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Captain Blood [VHS]

4.7 out of 5 stars 254 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill, Basil Rathbone, Ross Alexander
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Casey Robinson, Rafael Sabatini
  • Producers: Gordon Hollingshead, Hal B. Wallis, Harry Joe Brown, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: July 24, 1991
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302120527
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,245 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The swashbuckler had been around long before Errol Flynn drew a cutlass, but the Tasmanian-born bit player reinvigorated the genre with his mix of dashing good looks, haughty insolence, and alluring confidence. Adapted from the novel by Rafael Sabatini (who also penned The Sea Hawk), this rousing adventure chronicles the travails of Peter Blood (Flynn), a righteous doctor unjustly sold into slavery for treating the wounds of rebels, a kind of British Dr. Mudd. Sent to a Jamaican plantation where he toils under the brutal whip of Lionel Atwill and seethes with passion for his fair niece (the astonishingly beautiful Olivia de Havilland), he escapes from bondage with his fellow prisoners and becomes the gentleman rogue pirate of the Caribbean. Director Michael Curtiz builds from one set piece to another, including a nimble beachside sword fight with pirate nemesis Basil Rathbone and climaxing with a grand sea battle that belies the film's modest budget. Flynn's bravado and charisma are apparent from his entrance, but once he leaps into action he takes command of the picture, overcoming his still-green dramatic skills with sheer personality. Captain Blood made stars of Flynn and de Havilland and catapulted Curtiz to the top ranks of Warner directors. The three reunited for some of the studio's best-loved adventures: The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Dodge City. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Yossarian VINE VOICE on August 8, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Captain Blood is a great film, let alone a tremendous pirate film. There's something about the plot that has a certain resonance today as much as that of Robin Hood, namely that age-old sense of justice triumphing over rigid law and order, of robbing the rich to feed the poor. Yet Captain Blood is a little rougher edged, a little crueler in its machinations. Peter Blood (Flynn) is a well-meaning doctor who happens to aid the wrong side in one of Britain's innumerable civil wars, and is sentenced into slavery in the outer colonies along with a pack of other unfortunates. Right from the moment you see him level his icy gaze at the consumptive, soon-to-be dead Royal judge who passed the sentence, you know this party is just getting started.
Hollywood has used the 'good-man-wronged' scenario countless times since this movie, but rarely to such effect. Battered, beaten, but never broken, Dr. Peter Blood transforms into Captain Blood, the terror of the high seas that crushes his enemies without ever letting anyone affect his high-minded moral core. It was not his choice to become an outlaw, but if he has to become one, he will be the best one there ever was. Redemption, honor, and love all make their appearances in the fine script enacted by a worthy cast, but at every point Blood is a man in control of, and therefore responsible for, his own destiny. It's a great film and one you definitely should check out.
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Format: DVD
This was Errol Flynn's first big film, and he is dazzling in it. Michael Curtiz and MGM were not able to get the actors they wanted for the part of Captain Blood (at the top of the list was Robert Donat), and took an enormous risk in hiring this unknown, inexperienced young man, as the star of the film. The results are fantastic, and "Captain Blood" was a huge success, and is perhaps the best swashbuckler ever made. Olivia de Havilland had only played minor roles before her part as Arabella, the niece of the evil Col. Bishop (Lionel Atwill), and this film also established her career. She is sweet and lovely, and the scene where Blood and Arabella finally confess their love for one another is unforgettable. They make a gorgeous pair, and were to make 7 more films together.

The plot centers around a doctor (Blood), who is unfairly sentenced by a corrupt judge for being "a rebel against the king". His life is spared, and he is sent to Port Royal, Jamaica, to be sold as a slave, and after escaping, piracy becomes his only means of existence. "And thus Captain Blood began his piracy...with a ship, a handful of men, and a brain." Basil Rathbone is marvelous as the bad guy Captain Levasseur, and the swordplay on a rocky shore between Blood and Levasseur (Laguna Beach substituting for Jamaica) is superb. Others in the supporting cast include J. Carrol Naish and Guy Kibbee.

With fast paced direction by Curtiz, a stupendous debut film score by classical composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and cinematography by Hal Mohr, with clever use of miniatures in the seafaring scenes, this film will stand the test of time for generations to come. Nominated by the Academy for Best Picture and Sound, total running time is 120 minutes. DVD extras include an interesting featurette, with commentary by film historian Robert Osborne, among others.
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Format: VHS Tape
Captain Blood is the kind of movie that I like to pop in the VCR on a Saturday afternoon when I need a couple of hours of down time. Errol Flynn stars as Peter Blood, a doctor wrongly imprisoned who turns to piracy in the seventeenth century. Flynn was the perfect actor for a role like this, because he had the athleticism and charisma to make this character come alive, and he manages to deliver some "goofy" dialogue without making it sound "goofy". Olivia deHavilland plays his love interest (as she often did), and she's well cast as the proper, yet spunky young lady. It's hard to imagine a couple of actors more suited for each other. Physically, they look incredible together, and the chemistry between them is obvious. Their youth and energy keep the film moving, as do the well-directed action sequences, the rousing musical score, and the playful humour. There are a lot of familiar character actors in the cast, including the always great Basil Rathbone. Captain Blood is the kind of movie you don't get tired of watching, because it entertains every time.
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Format: VHS Tape
In his autobiography, Jack L. Warner said Errol Flynn's sudden rise to stardom was like a "wildfire" sweeping across the landscape. In "Captain Blood," a 26-year-old Errol Flynn burst on the scene with drop-dead good looks, a knack for generating excitement, and one of the most powerful screen personas of any star in the history of film. This story of a doctor-turned-pirate is rousing entertainment from beginning to end, and represents a milestone for both Flynn and Warner Brothers. For Flynn, the movie made him an international star. For Warner Brothers, it gave them their first matinee idol and one of their biggest income-producers. "Captain Blood" also began the wonderful partnership of Flynn and Olivia DeHavilland, who would go on to make another six films together. NOTE: Beware of 99-minute versions of "Captain Blood." At all costs, get the full, 119-minute version. It's like a whole different film. END
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