It has a certain "gimmick" value -- casting the son of Errol Flynn in a sequel to one of Errol Flynn's greatest hits -- but the results are never more than mildly diverting. While the movie has been tolerably well mounted and the musical score has a few good moments, its story line is lax and unconvincing and its direction lacks the energy and style found in the better swashbucklers. An earthquake which erupts in the final reel fails to lift the movie above the level of "routine."
The main reason to watch this, however, is the chance to see Errol Flynn's ill-fated son in what has come to be his best-remembered movie. He spends much of his part bare-chested and wearing tight pants and it would be easy to dismiss him as a shallow "boy-toy" whose acting abilities are better suited to amateur theatrics at a fraternity house. Yet one can't help but wonder how those pretty-boy, almost androgynous looks might have aged, acquiring needed lines and character, and one can't help but wonder if maturity would have given Sean Flynn a substance to go along with his casual likeability. Alas, we'll never know.
Comparisons between father and son will work to the father's favor. Note the whipping which Errol endures at the beginning of "Against All Flags" and then contrast it to the whipping given Sean about half-an-hour into "The Son of Captain Blood." Errol really seems to be suffering pain when the cat-o-nine-tails strikes his bare back. Sean's expressions, on the other hand, evoke nothing more than: "Ouch. That like, you know, stung."
(For another father-son team who've felt the sting of a lash, check out John Wayne in "The Conqueror" and Ethan John Wayne in "Man Hunt.")
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