The classic template for all the pirate movies to come after it.
Its amazing how effective the battle scenes are without any CGI !
(I would love to have seen the 16 foot long models they used.)
This is not only a good film but also a good CD. Be sure to watch the extras,
and the CD is put together as if one is attending the movies in 1935, complete with newsreel & a cartoon. This was the first major American role for both Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
The documentary about the making of Captain Blood is quite informative, but a bit misleading about Ross Alexander and the reasons for his later suicide. This occurred 13 months after his first wife's suicide (also an actress), when he was heavily in debt & Warner Brothers was reducing the significance of his roles.
Captain Blood is based on a novel by Rafael Sabitini (1875-1950), the
illegitimate son of the English Anna Trafford and the Italian Vincenzo Sabatini, both opera singers. Among his first major publications was Scaramouche, followed in 1922 with Captain Blood; Sea Hawk in 1924; of his works, 21 were adapted to screen or TV.
The first lines from Scaramouche grace his headstone:
"He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad."
Warner Brothers couldn't have picked a better actor to play "Captain Blood" in the 1935 swashbuckler. As Captain Peter Blood he takes over the movie as a daring pirate. It was his first big role and it led to all the other great Errol Flynn action movies. Olivia de Havilland plays Arabella Bishop who purchases Errol Flynn after he was captured. Basil Rathbone plays a ruthless pirate and has a great duel with Errol Flynn. Directed by Michael Curtiz he should get credit for the great cast he assembled. He also took a rookie actor in Errol Flynn and trained him to command the screen. This is a wonderful movie that they just don't make any more. High adventure on the high seas!
Generally speaking, Errol Flynn is the sort of actor that game-changing performers Montgomery Clift, James Dean and the explosive Marlon Brando rendered obsolete-- next to the revolutionary likes of them his style of acting might seem mannered and old-fashioned.
But besides being one of the great male beauties of classic American cinema (and one of its rowdiest--his sexual carousing sometimes got him into trouble, inspiring the sardonic catchphrase "In Like Flynn"), Errol Flynn was also a fine actor who brought magnetic charm, a commanding presence, and masculine grace to the right role. "Captain Blood" is his first major film and it made him a star at age 26.
Flynn has been called the most poetic of the Golden Age male stars, and upon his death in 1959 was memorialized by studio mogul Jack Warner as "all the heroes in one sexy, animal package."
Watch this film (and then move on to "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk" and "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex") to see why.
Amazing movie! Captain Blood forever!!!
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