Captain Blood (1935)

119 mins | Adventure | 28 December 1935

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writer:

Casey Robinson

Cinematographers:

Ernest Haller, Hal Mohr

Editor:

George Amy

Production Designer:

Anton Grot

Production Company:

First National Productions Corp.
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HISTORY

The picture was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture but lost to Mutiny on the Bounty. News items in DV note that some scenes were filmed in Palm Springs, CA. Six editors worked to reduce the 60,000 ft. of film to 12 reels in time for a Christmas release. Modern sources indicate that the character of Peter Blood was based on the historical pirate Henry Morgan who was made Governor of Jamaica as a reward for his actions against the Spanish. This film marked the beginning of Errol Flynn's successful career as a swashbuckling actor and the first teaming of Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, who went on to make seven films together. Modern sources note that no full-sized ships were used in the battle scenes. Director Michael Curtiz used a combination of process shots, miniatures and footage from the 1924 film The Sea Hawk, based on another Sabatini novel. This is Erich Korngold's first original screen score. Modern sources credit Robert Lord as supervisor. The Sabatini novel was filmed in 1924 by Vitagraph, starring J. Warren Kerrigan and directed by David Smith, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1921-30; F2.0772). Several films were made later using the same character including The Fortunes of Captain Blood produced by Columbia in 1950 with director Gordon Douglas and starring Louis Hayward and Patricia Medina, and Columbia's 1952 film Captain Pirate, again starring Hayward and Medina and directed by Ralph Murphy. Son of Captain Blood, a U.S. European co-production released by Paramount in 1962 starred Sean Flynn, Errol Flynn's son (see ...

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The picture was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture but lost to Mutiny on the Bounty. News items in DV note that some scenes were filmed in Palm Springs, CA. Six editors worked to reduce the 60,000 ft. of film to 12 reels in time for a Christmas release. Modern sources indicate that the character of Peter Blood was based on the historical pirate Henry Morgan who was made Governor of Jamaica as a reward for his actions against the Spanish. This film marked the beginning of Errol Flynn's successful career as a swashbuckling actor and the first teaming of Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, who went on to make seven films together. Modern sources note that no full-sized ships were used in the battle scenes. Director Michael Curtiz used a combination of process shots, miniatures and footage from the 1924 film The Sea Hawk, based on another Sabatini novel. This is Erich Korngold's first original screen score. Modern sources credit Robert Lord as supervisor. The Sabatini novel was filmed in 1924 by Vitagraph, starring J. Warren Kerrigan and directed by David Smith, (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1921-30; F2.0772). Several films were made later using the same character including The Fortunes of Captain Blood produced by Columbia in 1950 with director Gordon Douglas and starring Louis Hayward and Patricia Medina, and Columbia's 1952 film Captain Pirate, again starring Hayward and Medina and directed by Ralph Murphy. Son of Captain Blood, a U.S. European co-production released by Paramount in 1962 starred Sean Flynn, Errol Flynn's son (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.4613). The 1935 version was re-issued nationally in 1951.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Mar 1935
p. 2
Daily Variety
3 Aug 1935
p. 3
Daily Variety
28 Oct 1935
p. 11
Daily Variety
29 Oct 1935
p. 10
Daily Variety
29 Nov 1935
p. 2
Film Daily
19 Dec 1935
p. 5
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 1935
p.4
Motion Picture Daily
19 Dec 1935
p. 4
Motion Picture Herald
28 Sep 1935
p. 344-345
Motion Picture Herald
11 Jan 1936
p. 53
MPSI
Jan 1937
p. 7
New York Times
27 Dec 1935
p. 14
Variety
1 Jan 1936
p. 44
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
Asst cam
Asst cam
Spec photog eff
Still photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Props
Robey Cooper
Props
COSTUMES
Cost supplied by
MUSIC
Orch arr
Orch arr
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
Publicity
STAND INS
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Captain Blood: His Odyssey by Rafael Sabatini (Boston, 1922).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 December 1935
Production Date:
5 Aug--29 Oct 1935
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
31 December 1935
LP6027
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
119
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1552
SYNOPSIS

Late one night in 1685, Irish physician Peter Blood is called to treat his friend Lord Gildoy who has been wounded in a rebellion against England's King James II. While he tends to the injuries, the King's men burst into the room and arrest everyone there as traitors. The trial is quick and unfair. The men are sentenced to death by hanging, but the sentence is commuted when one of the King's advisors recommends selling them as slaves to wealthy landowners in Port Royal, Jamaica. Blood's arrogant attitude offends Port Royal's leading citizen, Colonel Bishop, but it intrigues Bishop's high-spirited niece, Arabella, who bids for him herself. Blood is brutally treated, but Arabella intervenes again and finds him easier work. He forms an escape plan, but on the night set for the escape, Port Royal is fired on by Spanish pirates. In the confusion, the men flee. When Bishop discovers the escape, he vows revenge against Blood. The men have no choice but to become pirates ranging through the Caribbean. During a visit to Tortuga, Blood reluctantly joins forces with the French pirate, Levasseur. The untrustworthy Levasseur boards an English ship, captures two of the passengers and holds them for ransom. They are Lord Willoughby, an emmissary of the King, and Arabella, who has been visiting in England, while her uncle, now governor of Jamaica, chases the pirates. To save her from Levasseur, Blood buys her for a handful of pearls. Frustrated, Levasseur demands a fight and is killed in the duel. Misunderstanding everything, Arabella scorns Blood. Stung by her disdain, Blood decides to return ...

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Late one night in 1685, Irish physician Peter Blood is called to treat his friend Lord Gildoy who has been wounded in a rebellion against England's King James II. While he tends to the injuries, the King's men burst into the room and arrest everyone there as traitors. The trial is quick and unfair. The men are sentenced to death by hanging, but the sentence is commuted when one of the King's advisors recommends selling them as slaves to wealthy landowners in Port Royal, Jamaica. Blood's arrogant attitude offends Port Royal's leading citizen, Colonel Bishop, but it intrigues Bishop's high-spirited niece, Arabella, who bids for him herself. Blood is brutally treated, but Arabella intervenes again and finds him easier work. He forms an escape plan, but on the night set for the escape, Port Royal is fired on by Spanish pirates. In the confusion, the men flee. When Bishop discovers the escape, he vows revenge against Blood. The men have no choice but to become pirates ranging through the Caribbean. During a visit to Tortuga, Blood reluctantly joins forces with the French pirate, Levasseur. The untrustworthy Levasseur boards an English ship, captures two of the passengers and holds them for ransom. They are Lord Willoughby, an emmissary of the King, and Arabella, who has been visiting in England, while her uncle, now governor of Jamaica, chases the pirates. To save her from Levasseur, Blood buys her for a handful of pearls. Frustrated, Levasseur demands a fight and is killed in the duel. Misunderstanding everything, Arabella scorns Blood. Stung by her disdain, Blood decides to return her to Port Royal, even though it means his death. In the harbor, they find a battle raging. Willoughby tells the astonished Blood that England and France are at war, and what's more, King James II has been driven from the throne and replaced by King William, who has sent Willoughby to pardon Blood and his men and offer them a commission in the Navy. With one voice, the men vote to fight the French and bravely defeat the fleet. Bishop is removed from his office, Blood is made governor, and Arabella happily agrees to become his wife.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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