Friday, June 1, 2012

The Sky Monster -- June 1, 2012

Moving Picture World 02-May-1914

LZ 11, the Viktoria Luise, was a passenger-carrying Zeppelin operated by DELAG before World War One. She was requisitioned by the Germany Army during the war. The Imperator was an ocean liner operated by the Hamburg America Line (HAPAG). After the war, Cunard took her over as a war reparation and operated her as the RMS Berengaria. says that this film was "Originally a German drama on Zeppelins and their possible use in war; reedited and retitled and released as The Sky Monster by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated [Universal Special] in 1914."

The article is  from the 30-May-1914 issues of Moving Picture World

The Sky Monster (Four Parts)

Walter Johnson, a New York millionaire, decides to aid his friend and incidentally reimburse himself and secure a large wager by flying from America to Europe and return in the given period of three days.

It seems that Johnson's friend, Mr Parker, is in love with a music hall star named Gerdie Belle, who has left America to appear in Europe.  Johnson bets his friend $100,000 that he will have the lady in question in American within three days from the time of his departure, and accordingly arranges his dirigible, Keppelin (Zeppelin- JT) Victoria Luise, for the flight across the Atlantic.  Johnson embarks, and after an uneventful flight, arrives in Berlin in 17 hours, where after considerable difficulty he finally locates Gerdie Belle in a moving picture studio in Berlin.  She suddenly leaves, however, for Russia, where she is to appear in a musical comedy, and there is nothing to do but for Johnson to follow her in his air craft.  He arrives in time for the opening performance, and takes Gerdie Belle into his confidence, but she refuses to be inveigled into the plot.  by means of a bottle of chloral, Johnson succeeds in carrying her off bodily and after an exciting chase though the wilds of Russia, he finally outdistances the Cossacks who are pursuing them, and takes her aboard his "Sky Monster."

The heroine recovers consciousness and finds herself a prisoner in Johnson's keeping, as the dirigible is now on its way towards New York. Far in the distance the continent is gradually disappearing from view and Gerdie Belle, realizing the folly of continuing to be cold toward her captor finally softens her heart toward his advances.

Everything points towards a successful arrival in America, but in his hurry, Johnson has forgotten to fill his tank with gasoline, and they find themselves stranded on the Atlantic, midway between America and Europe, without fuel.   Luck is again with him, however, for looking in the distance they see the "Imperator," queen of the seas, approaching.  They immediately get in wireless communication and tell her of their plight, and she comes to the rescue.  We see the gigantic sky monster hovering over the largest vessel afloat, and they take on a goodly supply of gasoline, and depart.  Later the "Victoria Luise" runs into the iceberg zone, and as the cold air causes her gas to lose its buoyancy, she settles on the ocean, in danger of being wrecked any minute.  Again the airship is on its way, making all haste toward the shores of the land of liberty.

About 10 o'clock on the third day, when the "Victoria Luise" is ploughing through space at 280 miles an hour, a spot appears on the horizon and by means of her searchlight she is enabled to pick up the small crafts on the shore front of the great Atlantic.  She is now approaching Barnegate, and turning her head northward, steers for New York at all possible haste, for seconds are now valuable.  They pass along the coast by Sandy Hook and arrive at Governor's Island with only a few minutes to spare.  We see the millionaire's club, with Mr Parker surrounded by his friends, looking at his watch and rubbing his hands with glee, because already feels sure he has won the wager.  But he is mistaken, because promptly at 12 the door opens and Johnson, who has now won the heart of his lady love, enters amid cheers.  Parker feels that even though he has lost money he at least has a chance to win the heart of Gerdie Belle, for little does he suspect that Johnson has already won his way into the famous beauty's heart.  There is nothing left but praise and a promise to attend the wedding of the first man to cross the Atlantic in three days and the world's famous beauty, Gerdie Belle. 

Moving Picture World 16-May-1914
Moving Picture World 23-May-1914
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