This film is part of Free

Rocky Shore

The hypnotic spectacle of waves breaking over rocks

Non-Fiction 1896 Silent


This attractively composed one-shot film offers viewers an uncomplicated view of waves crashing against rocks. The subject of the sea was a common one in early cinema: the unpredictable nature of waves was a perfect subject for showing off the accurate recreations now possible with film. We know from our own experiences how hypnotic it can be to watch waves break, and the film captures something of that quality; such a sight projected on a large screen would have been a captivating spectacle for early audiences.

This film may be one of a series shot in Spain and Portugal in 1896 by the cameraman Henry Short for RW Paul, whose famous Rough Sea at Dover premiered the same year. The proliferation of sea films indicates that they were particularly popular with Victorian audiences.