55 user 29 critic

The Black Swan (1942)

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An ex-pirate contends with rowdy buccaneers and a love-hate relationship with an aristocratic woman who's tougher than she seems.


Henry King


Ben Hecht (screenplay), Seton I. Miller (screenplay) (as Seton I.Miller) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Jamie Waring
Maureen O'Hara ... Lady Margaret Denby
Laird Cregar ... Capt. Henry Morgan
Thomas Mitchell ... Tommy Blue
George Sanders ... Capt. Billy Leech
Anthony Quinn ... Wogan
George Zucco ... Lord Denby


When notorious pirate Henry Morgan is made governor of Jamaica, he enlists the help of some of his former partners in ridding the Carribean of Buccaneers. When one of them apparently abducts the previous governor's pretty daughter and joins up with the rebels, things are set for a fight. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Seas Ablaze...with black villainy, with fiery romance, with breathless deeds of daring...in the roaring era of Love, Gold and Adventure!


Approved | See all certifications »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rafael Sabatini's The Black Swan See more »

Filming Locations:

Cuba See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,012,600, 3 February 1943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright time) | (current existing footage) | (re-release) (censored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)| Black and White (reissue)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The reissue version was released in black-and-white. See more »


The story is set in 1674, during the reign of King Charles II, but throughout the film the British flag is the familiar "Union Jack," not in use until the union of England and Scotland in 1707. See more »


Jamie: Church bells.
Tom 'Tommy' Blue: Aye. Some people likes to hear them. I like trumpets better.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is a story of the Spanish Main - - when Villainy wore a Sash, and the only political creed in the world was - - - Love, Gold, and Adventure. See more »


Featured in Conrack (1974) See more »


Heave Ho
Music and Lyrics by Alfred Newman
Played during the opening credits and sung by an offscreen chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

A stylish, visually stunning and rip-roaring swashbuckler!
8 July 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I do think The Black Swan is under-appreciated. It certainly isn't the best movie ever made, but on its own merits, it is a hugely enjoyable and truly remarkable swashbuckler. The cinematography is gorgeous, and thoroughly deserved the Oscar it won, with its perfect capture of the cleverly-choreographed swordplay, and you can also admire the beautiful costumes and sets, as well as the rousing music score that was beautiful. The sets and action sequences are the main merit of this film, very majestic and well-staged. You may think that any film with pirates would fall into predictability, but this one doesn't, it is original, funny at times and has a touch of romance in it. The performances were excellent. Tyrone Power is surprisingly good in the title role, though swashbuckling fans may be yearning for someone like Errol Flynn, and Maureen O'Hara is beautiful beyond words as Margaret. It is probably true that their romance isn't quite as convincing as the one in The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and Olivia DeHavilland, but it is still a convincing (and fairly witty) one, and rarely interferes with the focus of the film. As the mutinying Captain Billy Leech, if you put the awkward accent aside like I have, George Sanders (who is the expert of suave and smarmy menace) is excellent, who is surprisingly good at sword fighting. All in all, a stylish and very worthwhile swashbuckler, with a 9/10. Bethany Cox.

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