Fortunes of Captain Blood


1h 31m 1950
Fortunes of Captain Blood

Brief Synopsis

A doctor exiled from England becomes a pirate of the Caribbean.

Film Details

Genre
Action
Adventure
Release Date
Jun 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Fortunes of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini (Boston, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,122ft

Synopsis

In the seventeenth century, Irishman Peter Blood, captain of the Avenger , is one of the most daring buccaneers in the West Indies. Before he became a pirate, Blood was a doctor in Ireland, and was arrested during the Monmouth Rebellion for treating a wounded rebel. He later escaped from slavery in the West Indies, and now plunders Spanish ships. Charles II, King of Spain, charges the Marquis de Riconete, governor of a West Indian island, with the capture of the English pirate. Blood seems to be playing into his hands when some of his men, who have gone ashore for supplies, are betrayed by their supplier and captured by slave trader George Fairfax. The marquis tortures the men, but is unable to extract Blood's whereabouts from them. When Blood learns that the marquis' ship is temporarily disabled, he decides the time is right to rescue his men from the island. Disguised as a fruit seller, Blood first seeks out the man who betrayed them, only to discover that he has been hanged. Then Blood learns from flirtatious Pepita Rosados that many of the slaves, who dive for pearls in shark-infested waters, have died, and is even more determined to rescue the surviving ones. Isabelita Sotomayor, the marquis' niece, is in love with Fairfax, despite the disapproval of her uncle. Bored with life on the island, she offers Fairfax money to take her to Spain. Meanwhile, Blood befriends the slaves' overseer, who leads him to Fairfax. Blood and Fairfax dicker over the slaves until Isabelita interrupts with the announcement that the marquis' ship has been repaired, and that she will be sent away on it. Shortly, the marquis' men, who have followed Isabelita, attempt to arrest Fairfax. Fairfax is wounded in the ensuing fight, and Blood takes him to Billy Bragg's tavern and treats his injury. After Fairfax inadvertently reveals that he is more interested in Isabelita's money than he is in her, Blood, who is still disguised as the fruit seller, offers to take her to Spain if she asks her uncle to pardon him for attacking the soldiers. Isabelita arranges this, and Blood takes the opportunity to discover which seal the marquis uses when he orders men released from prison. That night, he sneaks into the marquis' office and forges releases for his men, but uses the wrong seal. After Blood presents the release, a guard notices that the seal is incorrect, and a battle ensues, but Blood and his men manage to escape with only a few casualties. Later, in order to stop the marquis from torturing Bragg, Isabelita, believing that Blood and his men have already set sail, reveals his whereabouts. When she subsequently learns that the tide has prevented him from leaving, she and Bragg hurry off to warn him. Before Blood can escape, however, the marquis' ship appears on the horizon, and a bloody battle follows. After Blood and his men declare victory, Isabelita announces that she will stay on the island in order to help institute a new, freer government.

Film Details

Genre
Action
Adventure
Release Date
Jun 1950
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Fortunes of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini (Boston, 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,122ft

Articles

Fortunes of Captain Blood


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
Fortunes Of Captain Blood

Fortunes of Captain Blood

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

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a press release included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library, technical director Commander K. D. Iain Murray, who also appeared in a small role in the film under the name Kenneth Donald Murray, served thirty years in the British Navy and was an authority on 17th century "modes, manners, costumes and maritime procedures." The 1924 Vitagraph film Captain Blood, starring J. Warren Kerrigan and directed by David Smith, was the first to use that character (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0772). In 1935, Warner Bros. made another version of the story, starring Errol Flynn and directed by Michael Curtiz (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0587). Several other films were made using the same character, including Columbia's 1952 film Captain Pirate, starring Louis Hayward and Patricia Medina and directed by Ralph Murphy, and Son of Captain Blood, a U.S. European co-production released by Paramount in 1962, which starred Sean Flynn, Errol Flynn's son (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.4613).