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The film opens with the following written statement: "In 1700 A.D. the Pirate Republic of Libertania on the Island of Madagascar was a constant menace to the rich trade routes to India. Several days' sail from this Pirate fortress is the British Merchant ship 'Monsoon.'" An August 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that Universal held the film's script for two years before putting it into production. According to a July 1950 Variety news item, producer Jack Gross was originally assigned to the film. Hollywood Reporter news items state that Errol Flynn broke his leg while shooting a fight scene and returned to the set in a special cast which allowed him to walk and be photographed above the waist. Another Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Douglas Sirk directed two days of additional swordplay scenes on the film, as George Sherman had started shooting his next picture, Back at the Front, in Tokyo.