Movie Review XXI

by zenquaker

Captain Blood

An Irish doctor by the name of Blood is arrested for treason when he treats a wounded revolutionary. His death sentence is commuted so he can be sold into slavery and shipped to the Caribbean. There he escapes and starts a life of piracy on the high seas.

This is an old Errol Flynn movie that was suggested to me by Netflix when I rented the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Unlike that movie, Captain Blood is a real pirate movie [+]. There’s duels, broadsides, boarding parties, articles of piracy, booty, brothels, and all the classic tropes of the pirate genre. The love story is a little goofy. I mean, who really buys a man as a slave in the hopes of a meaningful relationship? The rest of the story is surprisingly good [+], keeping to conflict between Blood and the slaver (Col. Bishop) going, introducing other pirates (Levasseur) for a little rivalry, and adding a nice little twist of justice at the end. The great swordfight of the movie at Virgen Magra is a bit disappointing. It was beautifully shot, ranging all over the beach and various rocky protrusions, with gorgeous Caribbean views in the background [+]. However, the sword play sucks, which kind of ruins the whole thing [-]. There are points in the fight where Flynn (as Blood) is literally just hold his sword motionless while Basil Rathbone (as Levasseur) smacks at it repeatedly with his sword. There are other things I could take issue with in the film, such as the cardboard swords used during the big boarding scene, or the unrealistic amount of damage done by the cannon balls, but it’s an older movie, and I think if you watch it expecting a low budget pirate film you won’t be disappointed.

Final Rating: 6/10

Best Quote: Crewman: “We’re sinking! What should we do?” Captain Blood: “Do? We’ll board a ship that’s not sinking!”