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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

187 of 1001 Movies: Captain Blood (1935)

Michael Curtiz is able to make this movie come to life with lots of action and twists. The sad part is that the Netflix summary reveals all the twist on the synopsis cover to me. Anyways, the problem is there just isn't something that likable about Errol Flynn, and I think that is because he comes off as arrogant in his movies as he was in real life. The guy is just a smug goody goody in the movie, and then in real life is a drinking womanizer. It's like he got both worlds for the audience to perceive him as.

Summary: Peter Blood rushes to help an injured man not knowing he is apart of the Monmouth Rebellion, and is arrested for helping him. King James sends him to the West Indies as a slave along with the others he is arrested with. Arabella buys Peter as a slave to spite her uncle, Col. Bishop. The life is very difficult on the plantation, but when it is discovered that he is a doctor they have hopes he can help treat the governors gout. The makes it easier for him to plot escape when the other doctors grow jealous of him, but in his escape he ends up as a pirate that rules the sea.


Acting: The acting isn't that great to be honest. It's Errol Flynn's first movie and he seems to be really over acting it. You can tell he is very confident to the point of being arrogant, and the way he is portraying Peter Blood just isn't that appealing. I can see why Arabella would be interested in the guy though because he is handsome. Olivia De Havilland is a lot better in her role, and she has some lines that work for the movie. She never lets her sass waver, so it always stays more in tune with her role.

Filming: The action that is in the film just seems like something that would have left the audience at the time in awe. You have a lot of sequences that show the boats in some intense combat, and it does leave you in suspense. The fight scenes are also well choreographed. I think they build the characters well to with the scenes by showing different aspects of their personalities. Outside the action though the characters are very one dimensional. Unlike other movies I've seen from the 30's we don't have quite the focus on character as we get caught up in the adventure and action of the movie.

Plot: The plot takes nice developments throughout to show how far Peter will come from his position as slave. I think the character itself is admirable, but they don't give him any flaws to add to a more human quality to the guy. Anyone watching might feel disconnected from how this guy is portrayed as a hero through and through. Arabella is a little more free as a character, and has enough personality to be a little more real in nature.

Captain Blood is a good adventure film from the 30's that takes a lot of lengths to make sure the boat fights seem real and that the sword fighting scenes are intense. The characters don't have too much chemistry though, and they seem to be a little arrogant in nature without any real human dimensions to give the viewer something to relate to.

Rating 7 of 10.


Captain Blood (1935) on IMDb

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