6.4/10
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34 user 28 critic

Captain Kidd (1945)

The unhistorical adventures of pirate Captain Kidd revolve around treasure and treachery.

Director:

Rowland V. Lee

Writers:

Norman Reilly Raine (screenplay), Robert N. Lee (original story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Laughton ... Capt. William Kidd
Randolph Scott ... Adam Mercy / Adam Blayne
Barbara Britton ... Lady Anne Dunstan
Reginald Owen ... Cary Shadwell
John Carradine ... Orange Povy
Gilbert Roland ... Jose Lorenzo
John Qualen ... Bart Blivens
Sheldon Leonard ... Cyprian Boyle
William Farnum ... Capt. Rawson
Henry Daniell ... King William III
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Storyline

In this unhistorical account, Capt. William Kidd is already a clever, ruthless pirate when, in 1699, he tricks the king into commissioning him as escort for a treasure ship from India. He enlists a crew of pardoned cutthroats - and Orange Povey, whom Kidd once abandoned on a reef and hoped never to see again. Of course, Kidd's intentions are treacherous. But there's more to gunner Adam Mercy than meets the eye. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Roaring Seas ! Flaming Hearts ! Riotous Adventure ! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is loosely based on real-life pirate William Kidd. Born in Scotland in 1645, he began his career as a privateer. By 1690 he became a wealthy shipowner in New York. In 1696, during a trip to East Africa, he turned to piracy. He captured or looted many ships. Trusting that his privateer commission would protect him, he returned to Long Island in 1699. He was ordered to England, where he was arrested, tried and convicted for piracy and murder. He was hanged in 1701. Stories about Kidd's buried treasure were legendary but the only booty ever found was on Gardiners Island, near Long Island, in New York. See more »

Goofs

Kidd was executed on 23 May 1701. The soundtrack of this movie, however, makes abundant use of RULE, BRITANNIA!, a tune that was not written until 1740 by Thomas Arne. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Capt. William Kidd: Stab me, there's a pretty sight!
Orange Povey: It'll be prettier still when the fire reaches the magazine, Captain.
Cyprian Boyle: Pity though. Lots of stout seamen among 'em. They've been with us a long time.
Capt. William Kidd: We can none of live forever, Mr. Boyle. Dead men don't talk.
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Alternate Versions

The Roan Group DVD version, which comes from an excellent print, is sadly missing one of the best scenes in the film. In the scene Charles Laughton has trouble dressing for dinner on the ship, he is chastised for his hair-do by his valet, and then gets confused with his manners during dinner. We also learn a little more about Randolph Scott's character in this delightful scene. It can be found on the Australian VHS release from Force Video. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(uncredited)
Lyrics by James Thomson
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Heard when toasting the merchant ship and when the ships meet on the sea
See more »

User Reviews

 
Magnificent Charles Laughton in an unforgettable role as astute pirate
16 June 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This low-budget swashbuckler starts on Magadascar where Captain Kidd (Charles Laughton)attacks the vessel called ¨twelve apostles¨. London, 1699, Captain Kidd receives a card from the King William III(Henry Daniell): ¨Upon the solicitation of my Lord Bellomont, his Majesty is graciously pleased to order to attend up him at Hampton court , upon the morning of November 13, at nine of the clock , captain William Kidd, ship master, of New York, with intent to discuss a voyage of portent to the waters of India and Magadascar¨.Then Kidd is assigned by King William III to escort on the high seas a ship plenty of treasures from Calcuta until England. As he enlists a misfit crew(Scott, Roland,Qualen, among others) formed by thieves and killers, including to Orange Poverty(John Carradine) who had previously abandoned on an island of Magadascar.

Charles Laughton made an excellent acting as Kidd, a roguish, sly, ironic and traitor pirate, lookalike his character of ¨Jamaica Inn¨ by Hitchcock. Later he retook this role in farce style with ¨Abbot and Costello meet captain Kidd¨ by Charles Barton. However the starring Randolph Scott is miscast because is usually in Western and here he's out. Good secondary cast formed by prestigious secondaries as John Carradine,Henry Daniell,John Carradine, John Qualen, Reginald Owen and Gilbert Roland. the motion picture is professionally directed by Rowland V Lee.

The story is partially based on real events , the actual deeds happened of the following manner : Kidd was born 1865, Scotland. The military staff hires him to command the ship called ¨Blessed William¨ during the war of nine years(1688-1697) between England and France. Then Kidd sacks the vessel Marie Galante and numerous French warships.After gets license from British admiralty for exercise as buccaneer, commanding the ¨Adventure Galley¨ with 34 cannons and 80 men. He decides to plunder the ¨Quedagh Merchant¨a galley full of treasures and another ships of various countries. Then the captain found himself held capture and transported to England where he was condemned to death penalty in 1701. He was hung but the rope broke itself two times. His corpse was charged in chains throughout of river Thames as warning and punishment.

Another films about this historical character are : ¨Double crossbones¨(1950) by Charles Barton with Alan Napier as Kidd; ¨Against all flaggs¨(1952) with Robert Warwick as Kidd; ¨Great adventures of Captain Kidd¨ with John Crawford; and ¨Kidd and the slave girl¨(1954) by Lew Landers and Anthony Dexter as the famous pirate.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1945 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Le capitaine Kidd See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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