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The Sea Hawk (1940)

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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 ... Capt. 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:

Never before so many thrills! Never such adventure, such romance! Sail to high adventure with 'The Robin Hood of the Sea.' See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 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)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000, 31 December 1940
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

Basil Rathbone, who had previously fought Errol Flynn in Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), refused the role of Lord Wolfingham. 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?
See more »

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 The Silence of the Hams (1994) 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

 
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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