Filled Under: *Movies Adventure
THE MOST MAGNIFICENT & THRILLING SEA ADVENTURE EVER FILMED
(original print ad for “Captain Blood” – 1935)
“Captain Blood” is a 1935 swashbuckling film made by First National Pictures and Warner Brothers. It was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Harry Joe Brown and Gordon Hollingshead with Hal B. Wallis as executive producer. The screenplay, written by Casey Robinson, is based on the novel of the same name by Rafael Sabatini. It features a stirring musical score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. (“Captain Blood” was first film to feature a musical score by Korngold who went on to become one of Hollywood’s greatest composers.) The movie stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland with Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone, Ross Alexander, Guy Kibbee, and Henry Stephenson,. Some of the impressive sea-battle footage was taken from the silent classic “The Sea Hawk” (1924). “Captain Blood” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and, despite not being nominated, director Michael Curtiz received the second-greatest number of votes for Best Director, solely as a write-in candidate. The film also recieved Academy Award nominations for Music (Scoring), Sound Recording (Nathan Levinson) and Writing (Screenplay).
In seventeenth century England, Irish Dr. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is arrested during the Monmouth Rebellion and falsely convicted of treason. He is banished to the West Indies and sold into slavery. In Port Royal, Jamaica the Governor’s daughter Arabella Bishop (Olivia De Havilland) buys him to spite her uncle, Col. Bishop (Lionel Atwill) who owns a major plantation. Life is hard for the men and for Blood as well. By chance he treats the Governor’s gout and is soon part of the medical service. He dreams of freedom and when the opportunity arrises, he and his friends rebel, taking over a Spanish ship that has attacked the city. Soon, they are the most feared pirates on the seas, men without a country attacking all ships. When Arabella and royal emissary Lord Willoughby (Henry Stephenson) are captured by Blood’s treacherous partner Captain Levasseur (Basil Rathbone), Blood rescues them. He decides to return her to Port Royal only to find that it is under the control of England’s new enemy, France. All of them must decide if they are to fight for their new King.
“Captain Blood” was a big gamble for Warner Brothers in 1935. It was an expensive production, costing one million without any household names as both Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland became stars only after the film’s release. It was the first of eight films co-starring De Havilland and Flynn. In his biography, “My Wicked, Wicked Ways” Errol Flynn (an infamous prankster) states that he played many pranks on Olivia de Havilland during the filming of the movie. One of them was leaving a dead snake in her underwear drawer, which she found when she went to put them on. After that she lived in terror of what prank he would pull on her next.
Errol Flynn was so nervous during the initial shooting that director Michael Curtiz had to re-shoot his early scenes much later into the production, by which time Flynn had gained a level of confidence. Although they worked together a total of twelve times, Errol Flynn and Michael Curtiz disliked each other intensely.
“Captain Blood” Trailer
THEY LIVE AGAIN! DAUNTLESS MEN and WOMEN WHO KEPT AMERICA UNCONQUERED!
(original movie ad for “Unconquered”)
“Unconquered” (1947 – Paramount) is an adventure film produced and directed by the legendary Cecil B. DeMille and stars Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, Howard da Silva, and Boris Karlov. It is based on Neil Swanson’s “Unconquered”, a Novel of the Pontiac Conspiracy.
The story focuses on “Abby” Hale (Paulette Goddard), who is condemned to death by a British court, then offered clemency if she will become an indentured servant in America. She is bought and freed by militiaman Chris Holden (Gary Cooper). However, Martin Garth (Howard Da Silva), who is a supplier of illegal arms to the Indians, has other plans for Abby and manages to rebuy her. He takes Abby to the western frontier where she toils daily in a tavern as his servant. Chris rescues Abby and takes her in while Martin goads powerful Seneca Indian chief Guyasuta (Boris Karloff) to attack the colonists. Chris and Abby must contend with the warring Senecas, with Martin, and with their feelings for each other. They fight the wilderness surrounding them, escaping everything from Indian massacres and death-defying waterfalls to burning stakes and political ambush. Through it all DeMille manages to capture the determination of American colonists with his trademark air of spectacle and action-packed peril.
“The King’s Law moves with the king’s muskets, and there are very few King’s muskets west of the alleghenies.” – Martin Garth
Athos (Van Heflin): “To die among friends. Can a man ask more? Can the world offer less? Who wants to live ’till the last bottle is empty? It’s all-for one, d’Artagnan, and one for all.”
“Three Musketeers” (1948) is a star studded MGM adaptation of the classic novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The cast reads like a who’s who of grade ‘A’ stars from that era: Lana Turner as Lady de Winter, Gene Kelly as d’Artagnan, June Allyson as Constance Bonacieux, Van Heflin as Athos, Angela Lansbury as Queen Anne, Frank Morgan as King Louis XIII, Vincent Price as Cardinal Richelieu, Keenan Wynn as Planchet, John Sutton as the Duke of Buckingham, Gig Young as Porthos, Robert Coote as Aramis, Reginald Owen as Treville, Ian Keith as Rochefort (Richelieu’s chief henchman), Patricia Medina as Kitty (Lady de Winter’s maid), and Richard Stapley as Albert.
Gene Kelly, in a non-singing non-dancing role, is very good as D’Artagnan, as he shows off his athletism with amazing action and swordplay sequences and even though he has many serious scenes, Kelly’s personality shows as he is able to bring humor into his role when needed. Lana Turner is also very good as the beautiful but cold and deadly Lady de Winter. In this version, Constance Bonacieux is the goddaughter of D’Artagan’s landlord and she is beautifully portrayed by June Allyson. Allyson’s and Turner’s scenes together towards the end of the movie are very suspenseful and tragic, and are among the movie’s best. Vincent Price is well cast as the strong Cardinal Richelieu and convincingly delivers one of the best lines in the movie as he whispers in the king’s ear, “I am the State your Majesty. I am France!” The acting by the rest of the cast is also well done!
Filmed in technicolor and directed by George Sidney, the movie is fast paced, with expert action scenes and great swordplay. Energetic, romantic, humorous, tragic, and suspenseful, this adaptation of “Three Musketeers” is one of the best ever done.
Seas Ablaze…with black villainy, with fiery romance, with breathless deeds of daring…in the roaring era of Love, Gold and Adventure!
“The Black Swan“ (1942) is a swashbuckling, high seas, action packed, technicolor film directed by Henry King. The movie stars Tyrone Power as pirate Jamie Waring and Maureen O’Hara as the Lady Margaret Denby with Laird Cregar, Thomas Mitchell, George Sanders, and Anthony Quinn.
After England and Spain make peace, notorious pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) is persuaded to give up “pirating” and is made Governor of Jamaica, with orders to rid the Caribbean of his former comrades, by persuasion or force if necessary. Morgan convinces Captain Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power) and his lieutenant, Tom Blue (Thomas Mitchell), to also give up their old ways and join him, but others of the Pirate Brotherhood, such as Captain Billy Leech (George Sanders) and Wogan (Anthony Quinn), refuse to change. Captain Waring falls in love with The Lady Margaret Denby (Maureen O’Hara), who happens to be inconveniently engaged to an English gentleman, Roger Ingram (Edward Ashlei). As it turns out, her fiancé is a traitor and is secretly providing information about ship sailings to the unrepentant pirates. When Morgan is unable to stop the pirating ways of his old shipmates, he is suspected of still being allied with them. It is up to Waring to set sail to find out the truth and stop the renegade pirates led by Captain Leech and Wogan.
Jamie(Tyrone Power): “You can lower your pistols, Lady Margaret.”
Margaret Denby (Maureen O’Hara): “Unfortunately, I have no pistols.”
Jamie: “Your eyes. I’ve looked into pistol barrels that are warmer.”
Capt. Sir Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar): “I wish my nature hadn’t changed. I’d have made that whole assembly walk the plank.”
Capt. Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power): “Can’t go wrong drowning politicians, Henry.”