Cast & Crew
Olivia De Havilland
Late one night in 1685, Irish physician Peter Blood is called to treat his friend Lord Gildoy who has been wounded in a rebellion against England's King James II. While he tends to the injuries, the King's men burst into the room and arrest everyone there as traitors. The trial is quick and unfair. The men are sentenced to death by hanging, but the sentence is commuted when one of the King's advisors recommends selling them as slaves to wealthy landowners in Port Royal, Jamaica. Blood's arrogant attitude offends Port Royal's leading citizen, Colonel Bishop, but it intrigues Bishop's high-spirited niece, Arabella, who bids for him herself. Blood is brutally treated, but Arabella intervenes again and finds him easier work. He forms an escape plan, but on the night set for the escape, Port Royal is fired on by Spanish pirates. In the confusion, the men flee. When Bishop discovers the escape, he vows revenge against Blood. The men have no choice but to become pirates ranging through the Caribbean. During a visit to Tortuga, Blood reluctantly joins forces with the French pirate, Levasseur. The untrustworthy Levasseur boards an English ship, captures two of the passengers and holds them for ransom. They are Lord Willoughby, an emmissary of the King, and Arabella, who has been visiting in England, while her uncle, now governor of Jamaica, chases the pirates. To save her from Levasseur, Blood buys her for a handful of pearls. Frustrated, Levasseur demands a fight and is killed in the duel. Misunderstanding everything, Arabella scorns Blood. Stung by her disdain, Blood decides to return her to Port Royal, even though it means his death. In the harbor, they find a battle raging. Willoughby tells the astonished Blood that England and France are at war, and what's more, King James II has been driven from the throne and replaced by King William, who has sent Willoughby to pardon Blood and his men and offer them a commission in the Navy. With one voice, the men vote to fight the French and bravely defeat the fleet. Bishop is removed from his office, Blood is made governor, and Arabella happily agrees to become his wife.
Olivia De Havilland
Frank Mcglynn Sr.
J. Carroll Naish
Pedro De Cordoba
E. E. Clive
Harry Joe Brown
Louis De Angelis
Leo F. Forbstein
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
C. A. Riggs
Jack L. Warner
Western Costume Company
Best Sound Editing
Best Writing, Screenplay
With a production budget of nearly one million dollars, Captain Blood was richly filmed by director Michael Curtiz, Warner's tough-talking, Hungarian born director (Casablanca, 1942). Curtiz' exacting professionalism drove the picture, and brought outstanding performances from his fledging stars, sometimes pushing 25-year-old Flynn through ten takes per scene. Although much of the film was shot on a sound stage in the summer of 1935, exteriors such as the agile, florid swordfight in which Rathbone is challenged and defeated by Flynn was shot on location, with Laguna Beach, California standing in for a Caribbean shore. The rousing battle sequence involving Blood's pirate crew storming French ships used one of the largest technical crews assembled for a film and 2500 extras, each of whom was personally interviewed by Curtiz.
The New York Times heralded Flynn with a review entitled "Newcomer Errol Flynn in a handsome film version of Captain Blood." Flynn's vigor, remarkable good looks and athletic skill established him as the natural successor to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and the symbol of an unvanquished man that Depression-era audiences cheered. Captain Blood was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar® in 1936, but lost to Mutiny on the Bounty.
Director: Michael Curtiz
Producer: Harry Joe Brown, Gordon Hollingshead, Hal B. Wallis (all uncredited)
Screenplay: Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini
Cinematography: Ernest Haller, Hal Mohr
Editor: George Amy
Art Direction: Anton Grot
Music: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Cast: Errol Flynn (Dr. Peter Blood), Olivia de Havilland (Arabella Bishop), Lionel Atwill (Col. Bishop), Basil Rathbone (Capt. Levasseur), Ross Alexander (Jeremy Pitt), Guy Kibbee (Hagthorpe), Henry Stephenson (Lord Willoughby), Donald Meek (Dr. Whacker).
BW-120m. Close captioning.
By Jessica Handler
Up the riggings, you monkeys! Break out those sails and watch them fill with the wind that's carrying us all to freedom!- Dr. Peter Blood
Robert Donat was cast in the title role, but didn't turn up at the start of shooting. Warner Brothers scrambled to find a replacement, asking Brian Aherne to take the role, but he refused. Warners decided to took a gamble on an unknown Australian named 'Flynn, Errol' .
No full-sized ships were used in the battle scenes. It was created by a combination of process shots, miniatures, and footage from the silent film, The Sea Hawk (1924), which was based on another Sabatini novel.
Because, Erich Wolfgang Korngold had only three weeks for scoring this picture, he used portions of two tone poems by Franz Liszt for some of the action scenes. However, he insisted on the screen credit "Musical Arrangements by" although still 90 % of the score was original.
The picture was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture but lost to Mutiny on the Bounty. News items in Daily Variety note that some scenes were filmed in Palm Springs, CA. Six editors worked to reduce the 60,000 ft. of film to 12 reels in time for a Christmas release. Modern sources indicate that the character of Peter Blood was based on the historical pirate Henry Morgan who was made Governor of Jamaica as a reward for his actions against the Spanish. This film marked the beginning of Errol Flynn's successful career as a swashbuckling actor and the first teaming of Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, who went on to make seven films together. Modern sources note that no full-sized ships were used in the battle scenes. Director Michael Curtiz used a combination of process shots, miniatures and footage from the 1924 film The Sea Hawk, based on another Sabatini novel. This is Erich Korngold's first original screen score. Modern sources credit Robert Lord as supervisor. The Sabatini novel was filmed in 1924 by Vitagraph, starring J. Warren Kerrigan and directed by David Smith, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1921-30; F2.0772). Several films were made later using the same character including The Fortunes of Captain Blood produced by Columbia in 1950 with director Gordon Douglas and starring Louis Hayward and Patricia Medina, and Columbia's 1952 film Captain Pirate, again starring Hayward and Medina and directed by Ralph Murphy. Son of Captain Blood, a U.S. European co-production released by Paramount in 1962 starred Sean Flynn, Errol Flynn's son (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.4613). The 1935 version was re-issued nationally in 1951.
Released in United States 1935
Released in United States 1935