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The Spanish Main (1945)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  October 1945 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,005 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 9 critic

Laurent van Horn is the leader of a band of Dutch refugees on a ship seeking freedom in the Carolinas, when the ship is wrecked on the coast of Cartagene. governed by Don Juan Alvardo, ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Spanish Main (1945)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Walter Slezak ...
Don Juan Alvarado
Binnie Barnes ...
John Emery ...
Capt. Mario Du Billar
...
Capt. Benjamin Black
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Pillery Gow
Fritz Leiber ...
Bishop
Nancy Gates ...
Lupita
Jack La Rue ...
Lt. Escobar (as Jack LaRue)
...
Erik Swaine
Ian Keith ...
Captain Lussan
Curt Bois ...
Paree
...
Commandante
Victor Kilian ...
Santa Madre Captain
Edit

Storyline

Laurent van Horn is the leader of a band of Dutch refugees on a ship seeking freedom in the Carolinas, when the ship is wrecked on the coast of Cartagene. governed by Don Juan Alvardo, Spainish ruler. Alvarado has Laurent thrown in prison, but the latter escapes, and five-years later is a pirate leader. He poses as the navigator on a ship in which Contessa Francesca, daughter of a Mexican noble, is traveling on her way to marry Alvarado, whom she has never seen. Laurent's pirates capture the ship and Francesa, in order to save another ship, gives her hand-in-marriage to Laurent, who sails her to the pirate hideout. This irks the jealous Anne Bonney and,also, Captain Benjamin Black, who was already irked, anyway. They overpower Laurent and send Francesa to Alvarado, and then Mario du Billar, trusted right-hand man, makes a deal to deliver Laurent to Alvarado also. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

ACTION rocks the decks as danger rides the waves! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los piratas del mar Caribe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first RKO Radio produced film to be shot in Technicolor. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Swain fights Captain Black, Captain van Horn watches with his hands tied behind his back. At the beginning of the fight van Horn is wearing a red jacket which disappears halfway through the fight. See more »

Quotes

Don Juan Alvarado: My dear child, there is no reason why we shouldn't be married tomorrow.
Contessa Francesca: Tomorrow, your excellency?
Don Juan Alvarado: Well, yesterday, unfortunately, is impossible.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The Spanish Main--cruel, oppressive and ruthless, where power alone was a man's single title to everything he held dear, including his very life. It was, thus, a cruel fate that a peaceful Dutch pilgrim ship should be driven there by torrential waves--and crash upon the rocks immediately outside Cartagena, its most remorseless citadel. See more »

Connections

Featured in Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE Spanish MAIN (Frank Borzage, 1945) ***
3 April 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I had foolishly missed out quite recently on this one on late-night Italian TV and, consequently, was very glad now to get acquainted with it (albeit via a slightly washed-out print on DivX) – especially since I was surprised by its quality, making the film an underrated entry in the swashbuckling genre. Borzage was an unusual choice for this type of film – despite being a distinguished Oscar-winning director, he has become with time a largely forgotten figure but his reputation has deservedly soared of late among film connoisseurs and is now generally comparable to that of Douglas Sirk. To be sure, he is more renowned for movies like THREE COMRADES (1938) and THE MORTAL STORM (1940) rather than fluff pieces like THE Spanish MAIN, but that only goes to show how versatile he was, equally capable of handling personal projects and genre pictures.

Equally unlikely was the film’s choice of leading man: Paul Henreid, playing an honest man who turns buccaneer in the face of injustice, his character is similar to that of Captain Blood (in spite of an obvious lack of emphasis on the actor’s agility) but also to Henried’s signature role of French Resistance leader Victor Laszlo in CASABLANCA (1942). This alone makes it interesting viewing but, thankfully, they’re supported by solid talent on both sides of the camera (the actors – Maureen O’Hara in her prime, an unusually but effectively cast Binnie Barnes as a hardened lady buccaneer and O’Hara’s romantic rival, splendid villainy from Walter Slezak, John Emery and Barton MacLane being equally dastardly, J.M. Kerrigan, Curt Bois and Mike Mazurki as Henreid’s sidekicks, a script co-written by CITIZEN KANE [1941]’s Herman J. Mankiewicz, magnificent color photography by George Barnes, etc).

While the plot offers no real surprise or undue complexity – coming at the tail-end of WWII, it must have provided just the right dose of escapism – it’s professionally-handled entertainment (at which Hollywood excelled during its golden age) of the kind ‘they don’t make anymore’…despite the best intentions of today’s exponents!


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