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Seven Seas to Calais

Seven Seas to Calais(1963)

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teaser Seven Seas to Calais (1963)

The final film of Polish-born director Rudolph Mat (a seasoned war horse who got his start as cinematographer on Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928)), this Italian-made Cinemascope adventure about the daring exploits of Sir Francis Drake (Rod Taylor, pre-The Birds (1963)) as he plunders on the high seas for the glory of England and Queen Elizabeth I (Irene Worth) is full of swashbuckling, fancy dress, and tall ships on fire. Shot in Rome, the outrageous and near-operatic sets recall other Mat-directed films like When Worlds Collide (1951), and the naval battles created in miniature by special effects technician Eros Bacciucchi (who later distinguished himself as resident squib-man on many of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns) are fun in a very real, pre-computer graphics way.

By Violet LeVoit

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