Captain Blood Review
Captain Blood is a 1935 adventure film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. It is one of the most famous swashbuckling pictures that was received greatly and was nominated for Best Picture.
The plot is fairly simple, old-fashioned and fun. But whereas it is very entertaining and even charming, it is quite expected and familiar, moving in the expected manner with a typical ending. But it is nonetheless very fun to watch and above all highly adventurous and filled with a lot of charisma from its actors and evident charm. The beginning was nothing spectacular and the ending is expected, but the middle parts are the best with the first half being a lot more interesting than the pirate parts later on that were filled with too much action in my opinion.
The character development is solid. Peter Blood is excellent as the protagonist and quite oddly authentic and by that I mean that these types of cocky heroes are typically simple-minded, but this one is both arrogant and smart, not to mention well educated and a doctor which was an interesting choice. Arabella Bishop is a typical love interest but she is still a very strong female character with a lot of charm and care. And all the other characters are solid, but fail in comparison to these two naturally.
The acting is one of the highlights of course. Errol Flynn is superb in the lead role and he gave such a good performance. He also exhibited a lot of wit, sophistication and above all charisma. Olivia de Havilland is also terrific and she lights the screen whenever she is in both with her natural beauty and her charismatic performance and smile.
The film is very well directed by Michael Curtiz and runs at a smooth pace. The action is overwhelming in later parts, but apart from that, the film is very well edited and paced. The cinematography is excellent as well and although it was weird that this was not filmed in Technicolor, it was still great this way as well, filled with a lot of great scenery and of course excellent costumes and attention to detail for the time period. The score is also really good and I liked the dialogue present here, which is both smart and humorous. Yes, the movie does have plenty of fine humor thrown in for good measure which is great providing a lot of well earned laughs. Yes, the plot is nothing remarkable and it is overly familiar, but Captain Blood has a great heart which is evident from early on. The action I was not a fan of as it was too prolonged, but it was still accompanied with fine sound effects, solid score and some excellent effects. The movie isn’t serious, playing rather on the goofy aspect which fits perfectly within this genre. I just expected some more thrills from it and a better plot.
The movie was nominated for five Oscars, but failed to get any. As for its nominations, it earned them in my opinion as the sound and score are great and the directing is excellent from Curtiz. But adapted screenplay is not that well adapted and as for Best Picture, there were many better movies that year. And comparing it to other adventure flicks, it is much inferior to both ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ and especially ‘Mutiny on the Bounty‘, but it is still worth a look especially if you want more of that excellent Flynn/De Havilland pairing that worked wonders for both films.