The Cruise of the Jasper B (December 13, 1926)
Released on December 13, 1926: A young man must marry on board the Jasper B on his twenty fifth birthday like his lusty pirate ancestor did many years ago or lose the family fortune in this chick-flick comedy produced by Cecil B. DeMille.
Directed by James W. Horne
Written by Tay Garnett, John W. Krafft and Zelda Sears.
The Actors: Rod La Rocque (Jerry Cleggett), Mildred Harris Chaplin (Agatha Fairhaven), Snitz Edwards (Reginald Maltravers), Jack Ackroyd (Wiggins), Otto Lederer (the auctioneer), James T. Mack (assistant auctioneer), Billy Engle (little mover), Charlie Hall (mover), Fred Kelsey (bailiff), Tiny Sandford (the large mover), Philip Sleeman (mail truck robber).
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Sexy Cecil B. DeMille Romantic Comedy
The accent is on 'comedy' but the girls will enjoy the stud-muffin torso of heart-throb Rod La Rocque today almost as much as movie patrons did in 1926. This amazing comedy begins with a look back two hundred years when Pirate Jeremiah Cleggett fights the pirate captain and takes not only the fair maiden but also possession of the pirate ship and all of the treasure aboard. Pirate Cleggett declares that every Cleggett boy must get married on his twenty fifth birthday aboard the Jasper B, just as he did. Fast forward to present day 1926 and we discover that the pirate ship Jasper B is being turned into a floating restaurant. Not only that, but Jerry Clegget the eighth is a young handsome devil who is about to turn twenty five. His faithful manservant Wiggins warns him that he must marry by 3pm or lose the family fortune. Indeed auctioneers are already selling all of the household goods, including Jerry's clothes, so he must romp through much of this comedy wearing only a small towel, much to the delight of the women bidding on the household goods.
In the mansion next door the wealthy owner has just died and left his vast fortune to his niece Agatha Fairhaven, but the old man's nurse gives the will to evil cousin Reginald Maltravers, played by Snitz Edwards. The evil cousin destroys the will so that he might inherit the fortune instead of the young girl, but alas before he can tear up the will it floats into the room where Agatha is bathing, and it lands on her naked wet back, and the ink makes a perfect reverse copy on her back. When the evil cousin discovers that there is a perfect copy on her back, he chases her with the intention of washing it off of her. She runs into the mansion next door and discovers the almost naked Jerry Cleggett and it is love at first sight. When evil cousin comes in Jerry orders his manservant Wiggins to soak the man and get rid of him. Wiggins thinks he says to croak the man, so he proceeds to kill him and put him in a pine box. Then the comedy reaches epic proportions as Jerry, Agatha, Wiggins and the pine box with Reginald in it head for the Jasper B to have a wedding before 3pm. Now, I've watched my share of comedies, as you probably have, but for my money the car ride from the mansion to the Jasper B is one of the funniest, most complicated comedy scenes that I have ever, ever, ever watched. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter on it and get ready for the laugh-filled adventure of a lifetime from legendary producer Cecil B. DeMille.
Oh, and while you watch, take a good look at the leading lady in this movie, Mildred Harris, who was 25 years old when this movie was filmed. When she was 17 years old she married 29 year old Charlie Chaplin, and within days of their divorce in 1921 entered into a relationship with Edward, Prince of Wales, who would later become King Edward VIII. In 1930 Mildred Harris would introduce her friend Wallis Simpson to the King, who would soon give up his throne to marry the commoner from America, living the rest of their lives as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Small world, even in the 1920's.
Jack Ackroyd and Rod La Rocque
Jack Ackroyd holds on for dear life as the car runs driverless towards the bay
Jack Ackroyd as Wiggins in Cruise of the Jasper B
Mildred Chaplin Harris as Agatha Fairhaven
Mildred Harris is about to meet Rod La Rocque
Mildred Harris and Rod La Rocque in The Cruise of the Jasper B
Mildred Chaplin Harris discovers that her uncle's fortune will be left to her
Mildred Chaplin Harris spots her evil cousin chasing her
Otto Lederer and James T. Mack
Otto Lederer as the autioneer discovers that Rod La Rocque is still in the bed he is selling
Pirate Cleggett kisses his maiden Mildred Harris
Rod La Rocque as ancestor pirate Jeremiah Cleggett
Rod La Rocque spies the fair maiden being attacked by the captain of the pirate ship
Rod La Rocque, as Jerry Cleggett, proposes to Mildred Harris
Snitz Edwards as Reginald Maltravers
Snitz Edwards teeters on a falling ladder
The Jasper B as a pirate ship in 1725
Rod La Rocque, trying to find some clothes to wear