1940, USA, Michael Curtiz
The first thing to strike me about The Sea Hawk once the lights came up was that the pirates in the film spent more time on land than on the high seas. Tromping through the Mexican jungle is not exactly what I’d call swashbuckling material, but no matter–classic movie fun none-the-less.
I think it’s safe to say the term “dreamboat” was coined for actors like Erroll Flynn in movies just like this. He is oh-so handsome and oh-so charming as Captain Thorpe. Working as a Sea Hawk privateer on behalf of England and Queen Elizabeth I, collecting riches from the evil scheming Spanish, Thorpe is the Robin Hood of the bounding main. With a crew of character actors on and off the ship (Alan Hale, Claude Raines, Donald Crisp, Una O’Connor and Flora Robson), costumes and sets that probably maxed the budget, and a rousing score by Erich Korngold from start-to-finish, this made for great Sunday matinee fare this past weekend. [****]