The Sea Hawk
Nobody could buckle a swash as well as Errol Flynn, and this is one of the very best swashbuckling sea adventures. It was directed by Michael Curtiz, who may be the most under-rated guy in Hollywood from this era. Maybe it’s because there is no trademark “Michael Curtiz” film. Yes, he is well known for directing classics like Casablanca and action movies like this one, but he was all over the map, from Mildred Pierce to Yankee Doodle Dandy. This one begins with a terrific ship-to-ship battle filmed with two full-sized galleons on the largest set on the Warner Brothers lot. Hundreds of Spaniards and English pirates, blazing cannons, splintering timbers of the Spanish oars, with Errol Flynn dashingly in charge. What more could you ask for? These days it would be imaginary ships and guys swinging on ropes in front of green screens.