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Fortunes of Captain Blood

Fortunes of Captain Blood(1950)

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Fortunes of Captain Blood (1950)

Columbia pictures set out to imitate Warner Bros.' 1935 classic Captain Blood with this sprightly B movie. Although the action is rather landlocked (to keep the budget low), the film benefits greatly from its stars, Louis Hayward, Patricia Medina and George Macready. Hayward first earned his swashbuckling credentials in the 1939 version of The Man in the Iron Mask, a hit he would follow with more adventure films that exploited his athletic abilities and ability to get off a challenging quip. Here, he spends much of the picture in disguise, masquerading as a fruit peddler to locate crew members kidnapped by slavers. This was the beautiful British-born Medina's first attempt to step into Olivia de Havilland's shoes, but hardly her last. She and Hayward became a profitable team for Columbia, following this film with The Lady and the Bandit (1951), Lady in the Iron Mask and Captain Pirate (both 1952), the latter a sequel to Fortunes of Captain Blood. Macready was one of the greatest villains of Hollywood's Golden Age, most memorably as Rita Hayworth's decadent husband in Gilda (1946). But he also had a strong run of swashbuckling villains, taking on Hayward in The Return of Monte Cristo (1946) and The Black Arrow (1948).

By Frank Miller

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