Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sea Hawk (1940)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson, Alan Hale, Henry Daniell, Una O'Connor, James Stephenson, Gilbert Roland

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Dashing . . . romantic . . . Errol Flynn at his thrilling best!

Plot: Captain Geoffrey Thorpe is a privateer, one of several Sea Hawks, who on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I keep the shipping lanes open. When he sinks a Spanish galleon carrying the new Spanish ambassador to England, Don José Alvarez de Cordoba and his niece Doña Maria, the Queen is displeased since they are not at war. Thorpe and his kind are very wary of Spain and urge the Queen to build up the fleet. With the Queen's tacit approval, Thorpe goes to Panama to capture his enemies treasure but they are betrayed. Brought before a Spanish court, he and his men are sentenced to the galleys as slaves. He manages to escape with proof that the Spanish Armada will sail against England.

My rating: 10/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my absolute favorite pirate movie. There will probably never be another that will top it. It's loaded with action, romance, action, swordplay, and even more action. If you don't fall in love with Flynn based on this movie alone then you're probably no longer breathing. I would get a sex change to have Erroll Flynn's babies. That's how awesome and charismatic this cat is in this picture. The dialogue is so choice. Every word that comes out of Thorpe's (Flynn) mouth is pitch perfect and Flynn knows how to deliver every syllable with such grace and ease that it almost sounds like music. And how about those exchanges between Thorpe and the Queen (played by Flora Robson who, by the way, plays her part to a tee. The underlying sexual tones are so juicy and fun.

The pacing, photography, sets, costumes, everything comes together to make one hell of a rousing pirated adventure. But one of my favorite aspects is Erich Wolfgang Korngold's rousing orchestral score. WOW! Just like his music for another Flynn vehicle, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938), this one delivers fun and pure escapism in spades. I can just see myself sailing the Seven Seas with his music blaring on the speakers across the deck. It's so inspiring that I'd probably bust out a sword and start hacking at shit only to be promptly arrested for trying to skewer some of the more scurvy-doggged-looking passengers. This is why the Carnival Cruise line has me at the top of their shit list. Someday I'll be on a cruise ship that will pass one of theirs in the night and I'll convince the crew to steer near her so we can board her and exact my revenge. Yarrrrrrrrrr!

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