#91 Captain Blood (1935)

If the only pirate you’ve ever seen on-screen is Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, then it’s a good thing that this list exists to catch you up on cinema’s early pirates. After films such as The Count of Monte Cristo and Treasure island were big hits in the swashbuckling genre, Warner Brothers felt it was only fair to keep up with this trend of films. Errol Flynn will swashbuckle his way to you in the 1935 adventure film Captain Blood in which a doctor is accused of treason, being unjustly sold into slavery but transforms into a pirate as soon as an opportunity for freedom occurs.

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Introducing Errol Flynn, the dashing and bold physician who decides to rebel against those that sent him into slavery just for helping a wounded patrol involved in the Monmouth Rebellion. This is pretty much the formula for your classic adventure film in which you have your sword-fighting battles, the suave hero, the damsel in distress, and stunts that are fascinating to see such as the crew swinging from the ropes as if the ship is their own personal jungle. Everything seems to go well for Captain Blood as he embraces his new life of piracy until Arabella, the love of his life, is captured by  Captain Levasseaur, resulting in an epic battle for her safety. This role can definitely give you a foreshadowing to the roles that Flynn plays later such as Robin Hood which is similar to the character of Captain Blood in which he’s a good guy but commits rebellious acts that consider him controversial to society.

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So if Arabella had to choose her pick of which slave to buy to spite her uncle, she sure met her match! Errol Flynn has a charm that will make you go weak at the knees and is tricky with a sword. This is your classic “I hate you, I love you” story plot of a couple who spend more time bickering but you know love is in the air. If only this couple’s romance was better developed in the film. Luckily the chemistry between Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (who by the way is 100 years old now!) makes up for it. They would star in eight more films together. This is also the first film where you’ll hear the thrilling score music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold who would score music later in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Like adventure, romance, and pirates? Here you go!

Watch Errol Flynn as Captain Blood below and please comment on what you think. It may not be the best quality but better than nothing:

 

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#90 Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

So how do you guys feel about sequels? Do you feel like they’re necessary or just a money grabbing device? I personally feel like if there are loose ends of a story, that’s where a sequel should come in. It’s a good device considering the mentality that people have when they see a sequel is “if I loved the first film, I will love the second film even more” which will increase box office revenue. This next film is an example of a sequel that is both a great film and turned out to be pretty profitable. Universal’s Bride of Frankenstein is when the Monster Dr. Frankenstein created in the previous film returns and Dr. Frankenstein is tempted by his former mentor to create a mate for him.

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I believe that this is the first sequel that we have here on the list. In the previous film of Frankenstein, we believed the Monster died when the villagers set him on fire after making a little girl drown. Turns out that the Monster survived which we see in some of his facial scars and lack of hair on his head. His creator wanted to be done with bringing life back into inanimate bodies but his old mentor Dr. Pretorius figures that with his skills of creating miniaturized people, he wants to join forces with Frankenstein to make a mate for the Monster. When director James Whale was offered to direct Bride of Frankenstein, he kept refusing as he felt there was no need for a sequel but then gave in and said he’ll just treat this as a bad good movie- a film that people will laugh about later. I personally just see this film as a good horror film sequel which is pretty rare to see in that genre.

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This version of the Monster is definitely different than in the previous film in how his jaw bone no longer looks sullen. It looks normal. There’s a reason for that- because the Monster TALKS in this one. Yeah, you heard (read) me, TALKS. Boris Karloff was against that by trying to make the Monster intelligent. I do agree with him on that aspect where we’re used to seeing a walking, growling Monster that terrifies everyone on sight. By having him talk, it gives him more intelligence and human quality. He is taught by a blind man about manners and speech. Luckily he realized if you’re going to create a bond with someone, better be someone who can’t see you for both your sakes. Looks like the Monster learned what happens to people who can’t swim! This above scene plays like a pro-smoking ad which I’m sure was the satire that Whale was going for. Kids, avert your eyes for this one.

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Now you may think that the Bride of Frankenstein is the Monster’s bride but it’s actually referring to Elizabeth, Dr. Frankenstein’s wife. This film I definitely wouldn’t recommend any feminists to watch considering there are no strong females. Their only purpose is to scream at the sight of the Monster and to be plot devices for Dr. Frankenstein to do his mentor’s bidding. I like the unconventional results of the Monster meeting his mate to prove it’s not always love at first sight. I was impressed by the act of courage that the Monster took in the finale to only prove my point of what I said in my Frankenstein post that the Monster is not evil but just misunderstood. Agree or disagree?

Watch Universal’s successful monster horror film and comment your responses: