7.8/10
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69 user 46 critic

The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 1 July 1940 (USA)
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2:22 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
Sir John Burleson
...
...
...
Lord Wolfingham
...
Miss Latham
...
Abbott
...
Capt. Lopez
...
Danny Logan
Julien Mitchell ...
Oliver Scott
...
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Eli Matson
...
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:

Approved | 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

This film is a version of Seton I. Miller's story "Beggars of the Sea," and as such is radically different from the original "Sea Hawk" novel and movie (The Sea Hawk (1924)). 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 Foul Play (1978) 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

 
Excellent film!
11 May 2004 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

I'm always up for some good, old-fashioned swashbuckler fun, and The Sea Hawk is one of the most amusing entries in that field. Directed by specialist Michael Curtiz and starring the legendary Errol Flynn. They previously worked together on `Captain Blood', the film that started the trend of popular sea adventures. Even though Captain Blood has a lot more range and features more plot-diversity, The Sea Hawk definitely is more spectacular and the swordfight sequences are far more exciting. The cinematography on this action sequences has seemly improved in the period between the two films. Errol Flynn portrays Geoffrey Thorpe, captain of the Albatross. He's a Sea Hawk and those privateers serve and protect the English Queen in their own particular way. The greedy King Phillip of Spain has set his mind to conquering Britain as well and to cover up his plans, he politely sends an ambassador to meet the Queen. However, Captain Thorpe and his crew boycott the Spanish and they righteously foresee a war between the two nations. Things are getting even more complicated when some prominent members of the British counsel turn out to be betrayers and – of course – Capt. Thorpe falls in love with the beautiful niece of the Spanish ambassador.

Errol Flynn clearly developed more charisma over the years and he already looks a lot more believable in his role of privateer now. He's excellently supported by Alan Hale who plays his first crewmember, Mr. Pitt. Flora Robson seems to make a career out of playing Queen Elizabeth's look-alike, since it already is the third film in which she plays this role. The best actor in the cast (even beating Errol Flynn) obviously is Claude Rains with in his terrific role of the vicious Spanish ambassador. The Galleons (both the Spanish as the British) look great and some historical aspects (like slavery and inquisition) are greatly included. The Sea Hawk is excellent, well-made fun and a must for all the nostalgic movie lovers.


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