“I’ve resented you because you’re beautiful, and I’m a slave. Do you understand that?”
Response to Peary’s Review:
He adds that a highlight of the film is the “Flynn-Basil Rathbone swordfight-to-the-death on a rocky beach, during which the opponents smile constantly” — and that the inaugural on-screen pairing of beautiful young de Havilland and Flynn represents “one of the cinema’s truly wonderful romantic teams”.
Indeed, fans of swashbuckling romantic dramas will find much to enjoy here, though I’ll admit it’s not a personal favorite: I’m not thrilled by the buffoonish nobility, Rathbone’s faux-French accent, or Flynn’s hairstyle (!). In the film’s favor are marvelous cinematography (by Ernest Haller and Hal Mohr), rousing action scenes (Curtiz is indeed masterful), and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “excellent” debut score. As a curiosity, listen for Blood’s surprisingly forthright and graphic proclamation that “If a man molest a woman captive against her will, he, too, shall receive the same punishment.”
Note: Sadly, supporting character Ross Alexander — who plays Jeremy, the ship’s navigator — had a tragic (closeted gay) personal life and killed himself just after this film was made.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)