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The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, History | 1 July 1940 (USA)
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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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sir John Burleson
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Lord Wolfingham
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Miss Latham
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Abbott
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Capt. Lopez
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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) (Panama Sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Bros. constructed a huge sound stage then known as the Maritime Stage. It had an internal tank that could be flooded. The stage was large enough to house two full-sized sailing ships positioned side-by-side. A specially constructed backdrop mechanism realistically simulated the waves. The stage, numbered 21, was, at the time, the largest sound stage on the Warner Brothers lot and the second largest in Hollywood, second only to MGM's cavernous Stage 15. The Maritime Stage was destroyed by fire in 1951. See more »

Goofs

In the initial battle scene, the Albatross is shown sailing around the Spanish ship with her sails always set the same. This means that she had to sail into the wind at some point, which is impossible for sailing ships. 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?
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Connections

Featured in The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Strike for the Shores of Dover
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Lyrics by Jack Scholl and Howard Koch
Sung by the oarsmen when they take over the ship
Played also in the score
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Splendid and Emotionally Strong; a B/W Adventure For the Ages
1 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

It is no wonder I suggest, when one reads the credits for 'The Sea Hawk", (1940) that it was made into a splendid and memorable motion picture. It is a Warner brothers "A" effort, a B/W answer to "Gone With the Wind". Warners was called the 'outlaw studio' because its tsars had a habit of making films about men who were either criminals or revolutionaries against a U.S.. the studio's bosses seemed to mistrust more than anyone else did. In this case the government they chose to study is Elizabeth I's Protestant England, she herself considered an enemy of the mighty Catholic Empire of Spain under Philp II. To counter Spain's attempt to destroy England, as she had overrun her ally The Low Countries (Benelux), England's Queen expanded the building of Henry VIII's fleet and bettered her father's design by refusing to waste money and men in wars and by making her navy's ships smaller and more swift than Spanish galleons. Hero of this film is rebellious but loyal Geoffrey Thorpe played adequately as a very young and promising fellow by Errol Flynn. He and others are disowned publicly but privately backed in their conducting of raids on Spanish shipping. In the film, Geoffrey is returning from one such raid with a prize, including a captured Spanish lady he is falling in love with, to whom, for love, he has returned her jewels. Elizabeth I is furious at this but is softened; and Thorpe goes off on his greatest adventure to the New World, to go after the Spanish Empire's annual treasure fleet. Betrayed to the Spaniards and captured in Panama, he and his men escape imprisonment in a slave galley, make their way through swamps, win a battle, and return to England in time to expose traitors, and save Elizabeth. His reward is the lady, who has waited for him, and the chance to serve England further. In the huge cast with Flynn are splendid ,Alan Hale, the great Flora Robson reprising her "Fire Over England" role as Elizabeth, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, powerful Henry Daniell, pretty but rather weak Brenda Marshall as the lady he loves, Julien Mitchell, Montagu Love, Gilbert Roland, William Lundigan, Ian Keith, Una O'Connor, Jay Silverheels and Robert Warwick. This expensively-mounted production was written by Seton I Miller of the "Mississippi Gambler" and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" fame with Howard Koch. Director Michael Curtiz was in charge of this sumptuous offering; the music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold is justly famous;the credits for 'The Sae Hawk read like a who is who in Hollywood; makeup was by Perc Westmore, cinematography by Sol Polito, art direction by Anton Grot and gowns by Orry-Kelly. Special effects were by Byron Haskin. Watch for the slave galley scene; this is the scene adapted by William Wyler for Ben Hur's galley setups. This is a stirring and very entertaining film, with everything from an amusing monkey to great acting to clever dialogue as Slizabeth inspires, scolds but brilliantly misleads those who would thwart her course--to make England secure in her pre-Imperial days from Spain's tyrannical ambitions.


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