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The Sea Hawk [1940] [DVD]

Price: £14.99
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The Sea Hawk [1940] [DVD] + Captain Blood [DVD][1935] + The Adventures Of Robin Hood  [DVD] [1938]
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Product details

  • Actors: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Full Screen, Mono, Subtitled
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QZ5COS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,117 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Classic Errol Flynn Movie.Geoffrey Thorpe is an adventurous and dashing pirate, who feels that he should pirate the Spanish ships for the good of England. In one such battle, he overtakes a Spanish ship and when he comes aboard he finds Dona Maria, a beautiful Spanish royal. He is overwhelmed by her beauty, but she will have nothing to do with him because of his pirating ways (which include taking her prized jewels). To show his noble side, he suprises her by returning the jewels, and she begins to fall for him. When the ship reaches England, Queen Elizabeth is outraged at the actions of Thorpe and demands that he quit pirating. Because he cannot do this, Thorpe is sent on a mission and in the process becomes a prisoner of the Spaniards. Meanwhile, Dona Maria pines for Thorpe and when he escapes he returns to England to uncover some deadly secrets. Exciting duels follow as Thorpe must expose the evil and win Dona Maria's heart.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 Nov 2007
Format: DVD
The Sea Hawk is the only picture to give The Adventures of Robin Hood a run for its money in the greatest adventure film of all time stakes. Sharing only the title with Warners enjoyable silent film and reusing the sets and costumes from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, it's a great example of the genius of the studio system in the days before packaging became a dirty word. Errol Flynn is at his very best here, whether he's capturing Spanish galleons in the English Channel, wooing Brenda Marshall or fighting off a quartet of palace guards to warn Queen Elizabeth of the impending Armada - he's the kind of guy every man wants to be and every woman just wants. And he's backed up by a strong array of talent - villainous Claude Rains and eternally snide and condescending Henry Daniell, sidekick Alan Hale, Flora Robson's haughty but playful Elizabeth, reliably decent Donald Crisp and a slew of other familiar faces all the way down to J.M. Kerrigan's shifty spy. Even the eternally irritating Una O'Connor is on her best behavior here.

And there's real talent behind the cameras too - Howard Koch and Seton I. Miller's unashamedly stirring screenplay, Sol Polito's great black and white photography, where every swordfight casts giant shadows, Anton Grot's far from grotty art direction, Michael Curtiz's vivid direction and, of course, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's greatest score (not to mention that song!). Warner's recent DVD release is a fine package, boasting the fully restored version (the obvious anti-Nazi parallels were removed for post-war reissues, reducing Donald Crisp's role to a mere extra) and the sepia tint to the Panama sequences.

Extras are good, although it is a shame that the terrific - and very different - silent version was not included as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Carter on 23 Jan 2009
Format: DVD
I agree with Trevor Willsmer: this is quite superb, a terrific film for all the reasons he lists. The only thing to add is a reference to the impossibly lovely Olivia de Havilland: she doesn't have much to do but stand there appearing darkly beautiful, but my, how well she does it! Now I can't wait to see her, opposite Errol Flynn again, in Captain Blood and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

And Trevor mentions in passing the sepia sequence in the film: my immediate thought was that this was in homage to the colour sequence at the end of Ivan the Terrible Part II, but that wasn't made until 1944 so maybe it was the other way round?

One more point: the music (by Korngold) is wonderful, especially the trumpet led action theme that Indiana Jones' tune has an uncanny (and presumably not accidental) resemblance to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. D. M. Kirby on 30 Dec 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'd like to go on record as saying that I believe that the duelling sequence in `The Sea Hawk' is the finest ever choreographed in the movies. The fight choreographer was Ralph Faulkner and he doubled for Henry Daniell, with Ned Davenport doubling for Errol Flynn. The fencing master in this film, and also in Doug Fairbanks Sr's films of `The Mark of Zorro' (1920) and `The Black Pirate' (1926) was Fred Cavens, but in those days, there wasn't sufficient technology to compare with the fight choreography in `The Sea Hawk'.

For the rest, it's a terrific swashbuckler of a film. Flynn is at his best, especially because in his early life, he had commanded ships and therefore his shouted orders ("It's cutlasses now, men!") have that much more authenticity. In fairness, Brenda Marshall's role of Doña Maria could have been played by just about any dark-haired actress but Flora Robson is superb as Queen Elizabeth I and Henry Daniell - who had the unique ability to laugh and sneer at the same time - is great as Lord Wolfingham.

Michael Curtiz was reputedly never the easiest director to work for but he inevitably brought home the goods, as - with the help of Korngold's wonderful score - he did in this blockbuster of a movie. Unmissable.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tony R on 14 Sep 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Filmed in black and white, Michael Curtiz shows his true genius in his exquisite use of this medium. From the framing of the scene with Brenda Marshall in the 'Lady of the Flowers' garden, to the all time classic duel between Captain Thorpe and Lord Wolfingham, shot by candelit shadow. All this, and Wilfrid Korngold's Oscar winning score. This is the greatest film of the 'swashbuckling' genre ever made.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 July 2011
Format: DVD
The Sea Hawk is directed by Michael Curtiz and written by Howard Koch and Seton I. Miller. It's loosely based on The Sea Hawk (1915) written by Rafael Sabatini. Starring are Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains, Flora Robson, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale and Henry Daniell. Music is scored by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Sol Polito is the cinematographer.

It's the reign of Queen Elizabeth and Captain Geoffrey Thorpe preys on the galleons of Spain, plundering for treasure and freeing the English enslaved as oarsmen. Back at court, the Spanish Ambassador and an English traitor conspire against Thorpe and the British naval defence as King Philip II of Spain (Montagu Love) plots World domination.

Swashbuckling ahoy in this quite rousing Michael Curtiz/Errol Flynn picture. No expense spared from Warner Brothers who stumped up $1.7 million to help make The Sea Hawk a wonderfully lavish production. The budget is evident in the marvellous sets and the impacting costumes, spot on direction from Curtiz, the cinematography from Sol Polito is luscious, whilst Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score is suitably periodic with its swirling romanticism for the tender threads and rousing for the ship duelling bluster. But all this wouldn't be quite so great without a good cast to flesh out the dynamite story.

Errol Flynn is perhaps at a career high as Thorpe? Swashing away with a trusty blade to do down the evil enemy who dare to hurt good old Blighty. Villain duties fall to Claude Rains as Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba and Henry Daniell as Lord Wolfingham, Rains is sadly underused but leaves his mark, whilst Daniell is deliciously scheming and easily carries off the baddie honours.
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