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The Sea Hawk (1940)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,126 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 43 critic

Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.

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Title: The Sea Hawk (1940)

The Sea Hawk (1940) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Don José Alvarez de Cordoba
...
Sir John Burleson
Flora Robson ...
...
...
Lord Wolfingham
...
Miss Latham
James Stephenson ...
Abbott
...
Capt. Lopez
William Lundigan ...
Danny Logan
Julien Mitchell ...
Oliver Scott
Montagu Love ...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Eli Matson
David Bruce ...
Martin Burke
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Storyline

Geoffrey Thorpe is an adventurous and dashing pirate, who feels that he should pirate the Spanish ships for the good of England. In one such battle, he overtakes a Spanish ship and when he comes aboard he finds Dona Maria, a beautiful Spanish royal. He is overwhelmed by her beauty, but she will have nothing to do with him because of his pirating ways (which include taking her prized jewels). To show his noble side, he suprises her by returning the jewels, and she begins to fall for him. When the ship reaches England, Queen Elizabeth is outraged at the actions of Thorpe and demands that he quit pirating. Because he cannot do this, Thorpe is sent on a mission and in the process becomes a prisoner of the Spaniards. Meanwhile, Dona Maria pines for Thorpe and when he escapes he returns to England to uncover some deadly secrets. Exciting duels follow as Thorpe must expose the evil and win Dona Maria's heart. Written by Julie Sherman <jsherma@hubcap.clemson.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dashing . . . romantic . . . Errol Flynn at his thrilling best! See more »


Certificate:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beggars of the Sea  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone) (South America sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many viewers at the time could possibly make parallels between the film's period setting and World War II. The writers intended King Phillip to be an analogy of Adolf Hitler, and Phillip's attempt to conquer England was similar to Hitler's apparent intention of invading the United Kingdom. (However it is disputed whether Hitler really intended to invade the UK, or whether Operation Sea Lion was just a bluff to put pressure on the British government to come to terms with Germany after the Fall of France). This makes Queen Elizabeth's speech at the end, in which she states that the world does not belong to only one man, all the more poignant. See more »

Goofs

During the initial battle between the Albatross and the Spanish ambassador's ship, the Spanish captain orders the cannon to be double-shotted. That means to load two balls (shots) into each cannon. While such a tactic was used during battles, typically it was reserved for close-in battles when distance was not a concern - the object was to maximize damage. No wonder the Spanish broadside fell short. Also only one splash per gun can be seen - double-shots would have generated two splashes per gun and while they may have been close together, they would have been distinct. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
King Philip II: The riches of the New World are limitless, and the New World is ours - with our ships carrying the Spanish flag on seven seas, our armies sweeping over Africa, the Near East, and the Far West; invincible everywhere... but on our own doorstep. Only northern Europe holds out against us; why? Tell me, why?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Long John Peter (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Spanish Song
(uncredited)
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Lyrics by Howard Koch
Sung by Brenda Marshall (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great Entertainment From Flynn & Co.
21 May 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

In "The Sea Hawk", hero Errol Flynn, director Michael Curtiz, and composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold provide great entertainment very similar to that in their earlier classic that starred Flynn as Robin Hood. Supporting actors Alan Hale, Claude Rains, and Una O'Connor also are back, joined by Brenda Marshall, Flora Robson, and Henry Daniell. The movie provides rousing action, a good story, and some memorable characters.

Flynn's character is Geoffrey Thorpe, who is a "sea hawk", a privateering ship captain in the late 1500's indulged by Queen Elizabeth (Robson) and allowed to raise havoc with Spanish shipping in a time when Spain's dominance was at its peak. The story in "The Sea Hawk", like the action in "The Adventures of Robin Hood", is loosely based on historical circumstances, although this time the tone is often more serious. This film is in black-and-white instead of Technicolor, giving it a different feel. (There is a very nice touch when the scenes in the New World are tinted in golden-brown, an effective way of emphasizing the different setting.) There are also extensive scenes of the suffering and humiliation experienced by the English galley slaves imprisoned by the Spanish fleet, instead of the very brief scenes of Saxon suffering in "Robin Hood". But the main emphasis is still on the swash-buckling action that made Flynn so popular.

There are ship-to-ship fights, chases, escapes, and of course sword fights. Flynn's charisma and infectious good nature are usually enough to carry even far-fetched action, and here the story itself is more than good enough to be worthwhile in its own right. "The Sea Hawk" is good, classic entertainment.






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