a convincing stand-in for the Falklands. (Notes by British Film Institute.)

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