Captain Blood (1935)

(On Cable TV, May 2018) High-sea swashbuckling is the name of the game in Captain Blood, and the film certainly delivers. A thematic prequel to the better-known The Adventures of Robin Hood, it also features Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and plenty of sword-fighting derring-do. The plot is serviceable, as a good but capable man finds himself in charge of a pirate crew. This leads to the expected hallmarks of a pirate pictures (governor’s daughter and perfidious enemies included). From a contemporary perspective, the ship battles still have quite a kick to them, which adds to the film’s overall impact. 1934 was still early in Hollywood’s blockbuster history, but you can already see most of the elements firmly in place, with the result that Captain Blood is still surprisingly accessible to modern audiences, especially those who really liked the Pirates of the Caribbean series and want something in the same genre.

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