Even 1907 filmgoers were aware that most of the "thrills" in Tale of the Sea had been faked for the benefit of the camera. The hero, a common seaman, saves a cabin boy from being whipped by a brutish first mate. Thrown into irons, the seaman is released by the grateful cabin boy. The two escape by lifeboat, landing on an island inhabited by cannibals. The two protagonists save themselves by scaring off the savages with the sounds from a phonograph record. In the final shot, the seaman is shown returning to the bosom of his family, but how he escaped the island is never made clear.
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