Captain Pirate

Dr. Blood of Jamaica (Captain Blood, dir. Michael Curtiz) treats runaway slaves and is seen plundering Spain, Britain’s ally against France, he is to wed the Lady Isabella.

The subtlety of this composition is exactly picked up by Charles Lawton, Jr.’s Technicolor cinematography in setups by Murphy on designs by George Brooks, and in turn reflected in George Duning’s score.

A savor of Huston’s Key Largo, on the way to Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief.

Leonard Maltin, “good-enough”. TV Guide, “justice triumphs.” Hal Erickson (Rovi), “above-average”. Question of silencing the witness. “What did they say, lassie?” Lady Isabella shakes her head. “Politicians!” The summoning of the pirate crew displays Murphy’s originality in a montage that figures later in The Magnificent Seven (dir. John Sturges) etc. and The Sting (dir. George Roy Hill). The taking of the British ship is a brutal affair conducted very calmly by him, his attention is to the business at hand and not to any superficialities of action (he has Lloyd’s Mutiny on the Bounty for Captain Evans let live).

At the light-o’-love’s tavern in Martinique, a musical number prepares The Pink Panther (dir. Blake Edwards). Her death at the hands of a generous amour similarly anticipates Goldfinger (dir. Guy Hamilton), and in general Murphy looks ahead a decade or more.

“The great slave liberator! Well, let’s see you liberate yourself from this.” The motif clearly expressed in a Martinique fistfight is divide and conquer.

The supreme elegance is a quintessential certainty, Spanish gold and slaves, from the outset.

“Ah, you should have been a statesman.”

“Oh no, too dangerous. In our profession we live longer, also better.” The offer of a royal pardon plays upon Hayward’s resemblance to Welles and is from Reed’s The Third Man (the Spanish flag at Puerto Bello is a variant of Walsh’s Captain Horatio Hornblower the year before).

“But, unfortunately, pirates have more respect for cannon than precedent.” Halliwell’s Film Guide, “plenty of high spirits.” And so, Captain Peter Blood defends Spain against France and preserves the alliance from a traitor as well as a usurper.

“From now on,” says Mrs. Blood of Jamaica, “all his orders are for me.”


Taken to the Cleaners
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

Thalia the money grub, who must have proper financial arrangements before a date with Dobe, cuts herself in on a phonybaloney dry cleaning racket with “hot clothes”, only to monopolize the reward for belatedly spotting the crooks.