After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.
Equally unlikely was the film’s choice of leading man: Paul Henreid, playing an honest man who turns buccaneer in the face of injustice, his character is similar to that of Captain Blood (in spite of an obvious lack of emphasis on the actor’s agility) but also to Henried’s signature role of French Resistance leader Victor Laszlo in CASABLANCA (1942). This alone makes it interesting viewing but, thankfully, they’re supported by solid talent on both sides of the camera (the actors – Maureen O’Hara in her prime, an unusually but effectively cast Binnie Barnes as a hardened lady buccaneer and O’Hara’s romantic rival, splendid villainy from Walter Slezak, John Emery and Barton MacLane being equally dastardly, J.M. Kerrigan, Curt Bois and Mike Mazurki as Henreid’s sidekicks, a script co-written by CITIZEN KANE ’s Herman J. Mankiewicz, magnificent color photography by George Barnes, etc).
While the plot offers no real surprise or undue complexity – coming at the tail-end of WWII, it must have provided just the right dose of escapism – it’s professionally-handled entertainment (at which Hollywood excelled during its golden age) of the kind ‘they don’t make anymore’…despite the best intentions of today’s exponents!
- Apr 3, 2008