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Friday, 6 July 2012

Captain Blood (1935)

Star of the month... Olivia de Havilland

Errol Flynn as Captain Blood
Captain Blood is a 1936 swashbuckler directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone. The supporting cast features Ross Alexander, Guy Kibbee, Donald Meek, J. Carrol Naish and Mary Forbes.

Based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini, Warner Bros. took a gamble on this film by casting two unknown stars, Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn, making overnight stars of both of them. This was also the first of eight films de Havilland and Flynn co-starred in. 

Watch the trailer:

Olivia de Havilland with Errol Flynn
Irish physician Peter Blood (played by Flynn) is mistaken as a slave, and in an attempt to escape is forced to become a pirate, Captain Blood. Along the way he meets the beautiful Arabella Bishop (played by de Havilland) and battles the evil Captain Levasseur (played by Rathbone).

Did you know...

  • This film is sometimes shown on TV in a computer coloured version
  • Robert Donat turned the role of Captain Blood - other actors considered include Clark Gable, Ronald Coleman and George Brent
  • Actor Ross Alexander committed suicide shortly after the film was released
  • Some of the sea-battle footage was taken from the film 'The Sea Hawk' (1924)

Award nominations

  • Academy Award nomination for Best Picture
  • Academy Award nomination for Best Music (Scoring)
  • Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Recording
  • Academy Award nomination for Best Writing (Screenplay)

Closing remarks
Errol Flynn shot to stardom in this film, his first swashbuckler, presenting exciting battles on the high seas and action-packed fencing duels with a dash of romance. The romantic leads are complimented with Basil Rathbone, the ultimate villain of the 1930s whom moviegoers loved to hate. The musical score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold is effective in expressing the emotions of the films. Overall a good film, though it can be a little slow at times.

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