The Sea Hawk

( 4 )

Overview

Kudos must go to Warner Home Video for the transfer they've given to Michael Curtiz's The Sea Hawk (1940); it was one of the handsomest laserdiscs ever issued by MGM/UA back in the late '80s, but this DVD literally runs circles around that set, in terms of clarity, crispness, and brightness, so much so that the laserdisc transfer resembles a worn 16 mm when stacked up against the 2005 digital disc release -- various shots in the opening sea battle are so crisp that they look almost 3-D. The producers have used ...
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Overview

Kudos must go to Warner Home Video for the transfer they've given to Michael Curtiz's The Sea Hawk (1940); it was one of the handsomest laserdiscs ever issued by MGM/UA back in the late '80s, but this DVD literally runs circles around that set, in terms of clarity, crispness, and brightness, so much so that the laserdisc transfer resembles a worn 16 mm when stacked up against the 2005 digital disc release -- various shots in the opening sea battle are so crisp that they look almost 3-D. The producers have used the slightly extended British edition of the movie, which actually runs 127 and a half minutes and contains the short extension of Flora Robson's final speech, which was only originally seen in the U.K. prints of the film. The transfer, in full-frame (1.33:1), captures the luster of the original release and, also, all of the richness of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score -- the 34 chapters are well selected and downright generous in breaking down the plot. The disc comes with an uneven array of supplements. Leonard Maltin hosts "Warner Night at The Movies 1940," explaining, in notably unsubtle fashion, how The Sea Hawk would have been presented in theaters in the 1940s. That's a lead in to the Errol Flynn Western Virginia City, a newsreel about World War II and the Battle of Britain, the short Alice in Movieland and the punning cartoon Porky's Poor Fish. Much more impressive among the extras is the featurette "The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action." Historians Lincoln D. Hurst, Rudy Behlmer, and Robert Osborne discuss the making of the movie and the personalities behind it, most notably Flynn's. Evidently, Flynn was so impressed with Flora Robson and the idea of working with her that he was better prepared for their scenes together than he had been in almost anything he ever did onscreen; Henry Daniell, by contrast, was a superb actor and a great villain, but was totally unable to handle a sword for the climactic fight, which had to be put together using doubles and lots of shadow images. The Sea Hawk trailer is actually derived from the reissue of the film -- in tandem with The Sea Wolf -- for which the original movie was edited down by over 20 minutes. The disc opens automatically to a multi-layered menu that's well-labeled and easy to maneuver around. Overall, it isn't as impressive as the special edition done on The Adventures of Robin Hood, but given the quality of the movie itself, this title is just as essential for one's collection.
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Special Features

Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1940 with: Newsreel, short "Alice in Movieland," cartoon "Porky's Poor Fish," and theatrical trailers; New featurette "The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action"
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Michael Curtiz and Errol Flynn, who had previously teamed up in Captain Blood (1935) and the The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), join forces once again in this full-rigged adventure, one of the best of the swashbuckler genre. Based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini, the film follows the exploits of privateer Sir Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn), aka the Sea Hawk, as he raids Spanish ships to swell the coffers of England, under orders from Queen Elizabeth I (Flora Robson). At 1.7 million dollars, one of the most expensive films to date, this lavish production has just about everything one could ask of a seafaring adventure: swordplay, romance, a dashing hero, a dastardly villain (Claude Rains), beautifully choreographed sea battles, and two nations on the brink of war. Flynn, who could not have been more perfectly cast, is at the peak of his powers as the resourceful, insouciant pirate. He's aided by a huge supporting cast with many of the best character actors of the time, including Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Gilbert Roland, Henry Daniell, and J.M. Kerrigan. But aside from Flynn, the film's key component is the lustrous score of Erich Korngold, who (along with Bernard Herrmann) was perhaps the finest film composer of the period.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/2005
  • UPC: 012569522923
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Subtitled / Full Frame
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,984

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Errol Flynn Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe
Brenda Marshall Donna Maria Alvarez de Cordoba
Claude Rains Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba
Flora Robson Elizabeth I
Donald Crisp Sir John Burleson
Alan Hale Carl Pitt
Henry Daniell Lord Wolfingham
Una O'Connor Miss Latham
James Stephenson Abbott
William Lundigan Danny Logan
Julien Mitchell Oliver Scott
Montagu Love King Phillip II
J.M. Kerrigan Eli Matson
David Bruce Martin Burke
Clifford Brooke William Tuttle
Clyde Cook Walter Boggs
Fritz Leiber Inquisitor
Ellis Irving Monty Preston
Francis McDonald Samuel Kroner
Pedro de Cordoba Capt. Mendoza
Ian Keith Peralta
Jack LaRue Lieutenant Ortega
Halliwell Hobbes Astronomer
Alec Craig Chartmaker
Victor Varconi Gen. Aguerra
Robert Warwick Martin Frobisher
Harry Cording Slavemaster
Mary Anderson Maids of Honor
Guy Anderson [Herbert] Eph Winters
Guy Bellis John Hawkins
Edgar Buchanan Ben Rollins
Michael Martin Harvey Sea Hawk
Leyland Hodgson
Charles Irwin Arnold Cross
Colin Kenny Officer
Crauford Kent Lieutenant
Frank Lackteen Capt. Ortiz
Lester Matthews Lieutenant
Gerald Mohr Spanish Officer
Leonard Mudie Officer
Nestor Paiva Slavemaster
Gilbert Roland Capt. Lopez
David Thursby Driver
Frank Wilcox Martin Barrett, a Galley Slave
Frederic Worlock Darnell
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
George J. Amy Editor
Henry Blanke Producer
Fred Cavens Consultant/advisor
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Anton Grot Art Director
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Ali Hubert Consultant/advisor
Howard Koch Screenwriter
H.F. Koenekamp Special Effects
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Score Composer
Seton Miller Screenwriter
Orry-Kelly Costumes/Costume Designer
Sol Polito Cinematographer
Francis J. Scheid Sound/Sound Designer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jack L. Warner Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:27]
2. World Map [2:14]
3. Readying for Attack [5:00]
4. Lowering Spanish Colors [4:45]
5. Ship to Ship [4:52]
6. Cargo Transfer [5:20]
7. Spanish Loot and Feelings [4:52]
8. Only a Pirate [4:19]
9. Royal Displeasure [4:33]
10. At War With the World [3:53]
11. Diplomacy Vs. Force [4:14]
12. Thorpe's Plan [2:43]
13. Lady of the Roses [3:39]
14. Suspicious Minds [3:09]
15. Charting His Course [4:03]
16. News Overheard [3:12]
17. Racing to Dover [2:27]
18. Jungle Trek [3:59]
19. A Little Too Easy [3:07]
20. Surprise Attack [3:55]
21. Back to the Albatross [4:46]
22. Lopez's Prisoners [2:33]
23. Enslaved [3:00]
24. Threat of War [5:27]
25. Not for Him [1:38]
26. Work Stoppage [1:48]
27. Unchained [5:35]
28. Taking the Ship [4:37]
29. Inseparable Now [5:20]
30. Onto the Castle Grounds [5:42]
31. Inside the Palace [2:33]
32. Traitor's Death [2:24]
33. Rallying Cry [2:34]
34. Cast List [2:52]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Warner Night at the Movies
         Introduction by Leonard Maltin
         Virginia City Theatrical Trailer
         Newsreel
         Alice in Movieland
         Porky's Poor Fish
         The Sea Hawk
      The Sea Hawk: Flynn in Action
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Errol Flynn at his peak! No one made these like Warner Brothers!

    THE SEA HAWK is superb filmmaking from Hollywood's Golden Age. From the first view of the Warner's logo to the rousing finish, it never lets up in its excitement or its grand, epic feel. Yet again, Warners brought together some of their finest talents to produce a swashbuckler like no one else could. Under the sure hand of director Michael Curtiz (CASABLANCA, DODGE CITY), Errol Flynn gives one of his finest performances. He is in glorious company: Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth; Henry Daniell and Claude Rains as the oily villains; Alan Hale (again) as Flynn's trusty sidekick; and Brenda Marshall as his lady-love. Even the smallest roles are well-cast.

    Against the backdrop of Erich Korngold's stirring musical score, Curtiz offers a lesson in black-and-white filmmaking, with sea battles and set designs that cannot fail to enhance your experience. The climactic duel between Flynn and Daniell ranks as one of the most dynamic and furious ever captured on film. Flynn is more confident and commanding here than in CAPTAIN BLOOD, and may even make you forget his faultless work in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (both films directed by Curtiz).

    THE SEA HAWK is a must-have for adventure lovers! They really don't make them like this anymore!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    2 points to port

    You can't go wrong with an Errol Fylnn movie. There is always plenty of action. Errol gets it all in this one, to be a hero, the respect of his crew, the queen and even the enemy, but mainly he gets the girl.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    the best of the genre.

    the Sea Hawk still plays after 60 plus years.while gone with the seems quaint/dated. flynn and company put it all together with the soaring music of Eric Korngold.You cant make a film like this any more although Master and Commander comes close.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews