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The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, History | 31 August 1940 (USA)
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2:23 | 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:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Howard Koch (screen play), Seton I. Miller (screen play)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Geoffrey Thorpe
Brenda Marshall ... Doña Maria
Claude Rains ... Don José Alvarez de Cordoba
Donald Crisp ... Sir John Burleson
Flora Robson ... Queen Elizabeth
Alan Hale ... Carl Pitt
Henry Daniell ... Lord Wolfingham
Una O'Connor ... Miss Latham
James Stephenson ... Abbott
Gilbert Roland ... Captain Lopez
William Lundigan ... Danny Logan
Julien Mitchell Julien Mitchell ... Oliver Scott
Montagu Love ... King Phillip II
J.M. Kerrigan ... Eli Matson
David Bruce ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beggars of the Sea See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Black and White (Sepiatone) (Panama Sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Reissue prints of "The Sea Hawk" run 109 minutes, and for years this was the only version available for television airing. Since the video restoration in the early 1980's, most TV stations now run the full 127-minute print. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great Entertainment From Flynn & Co.
21 May 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

In "The Sea Hawk", hero Errol Flynn, director Michael Curtiz, and composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold provide great entertainment very similar to that in their earlier classic that starred Flynn as Robin Hood. Supporting actors Alan Hale, Claude Rains, and Una O'Connor also are back, joined by Brenda Marshall, Flora Robson, and Henry Daniell. The movie provides rousing action, a good story, and some memorable characters.

Flynn's character is Geoffrey Thorpe, who is a "sea hawk", a privateering ship captain in the late 1500's indulged by Queen Elizabeth (Robson) and allowed to raise havoc with Spanish shipping in a time when Spain's dominance was at its peak. The story in "The Sea Hawk", like the action in "The Adventures of Robin Hood", is loosely based on historical circumstances, although this time the tone is often more serious. This film is in black-and-white instead of Technicolor, giving it a different feel. (There is a very nice touch when the scenes in the New World are tinted in golden-brown, an effective way of emphasizing the different setting.) There are also extensive scenes of the suffering and humiliation experienced by the English galley slaves imprisoned by the Spanish fleet, instead of the very brief scenes of Saxon suffering in "Robin Hood". But the main emphasis is still on the swash-buckling action that made Flynn so popular.

There are ship-to-ship fights, chases, escapes, and of course sword fights. Flynn's charisma and infectious good nature are usually enough to carry even far-fetched action, and here the story itself is more than good enough to be worthwhile in its own right. "The Sea Hawk" is good, classic entertainment.


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