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Sea Hawk, The (DVD)
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|Genre||Action & Adventure|
|Format||Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC, Black & White|
|Contributor||Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Errol Flynn, Michael Curtiz|
|Runtime||2 hours and 7 minutes|
Sea Hawk, The (DVD) 1580s. Elizabeth I, queen of the upstart island nation of England, commissions buccaneer captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn) to harass the Spanish Armada. At a time when Spain dominates Europe, has conquered most of the Americas and is building the greatest naval fleet the world has ever seen, the fate of the tiny nation depends on daring men such as Thorpe and his mission to halt Spain's global trade. But no one plans on captain Thorpe falling for his hostage, doña Maria (Brenda Marshall), as the love between a pirate and a Spanish lady changes the future of England and the world.
Sea Hawk, The (DVD)
1580s. Elizabeth I, queen of the upstart island nation of England, commissions buccaneer captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn) to harass the Spanish Armada. At a time when Spain dominates Europe, has conquered most of the Americas and is building the greatest naval fleet the world has ever seen, the fate of the tiny nation depends on daring men such as Thorpe and his mission to halt Spain's global trade. But no one plans on captain Thorpe falling for his hostage, doña Maria (Brenda Marshall), as the love between a pirate and a Spanish lady changes the future of England and the world.]]>
- Aspect Ratio : 1.33:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 1.6 Ounces
- Item model number : WHV65229DVD
- Director : Michael Curtiz
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Full Screen, NTSC, Black & White
- Run time : 2 hours and 7 minutes
- Release date : April 19, 2005
- Actors : Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Language : Unqualified, English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B00005JMR6
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,901 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Ten minutes into the film, after the treacherous King Phillip II of Spain has unveiled his plot of world domination, we finally catch a glimpse of Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn) and his fine plundering galleon, the Albatross, prowling the seas for Queen and country (but without the Queen's official blessing *wink wink*). In one of those epic-scaled, everything but the kitchen sink action sequences, Thorpe and his gung-ho crew assault and take out a Spanish ship and take hostage the Spanish monarch's ambassador to England, Don Alvarez (Claude Rains), and Don Alvarez's beautiful niece Doña Maria (Brenda Marshall). Brenda Marshall is no Olivia de Havilland - and she's certainly not as spirited - but, still, her eye candy meter registers strong.
Captain Thorpe is a rascal but a loyal one, and so Queen Elizabeth tends to forgive him his well-meaning transgressions. She's pretty fond of him, actually. So when he hatches a scheme which would garner the royal coffers a whale of a booty at the expense of Spain, she bends an ear. Soon the Albatross sails away on its "trading expedition up the Nile." Don Alvarez, the sneaky Spanish ambassador, doesn't quite buy it. The venue shifts to Panama and, interestingly, the black & white picture then takes on a sepia tone. Robert Osborn, a host on the awesome TCM Channel, explains that footage from Warner Brothers' earlier 1924 version of the film - which was shot in sepia - was integrated into this version to flesh out the action sequences in Panama and to save money. This 1940 film decided to match the original's sepia tones so as to make the integration more seamless and also so that the back-and-forth transitioning from black-and-white to sepia didn't induce illness from the viewers. After around 18 minutes, the film returns to its normal black and white color. Not too long after, Captain Thorpe gets wind of Hitler's plan to launch air raids over Engla- er, I mean, King Phillip's formation of the Spanish Armada and imminent invasion of England.
Errol Flynn is complemented by a cast of wonderful character actors. I've never seen Claude Rains turn in a bad performance, and Flora Robson shines as a sly Queen Elizabeth. And how can you not hiss at Henry Daniell's perfectly slimy Lord Wolfingham? Alan Hale - maybe most memorable for playing Little John in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD - reteams with Flynn and again plays the right hand man, this time as the reliable Mr. Pitt. Donald Crisp ("Sir John Burleson") and Gilbert Roland ("Captain Lopez") are other familiar faces, if you dig early Hollywood cinema.
Stuff like this is why I love them old flicks. See THE SEA HAWK for the charismatic Errol Flynn, for the stirring period adventure and the extravagant production values, and also for composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold's ridiculously magnificent score. Korngold's score is so rousing it can make a quiltmaking party seem adventurous. To quote UC Davis Professor of Film Lincoln D. Hurst in the bonus featurette: "You really wonder if Errol would've been quite so brave as he was without that music." For the trivia hounds, note that a huge maritime stage was built on the Warner lot to accommodate the high seas action, as well as two full-sized ships. However, the film's penny pinchers pinched pennies by borrowing costumes and sets left over from Flynn's previous flick THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX. Note also that THE SEA HAWK, at the time of its release, served as a rallying cry for English audiences. The similarity between Spain and Nazi Germany was drawn intentionally. And if it opened some American eyes, then that was probably cool, too. Queen Elizabeth's impassioned call for mobilization which closes out the film was a speech which Winston Churchill himself reportedly had admired.
And there's even a cute monkey.
Some good stuff in the DVD's bonus features. Under the "Warner Night at the Movies" banner (with an introduction from movie critic Leonard Maltin), we get a brief Movietone newsreel from 1940 highlighting the Battle of Britain raid, a trailer for Flynn's western VIRGINIA CITY, the black-and-white Porky Pig cartoon "Porky's Poor Fish," and a wickedly satiric comedy short "Alice in Movieland" which features Joan Leslie as an aspiring actress newly arrived in Hollywood, the poor girl (00:21:39 minutes). The gem, however, is "The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action," a fine featurette (00:17:31 minutes) which gives us behind-the-scene looks and insights about the film. And there's THE SEA HAWK theatrical trailer.
Flynn plays captain Geoffrey Thorpe, an English privateer under the reign of Elizabeth I. His mission is the liberate Spanish treasure and English prisoners held as slaves on Spanish galleys and galleases. It anyone's guess which he prefers but the whole situation is sticky since England and Spain are not at war. The Armada is still a few years in the future. Many English seaman are sure that it is coming but are having trouble making Her Majesty believe it really will be used against England.
Court intrigue plays its part. One of the Queen's ministers is a traitor in the service of Spain. He is doing everything he can to thwart the work of the Sea Hawks, the privateers that serve in place of a navy. Claude Raines plays the Spanish ambassador and does a great job of playing something other than a one dimensional villain. He has his good points as well. One of these is his niece, played by Brenda Marshall. She is Flynn's love interest and is a nice replacement for Olivia DeHaviland. Alan Hale plays the sidekick as is obligatory in any Flynn movie.
All of the supporting cast is, however, just support. This film is a vehicle for Flynn to show off, be daring, get the girl and play the hero. He never takes himself too seriously and that just lends to the air of fun. He is a rakish and roguish character that everyone can appreciate.
One of the nice things about this one is that by the time it was made, Flynn had learned how to fence. The action sequences are some of the best he ever shot and the cinematography of them is splendid as well. The image of the two swordsmen slashing their way across the throne room as their shadows engage in the same but larger than life duel on the wall is one of the great scenes out of Hollywood.
This DVD has some nice extra features on it. It contains the original newsreel, cartoon and short subject that the original film were released with. It also has a nice restrospective of the SEA HAWK. It's a nice package all around.
Top reviews from other countries
Korngold's music is as exciting as it was in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" , and the fight scenes are superbly directed, particularly the use of shadows as Flynn battles with Daniell. Who cares that historically it clings on to the actuality with an enviable panache.The film exploits Flynn's athleticism and impossibly good looks.