The Swedish historical drama The Great John Ericsson was better known to English-speaking filmgoers as Victor of Hampton Roads. The great Scandinavian director Victor Sjostrom plays the title character, a celebrated 19th-century Swedish inventor. Ericsson's fame rests largely on his development of a steel-armored, manned submarine, which took shape during the American Civil War as the ironclad vessel <I>Monitor</I>. The film's highlight is the battle between the <I>Monitor</I> and <I>Merrimac</I>, though the producers seem more interested in the romantic subplot involving a Confederate lieutenant and a Southern belle. Filmed to commemorate the Swedish-American Tercentenary, The Great John Ericsson could very well have served as one of the sources for the 1990 TV movie The Rose and the Jackal, which also spotlighted the <I>Monitor-Merrimac</I> confrontation.
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