Dorothy Mackaill and Richard Barthelmess


Directed by                 John S. Robertson
Produced by               Richard Barthelmess
Scenario                      Josephine Lovett
Based on                      the play Shore Leave by Hubert Osborne
Starring                       Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Mackaill
Cinematography         Roy Overbaugh, Stewart Nelson
Editing by                    William Hamilton
Distributed by             First National Pictures
Release date                September 6, 1925
Running time              90 minutes
Country                       US
Language                     Silent film


This film is part of our series 'Hidden Gems'. It can be watched by registered users who make a donation. For more details, please click here.


We have included this film in our program to illustrate the work and contributions of our star director John S. Robertson.


"Shore Leave" is a nice romantic story.  "Bilge" Smith (Richard Barthelmess), a tough sailor, meets Connie Martin (Dorothy Mackaill), a seamstress in a small harbor who has never had a boyfriend.  Connie is instantly smitten.  She invites Smith to dinner, where he dances with her and gives her a kiss.  Connie has a hard time letting him go, and makes him promise that he will come back.

Connie's father, a sea captain, left her a ship which ended up stuck in the mud in India.  Now that she thinks she has a skipper for it, Connie sells her valuables, brings back the ship and restores it.  Surprisingly, the ship's cargo makes her a wealthy woman. She then writes a letter to the Navy, inquiring about a sailor by the name of Smith.  The response is disappointing, as there are 2600 sailors with this last name. 

After two years the ships come back to the small harbor.  Connie does not see her Smith, so she hatches a plan to find him.  She invites to her ship for a party all sailors named Smith.  When they meet again, "Bilge" Smith does not recognize Connie and she is heartbroken.  After a while remembers her, and seeing how serious she is about him, is at the point of proposing.  However, when he learns that she owns the ship, Smith backs off and leaves, refusing to live off a rich woman.

In her desperation to win him back Connie writes letters to all Smiths in the Navy, saying that she has lost the ship and is reduced to poverty.  "Bilge" Smith quits the Navy and goes back to her, only to find out that she didn't really lose the ship, but put it in trust instead.  He feels tricked and is about to leave again, refusing to live off a rich woman.

Will Connie be able to keep him from leaving this time?

Here are just a few of the reviews for this film:

"Shore Leave" is the best picture released in a long time.  The romance of a tough gob and a spinster is told with rare deftness by John Robertson. (Photoplay)
"Shore Leave" is a charming sea story excellently done.  (Motion Picture Magazine)


The Film enjoys a very strong rating in IMDB.


Shore Leave (1925) on IMDb


Click to enlarge:


   Dorothy Mackaill and Richard Barthelmess


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Below is a short preview of the film.