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.
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.
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: