CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935) B/W 120m dir: Michael Curtiz
w/Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, Ross Alexander, Guy Kibbee, Henry Stephenson, George Hassell, Forrester Harvey, Frank McGlynn Sr.
From The Movie Guide: "Flynn's star-making swashbuckler is right on target. Based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini, CAPTAIN BLOOD concerns the adventures of a young Brit surgeon who turns buccaneer after unjust persecution. The film had been originally earmarked for Robert Donat whose recurrent asthma convinced Jack Warner to gamble on Flynn. The unknown de Havilland also scored as love interest, and despite a tight budget, Curtiz contributed a lush production. Highlight is the trademark duel between Flynn and Rathbone.
"Mindful that his two novice stars might bomb, wily Jack Warner decided not to build full-scale sailing ships for the many action scenes. To represent the bombardment, naval battles, and sinking of ships, technicians built several model ships 18 feet long, with 16-foot masts, and the battles were fought in a studio tank. Even the town of Port Royal was built in miniature. Clips from silent films (First National's 1924 SEA HAWK and Vitagraph's 1923 CAPTAIN BLOOD) were used to show full-scale ships in battle. The main decks of two ships were constructed on a soundstage for the life-size action, and on-location scenes were made along the California coastline.
"Almost from the day of CAPTAIN BLOOD's release, Flynn was a Hollywood star, a favorite with a public that would forever see him as the great swashbuckler, a perception that he lived up to in one adventure film after another. BLOOD not only served to introduce Flynn as a stellar lead, but brought critical acclaim as well to lovely 19-year-old de Havilland, who carries off her part with great maturity and sophistication. She and the dashing Flynn eventually appeared together in eight films. Curtiz, the master of adventure films who shot every scene as if it were a cavalry charge, directed a total of nine Flynn epics, and Erich Wolfgang Kornbgold, whose rich and resonant scores set the musical standard for such spectacular films, composed seven scores for Flynn epics."
The final shot of the film, featuring a close shot of the two stars, is one of FilmFrog's personal favorite movie moments from the classical Hollywood era.