Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Captain Blood


One of the all-time great swashbucklers. Errol Flynn got lucky when landing this part after several more famous actors had to turn it down. It made him a big star, and it’s east to see why. He is absolutely magnetic, and so is his co-star Olivia de Havilland. There is a long action scene with pirates attacking a town which will remind everyone who has been to Disneyland of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride there. Except for the fact that no one is singing “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” and they are actually killing a few people, it’s a dead ringer, and I’m sure the imagineers at Disney used this as a template. The action scenes are wonderful, the montages expert in a way no one in Hollywood knows how to do anymore, and the model work is excellent, except for the inevitable phoniness of explosions in the water, which make the little ships look like models floating in a bathtub … which they were, of course, only it was a damn large bathtub. Nothing anybody could do about that back then.