Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Movie You Might Have Missed: 40

Can a dashing pirate defeat the Spanish, serve Queen Elizabeth, and find true love? You know he can!

40. The Sea Hawk


Errol Flynn is a swashbuckling pirate in the service of Good Queen Bess. His mission: to overtake Spanish ships, steal their booty, and sink them.

Until the day he meets a lovely senorita on board ... you think you know the rest and to some extent that is true. Except that this has a more complicated plot and the actress playing Queen Elizabeth invested her with a sense of intelligence and awareness that raised the movie to a new level.

I haven't seen every Errol Flynn movie, to be sure, but this is definitely my favorite of all those I have seen. Robin Hood? Don't make me laugh. The Seahawk's the movie you need to see.

9 comments:

  1. The Sea Hawk is one of Flynn's best swash-bucklers, as is Captain Blood. Both adapted from Rafael Sabatini novels. But I wouldn't sell Robin Hood short. Its script was pretty weak next to Sabatini's work, but the acting from Flynn, Rathbone and Raines made up for the defect, I thought. Certainly it's the best film version made yet (with the arguable exception of Douglas Fairbanks').

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    1. I've gotta say that I watched Robin Hood and hated the whole thing ... the acting (hands on hips and laugh heartily everyone!), the script, just everything about it.

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  2. Richard Greene (he and Errol Flynn were great friends) is a better Robin Hood, but happily no one has to choose. Both are handsome, athletic, witty, manly, and Catholic. Unfortunately, interpretations of Robin Hood for the past generation have been sullen, pouty, so-serious, superannuated frat boys channeling Woody Allen and 1960s protest songs through the medium of poop-colored monochrome (because poop-colored monochrome is, like, y'know, artsy, and, like, stuff).

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    1. To be fair, I've never seen a Robin Hood movie I liked ... now if there had been one with Tyrone Power that might have been different. The Mark of Zorro is a far superior movie to Robin Hood.

      However, I stand by The Sea Hawk as a great Flynn movie. Haven't seen Captain Blood ... just haven't been able to get my hands on it.

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  3. Eeeeek! You don't like ROBIN HOOD? Say, are you really an American, eh? You never played with a toy bow and arrow in your childhood, never humiliated the Snidely Whiplash Sheriff of Nottingham, never made an outlaws' camp in the back yard?

    Sigh. A life wasted. Unlived. My pancreas is broken.

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    1. First of all, Robin Hood is British and in my neck of the woods when you played with bows and arrows you were playing Cowboys and Indians. Done and done.

      Secondly, I didn't say I don't like Robin Hood. I really loved Robin McKinley's book Outlaw of Sherwood. And, to be fair, Monty Python's sketch about him. But I've never seen a movie about him that I thought was a masterpiece ... or that good overall, frankly.

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  4. Did the cowboy and Indian thing too. Whoop! Of course the real Robin Hood didn't risk a Texas heat stroke or being bitten by a piney woods rattler.

    You've never seen Richard Greene, then. AND he could ride a horse!

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  5. Captain Blood is a better film, although not in Technicolor (or whatever the colorization process was for The Sea Hawk). I echo your sentiment on Robin Hood, although I liked it when I was a kid and saw it on the local TV's afternoon movie. :)

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    1. The Sea Hawk I saw was black and white so I luckily escaped the colorized version.

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