Windjammer (1958 film)
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|Directed by||Bill Colleran
Louis De Rochemont III
|Produced by||Louis de Rochemont|
|Written by||James L. Shute|
|Music by||Morton Gould|
|Cinematography||Joseph C. Brun
|Edited by||Peter Ratkevich|
|Distributed by||National Theatres|
|April 8, 1958|
Windjammer is a 1958 documentary film that recorded a 17,500-nautical-mile (32,400 km) voyage of the Norwegian sail training ship Christian Radich. Windjammer was produced by Louis de Rochemont and directed by Louis de Rochemont III. It was the only film to be shot in the widescreen Cinemiracle process, which came with a seven-track stereophonic soundtrack.
The Christian Radich and its Norwegian crew were filmed while sailing from Oslo, via the island of Madeira, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, to New York City, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and then back home to Bergen in Norway.
A musical highlight through the film is the Piano Concerto of Edvard Grieg. This ties in with the narrative of the voyage because one of the sea-cadets is a piano-student who is preparing to play the concerto in Boston.
The film also features a meeting with the German ship Pamir, which sank in a hurricane in September 1957.
The world premiere was at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood on April 8, 1958 where the movie ran for 36 weeks. The East Coast premiere took place at New York's Roxy Theatre on April 9 where it was shown for 24 weeks on a special curved screen 100 by 40 feet (12 m) in size. The film was also exhibited at specially equipped cinemas in America, Canada, and Europe. Later it was shown in wide release in Cinerama theaters worldwide. It was particularly popular in the Scandinavian nations.
The film begins in non-widescreen format (1.33: 1 aspect ratio) as the crew prepares for the voyage. When the ship finally sets out (about fifteen minutes into the picture), the screen expands to Cinemiracle dimensions, virtually the same as those of Cinerama.
- Niels Arntsen, First officer
- Pablo Casals, Himself
- Arthur Fiedler, Himself
- Gunnulv Hauge, Doctor
- Nils Hermansen, Chief engineer
- Yngvar Kjelstrup, Captain
- Sven Erik Libaek, Cadet #35
- Harald Tusberg, Cadet #32
- Villiers, Alan (1958). The Story of Louis de Rochemont's Windjammer: a modern adventure in Cinemiracle. New York: Random House.