Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sea Hawk (1940)

8.5/10 - One of the best Errol Flynn films. Opens with a rousing naval/pirate battle and ends with a classic sword fight with the main villain, played with delicious malice by Henry Daniell, who, it turns out couldn't handle a sword at all, so everything was filmed in long shots, with doubles, using shadows, etc. Still, Curtiz and his editor did a great job of putting the sequence together. I enjoyed the plot of this one, and the scenes between Flynn and Flora Robson, who does an terrific job as Queen Elizabeth, are worth the price of admission. Sadly, the film is missing Olivia de Haviland - the female lead being played by Brenda Marshall, who does okay but lacks Olivia's spunk. (Marshall went on to William Holden the following year.) Great score by Korngold. Claude Rains, Alan Hale and Una O'Connor all return from Robin Hood. It's a lot of fun, although it certainly portrays the Spaniards as evil and treacherous. Unless, of course, they were half-English like the heroine. Would love to see this and some of the other Errol Flynn films on a big screen.

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