The third film produced by Federal Socialist Studios was The Weehawken, a swashbuckling action adventure film set in the 16th century and inspired by the 1940 Warner Bros. film The Seahawk. Operating on a shoestring budget—and given that Rocaterrania is a landlocked nation –the filmmakers used miniature ship models “in a pan of water” to render the oceangoing scenes.
Kuhler loved movies, and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of American cinema prior to 1980. Claude Rains, who stars in The Seahawk, was one of Kuhler’s favorite actors. He first saw Rains in the role of Enrique Claudin in the 1943 version of Phantom of the Opera, the film that inspired Kuhler to build a homemade violin, teach himself to play, and create the Schwartz Opera House in Rocaterrania.
The Seahawk (1940), directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Errol Flynn and Claude Rains. The title was inspired by a 1924 painting by Renaldo’s father Otto Kuhler (River, Railroad, Rock) depicting the Weehawken railroad yards in New Jersey.