|Index||4 reviews in total|
Caught this movie one late night. I watched it just for fun. It stars
Eva Gabor as a spoiled girl who has to pretend to be a slave, Anthony
Dexter as Captain Kidd and Alan Hale Jr as the Captain's best friend.
Gabor becomes a slave to Dexter and the two fight, with pampered Gabor
made to do duties which are beneath her but expected for a slave girl.
The two lock horns and a sort of Taming of the Shrew kind of treatment
to the story occurs, with Gabor fighting the Captain's every demand,
who tries to tame the spirited 'slave' girl. They talk, and talk and
talk. And, of course, they fall in love.
The whole film is OK and sorta fun in a quaint "they don't make movies like this anymore" way but nothing about it really stands out aside from the fact that Dexter is often shirtless and showing off his physique. There's also a pretty good cat-fight between Gabor and Sonia Sorrell, a female pirate (who looked really cool and sorta out of place in such an studio film). What's painfully obvious about CAPTAIN KIDD are the studio bound sets, which really looked like they're in a studio (we see shadows of actors appearing against the background 'sky'). There are some scenes shot outside but most of this seafaring adventure is filmed indoors. In fact the movie reminds me of a TV movie. A typically forgotten/overlooked United Artist movie.
Okay, let's not pretend, this is not a classic by any means, but actually turns out to be an enjoyable and undemanding little movie, with a lively and engaging lead performance by the much-underrated Anthony Dexter, as Captain William Kidd. In the co-starring roles, Alan Hale Jnr and Eva Gabor provide sterling support, and there's a pretty wild cameo from Sonia Sorrell as a female pirate, of all things!! The storyline is basic and straightforward, but rattles along at a fairly brisk pace. In fact, as the previous reviewer has pointed out, the film is only really let down by the stagy backdrops. If there had been more outdoor shots, the film would have benefited greatly via the authenticity of the so-called the exterior scenes. As long as any potential viewer doesn't expect too much, this is a more than satisfactory, neat little movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not exactly the best swashbuckler on the shelf. Lew Landers directs
Anthony Dexter as Captain Kidd, who is saved from the hangman's noose
by the greedy Earl of Bellomont(James Seay). The Earl wants to get his
hands on Kidd's latest conquest of riches. The plan is to put a slave
girl, Judith Duvall(Eva Gabor), on the fearless seafarer's ship with
the orders to use her charms to find out the location of his most
recent buried treasure. But after a few slaps and tussles, the slave
girl can't help but fall in love with the swashbuckler. Thus comes a
shift of loyalties and the two agree to work together in bringing down
the devious, pompous Earl.
Alan Hale Jr. plays Jay Sampson, trusted friend and aide to Captain Kidd. Sonia Sorrell has the role of Anne Bonney, a scantily clad pirate with her own ship. Also appearing in this mediocre treasure hunt: Lyle Talbot, Robert Long, William Tannen, Richard Karlan and William Schallert.
I'm surprised by another review that characterizes this film as briskly paced and Eva Gabor as providing "sterling" support. Even at 82 minutes the film simply crawls -- I had to speed up the DVD playback just to get through it, and I'm a collector of swashbuckler films! Anthony Dexter and Alan Hale, Jr. are fine, as far as they go, but Eva Gabor is simply terrible: wooden and unconvincing. Yet even if she'd had the skills of a Patricia Medina, the atrocious screenplay would still have thwarted her efforts -- it's really that bad. Swashbucklers are, by nature, stylized, so I wasn't expecting cinéma vérité, but this movie is so stilted it's simply unwatchable without a peanut gallery a la "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I have more than 90 swashbuckler films on DVD and this one is so unenjoyable that it won't go on the shelf with the others. For far better pirate fare try "Captain Blood", "Fortunes of Captain Blood", "Captain Blood Returns", "Anne of the Indies", "The Black Swan", "The Sea Hawk", "The Spanish Main", "Seven Seas to Calais", "Duel on the Mississippi", "The Buccaneer", "The Black Pirate", "Raiders of the Seven Seas", or even "Last of the Buccaneers" and "Pirates of Tripoli". All of these are available on DVD and even the latter two rather-mediocre swashbucklers are far superior to "Captain Kidd...". The other films listed are delightful alternatives.
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