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CAPTAIN BLOOD

Director: MICHAEL CURTIZ

USA • 1935 • BLACK & WHITE • 119 MIN


THE IFI OPERATES A FILM CLUB FOR OLDER PEOPLE—CALLED ‘WILD STRAWBERRIES’ AFTER THE BERGMAN FILM—SCREENING A FREE MOVIE EVERY MONTH.
In the swashbuckling epic that catapulted him to worldwide stardom, Errol Flynn plays Dr. Peter Blood, an Irish physician unjustly convicted of treason and sentenced to slavery in the West Indies. Relying on his formidable nerve and wit, he escapes and soon becomes a feared pirate known as Captain Blood, a brilliant swordsman and seaman whose fiercely loyal crew is made up of runaway slaves grateful to him for winning their freedom. Olivia de Havilland plays Arabella, the niece of the ruthless island governor, the rebels’ chief enemy. She takes pity on Blood and saves him from a sure death, but his ingratitude and her haughtiness set the stage for a witty and wonderful flirtation that lightens the film’s mood and eventually gives Blood something to fight for. He may be a pirate, but he’s still a gentleman, forcing him into a duel to the death with his onetime raiding partner Levasseur (Basil Rathbone). Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) pulls no dramatic punches, filling the screen with thrilling battle scenes, stampeding horses, and hurtling, wave-tossed ships in this truly lavish seafaring odyssey.

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