Flynn and De Havilland in one of the best pirate movies of all time…
‘Captain Blood’ made stars of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland when it was released, both winning their roles by default when other casting attempts failed. It’s a rousing pirate adventure tale, told as only Rafael Sabatini in his novel could do. Aside from a splendid script, it has Michael Curtiz at the directorial helm and Erich Wolfgang Korngold supplying the stirring background music. The Flynn-de Havilland-Korngold-Curtiz package would be repeated many times by Warner Bros. since the ingredients proved a smash hit, most notably in ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’.
Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is a physician wrongly accused of being a traitor and sent to the West Indies into a life of slavery. He is purchased at the auction block by a spirited beauty (Olivia de Havilland) whose father happens to be the Governor (Lionel Atwil). When he leads other prisoners in an escape plan and succeeds, he becomes a pirate on the high seas. Eventually he is involved in a fight, a duel to the death with another pirate (Basil Rathbone) in order to win the fair heroine. The climactic duel between Flynn and Rathbone is on par with their other famous duel in ‘Robin Hood’.
Fans of either Errol Flynn or Olivia de Havilland cannot fail to enjoy this romantic adventure done in the grand style by a studio that knew it had two future stars in the making.