Total Film - 10/01/2000
"...Flynn's devil-may-care athleticism and Curtiz's lively direction ensured that CAPTAIN BLOOD became the blueprint for swashbuckling adventures..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Errol Flynn shot to stardom as Peter Blood, a 17th-century physician turned pirate after escaping unjust political imprisonment. It was a role the handsome, sea-loving Tasmanian was born to play, and he shaped it into Hollywood's archetypal image of the adventurous hero. That he also became a romantic idol and a vision of gallantry in love is due in large part to his ideally cast co-star: radiant Olivia de Havilland in the first of their eight films together. Directed with panache by Michael Curtiz, scored with flair by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and featuring Basil Rathbone and Lionel Atwill as villains to remember, Captain Blood will skipper you on the high seas of unparalleled enjoyment.
In the classic swashbuckling epic that catapulted him to worldwide stardom, Errol Flynn plays Dr. Peter Blood, an English physician unjustly convicted of treason and sentenced to slavery in the West Indies. Relying on his formidable nerve and wit, he escapes and soon becomes a feared pirate known as Captain Blood, a brilliant swordsman and seaman whose fiercely loyal crew is made up of runaway slaves grateful to him for winning their freedom.
Olivia de Havilland, in the first of eight films starring opposite Flynn, is alluring as Arabella Bishop, the dashing pirate captain's romantic interest. Lionel Atwill, famed for his demented performances in horror films, is satisfyingly despicable as Arabella's uncle, a despotic plantation owner. Director Michael Curtiz (CASABLANCA) pulls no dramatic punches, filling the screen with thrilling battle scenes, stampeding horses, hurtling, wave-tossed ships, and a rousing Erich Wolfgang Korngold score to make CAPTAIN BLOOD a truly lavish seafaring odyssey. Flynn, only five years removed from piloting a daring four-man, seven-month boat trip from Sydney, Australia, to New Guinea (described in his memoir BEAM ENDS), signals with his every joyfully kinetic onscreen moment the full-fledged arrival of a huge, inimitable talent.
Description by Warner Home Video:
This is the story of Dr. Peter Blood, and english surgeon who is sold into slavery in the West Indies after treating the leader of the rebellion against King James II. Bought by the beautiful Arabella, Blood leads a revolt with his fellow prisoners and escapes. Seeking retribution, he turns his fellow escapees into a private crew with himself as the elader - Captain Blood. Thrilling sea battles and exhilarating scenery highlights this Best Picture Oscar(R) nominee that made stars out of Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
"Captain Blood" featured the first major roles for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, who made seven more films together.
The Rafael Sabatini source novel, published in 1922, was previously filmed as a silent by Vitagraph in 1924.
The CBS/Fox Video Colorized version of the film has not been available since the late 1980s. Colorized version coyright Turner Entertainment Company 1987.
The Laserdisc version includes the original trailer for the film.
A Cosmopolitan Production.
Additional cast: George Hassell (Governor Steed), Stuart Casey (Captain Hobart), Dennis D. Auburn (Lord Gildoy), Colin Kenny (Lord Chester Duke), Maud Leslie (Mrs. Baynes), Gardner James (Slave), and Vernon Steele (King James).