The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands will be available to watch on BFI Player for free on Armistice Day.
The BFI’s new restoration of the silent film, which was made in 1927, premiered at the London Film Festival on 16th October, when it was also released simultaneously on its video on-demand service, BFI Player. It is accompanied by a newly commissioned score, composed by Simon Dobson and performed by The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines.
The little-known film, directed by Walter Summers, depicts two significant battles in the First World War. The first, Coronel, took place on 1st November 1914 and saw the Germans sink two British ships: HMS Monmouth and HMS Good Hope. More than 1,500 souls perished, prompting a retaliatory strike six weeks later by British tactician Admiral Fisher who sent two large battle cruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, to the South Atlantic to restore British supremacy.
Filmed on battleships supplied by the Admiralty with no models or trick photography, Summers’ film is shot through with realism, excitement and – most of all – respect for both sides of the battle. It’s a rousing war movie and a tribute to all those who fought in the conflict of WWI.
The film was originally released on Armistice Day to act as a memorial to the thousands who died in conflict. On 11th November 2014, when the world remembers the fallen 100 years after the outbreak of World War One, it will be free to view in its entirety on BFI Player – for 24 hours from 11.02am.
The film is usually available to rent for £10. To access the film for free tomorrow, visit player.bfi.org.uk and enter the voucher code Poppy11.
For more on the film, read our review here.