7.7/10
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87 user 51 critic

The Sea Hawk (1940)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, History | 31 August 1940 (USA)
Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
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 (Errol Flynn) 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 Doña Maria (Brenda Marshall), 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 I (Dame Flora Robson) 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, Doña 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 Doña 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

In selected first-release prints, the Panamanian sequences were tinted sepia. For many years thereafter, the sequence only appeared in black-and-white, but the sepia was restored to those scenes when this movie was released on DVD in 2005. See more »

Goofs

The opening sea engagement between the Albatross and the Spanish ship shows The Spanish ship using galley slaves to move the ship. The captain makes an open apology saying "The sails cannot entice the wind", and yet the Albatross closes under full sail and catches up to the Spanish ship within a few minutes. This is impossible, even if both ships were under full sail, it would take hours for one ship to close enough for combat when first sighted by the lookout. 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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Alternate Versions

The British version, available on video, includes an additional scene at the very end of the film, featuring an uplifting wartime speech from Queen Elizabeth. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Long John Peter (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Spanish Song
(uncredited)
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Lyrics by Howard Koch
Sung by Brenda Marshall (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
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User Reviews

 
Golden korn
16 August 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

It's Erich Wolfgang Korngold who carries "The Sea Hawk". He picks it up at the first frame with a rousing trumpet fanfare; he follows the story all the way from England to Panama, where a kind of syncopated not-jazz-exactly with saxophones makes its way into the score; he even bursts into song (well, not him personally) when Captain Thorpe's and his crew win through to freedom - and, after so much musical participation, that moment when the sailors become a chorus never strikes me as unnatural.

Korngold's brisk motion would count for nothing if the actors or the direction or the story were lethargic, of course - and they aren't. Errol Flynn plays an "I know I'm breaking international law, but hey, I'm charming and dashing and the Spaniards aren't" role - and hey, he IS charming and dashing, and the Spaniards aren't. A lot of films are described as roller-coaster rides. Many of them are just one thing after another, and don't feel at all like a single ride in a single vehicle. With "The Sea Hawk", I'm not sure about the vehicle, but we ARE taken on a single, swift ride. Few adventure films can beat it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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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
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