Thundering Dawn

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Thundering Dawn
Thundering Dawn lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Harry Garson
Produced by Harry Garson
Written by Raymond L. Schrock
Lenore Coffee
John Goodrich
Starring J. Warren Kerrigan
Anna Q. Nilsson
Thomas Santschi
CinematographyCharles Richardson
Louis Physioc
Elmer Ellsworth
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • November 5, 1923 (1923-11-05)
Running time
7 reels
CountryUnited States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Thundering Dawn lobby card Thundering Dawn lobby card 3.jpg
Thundering Dawn lobby card

Thundering Dawn is a 1923 American silent film directed and produced by Harry Garson. The story was originally written by John Blackwood and was adapted by Universal City scenario editor, Raymond L. Schrock. Lenore Coffee and John Goodrich are also credited for working on the screenplay. The film stars J. Warren Kerrigan, Anna Q. Nilsson, and Thomas Santschi. It was released on November 5, 1923. Before settling on Thundering Dawn, the film had two working titles; Havoc and The Bond of the Ring. [1]



A young man by the name of Jack Standish (played by J. Warren Kerrigan) disappears on the eve of his marriage after the discovery of a financial scandal involving his father, John Standish (played by Winter Hall). In order to protect his father from public disgrace, Jack suddenly flees Boston and thus takes the fall. The young Bostonian ends up fleeing to Java and inevitably succumbs to the lure of the tropics. Months later, his fiance, Mary Rogers (played by Anna Q. Nilsson) follows him to Java in hopes of bringing him home. Once Mary finds him, she is faced with the challenge of reviving him, both mentally and physically. Her task becomes more difficult when a native by the name of Lullaby Lou (played by Winifred Bryson), and a Dutch trader by the name of Gordon Van Brock (played by Thomas Santschi) try to interfere with the couple. Mary and Jack are able to escape when a tropical storm hits and spawns a typhoon that destroys the coastal settlement. [2] [3] [4]



Lobby card Thundering Dawn lobby card 2.jpg
Lobby card

The typhoon scene at the end of the film was shot at the Garson Studio. Forty-six thousand gallons of water was used, along with twelve wind machines which swirled the water around and flooded the Garson Studio. Harry Garson had eight cameras capturing the scene. Lenore Ulrich, who was the star of a David Belasco film, visited the set on the day they filmed this particular scene and said, "It was the most wonderful thing I've ever seen, either on stage or in a studio." [5]


While Thundering Dawn is presumed to be a lost film, a copy of its trailer is held by the Library of Congress. [6]

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  1. The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Volume One, Part One. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1981. p. 811.
  2. "Thundering Dawn with tropical set, opens Palace today". Historical Newspaper. January 20, 1924.
  3. "Plunges right into heart of his story". Historical Newspaper. August 8, 1923.
  4. "Thundering Dawn, Next at Miller's". Historical Newspaper. November 16, 1923.
  5. "Typhoon thrills Lenore". Historical Newspaper. June 16, 1923.
  6. Progressive Silent Film List: Thundering Dawn at