Dr. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is accused of treason during the Monmouth Rebellion. Blood is sold into slavery in Port Royal, Jamaica, where he comes under the watchful eye of Colonel Bishop (Lionel Atwill) and his daughter, Arabella (Olivia de Havilland), who he falls in love with. Blood leads a rebellion against the colonel and takes to the seas to make a career off plundering ships as the most feared pirate of the seven seas.
"Captain Blood" was the second of three big-screen adaptations of Rafael Sabatini's popular adventure novel. I have never the book, but if its anything like this move version, it is great fun. "Captain Blood" is an immensely entertaining adventure film, and surely one of the finest epics I have ever come across. What is most surprising about the film is Errol Flynn, who at the time of the movie's production, was a relative unknown. The actor's prior credits included a few supporting roles and cameos and only one lead - as Fletcher Christian, leader of the mutiny aboard the H.M.S Bounty in "In The Wake of the Bounty," a 1933 Australian film never released in the United States. Warner Bros. was certainly taking a risk casting Flynn as the lead in this movie. The same applies to Olivia de Havilland as Arabella Bishop. "Captain Blood" was only her third film.
|Basil Rathbone (right) in a duel to the death with Errol Flynn|
in 1935's "Captain Blood"
"Captain Blood" is I think the pirate film to end all pirate films. Later in life, Errol Flynn would take to the seven seas as a pirate in 1940's "The Sea Hawk," which is a fine film in its own right, but it cannot possibly eclipse "Captain Blood." It is such a great adventure film and one which I highly recommend to anyone.
Coming Next Time: Its another swashbuckler - "The Mark of Zorro"