The story is born from the classic Sabatini novel. In the opening scenes, set in the 17th century, Dr. Blood (Flynn) is pronounced guilty of treason -- for healing an enemy of the king of England. He's shipped off to an island colony as a slave, where the lovely Arabella Bishop (Olivia de Havilland, in her first of many collaborations with Flynn) purchases him. Ultimately he escapes the island, becomes a pirate captain, and turns the tables on everyone by rescuing the kidnapped Bishop and saving his former enemy by routing the French, who are now at war with the Brits.
The swordplay and cannon fire barely let up in Captain Blood, and at times it can verge on adventure overkill. Flynn, though, is so engaging here -- much more so, I'd say, than in his more acclaimed Robin Hood -- and he ensures that the film is never boring for a second. De Havilland also shows substantial charm and promise in one of her first movie appearances. Altogether, Blood is a classic, and for good reason. They just don't make 'em like this any more.
Also available as part of the Errol Flynn Collection DVD box set.
Run time: 119 mins
In Theaters: Saturday 28th December 1935
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
IMDB: 7.8 / 10
Director: Michael Curtiz
Screenwriter: Casey Robinson
Starring: Errol Flynn as Dr Peter Blood, Olivia de Havilland as Arabella Bishop, Basil Rathbone as Levasseur, Ross Alexander as Jeremy Pitt, Guy Kibbee as Hagthorpe, Henry Stephenson as Lord Willoughby, Robert Barrat as Wolverstone, Hobart Cavanaugh as Dr. Bronson, Donald Meek as Dr. Whacker, Jessie Ralph as Mrs. Barlow, Forrester Harvey as Honesty Nutall, Frank McGlynn Sr. as Rev. Ogle, Holmes Herbert as Capt. Gardner, David Torrence as Andrew Baynes, J. Carrol Naish as Cahusac, Pedro de Cordoba as Don Diego, George Hassell as Governor Steed, Harry Cording as Kent, Ivan F. Simpson as Prosecutor, Stuart Casey as Capt. Hobart, David Cavendish as Lord Gildoy, Mary Forbes as Mrs. Steed, Colin Kenny as Lord Chester Dyke, Maude Leslie as Mrs. Baynes, Gardner James as Slave, Vernon Steele as King James, Leonard Mudie as Baron Jeffreys, Lionel Atwill as Col. Bishop, E.E. Clive as Clerk of the Court, Matthew 'Stymie' Beard as Governor's attendant