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TCM Greatest Classic Legends Collection: Errol Flynn [2 Discs] (DVD) (Black & White) (Eng/Fre/Spa)

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    Synopsis

    Includes:
  • Captain Blood (1935), MPAA Rating: NR
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), MPAA Rating: PG
  • The Sea Hawk (1940), MPAA Rating: NR
  • The Adventures of Don Juan (1949)

    Captain Blood
    When British actor Robert Donat dropped out of Warner Bros. Captain Blood, the studio took a chance on its new contractee, Tasmania-born Errol Flynn. Adapted from the novel by Rafael Sabatini, the film is set during the oppressive reign of King James II. Irish physician Peter Blood (Errol Flynn), arrested for treating a wounded anti-crown rebel, is condemned to slavery in Jamaica. Here he earns several privileges after treating the governor (George Hassell) for gout; this does not rest well with Lionel Atwill, the wicked owner of the plantation on which Blood is forced to work. Nor is Atwill pleased with the growing relationship between his niece Arabella (Olivia DeHavilland) and the imprisoned doctor. An attack on Jamaica by Spanish pirates gives Blood and his fellow slaves the opportunity to become buccaneers themselves. After several months of fighting and plunder, Blood's men capture a merchant ship bearing Arabella. Blood fights a duel with a French pirate (Basil Rathbone) over the girl; having "won" her, Blood intends to have his way with her, but his more decent instincts prevail. When King James is overthrown by William of Orange, Blood is given a commission and lauded as a hero as a reward for his bravery against the Spanish galleons. He is appointed governor of Jamaica, wins the hand of the lovely Arabella, and genially forces Atwill to eat crow. This seemingly outsized swashbuckler was actually a very economical production, using stock footage from several silent films. Captain Blood transformed the 26-year-old Errol Flynn into a star; he's a little clumsy in the dialogue department at times, but cuts a dashing figure in the action scenes. The film also represented the cinematic debut of composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, who wasn't completely happy with his hastily written score and asked that his on-screen credit be diminished to "musical director". Long available only in its 99 minute re-issue version, Captain Blood has been restored to its full, glorious 119 minute length. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Adventures of Robin Hood
    In order to avoid the material copyrighted by Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for his 1922 Robin Hood, the scripters of this Flynn version relied on several legendary episodes that had never before been filmed, notably the battle between Robin and Little John (Alan Hale Sr., who played this part three times in his long career) and the "piggy-back" episode between Robin and Friar Tuck (Eugene Pallette). The film ties together the various ancient anecdotes with a storyline bounded by the capture in Austria of Richard the Lionheart (Ian Hunter) on one end and Richard's triumphant return to England on the other. Robin Hood is already an outlaw at the outset of the film, while Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) is initially part of the enemy camp, as one of Prince John's (Claude Rains) entourage. Marian warms up to Robin's fight against injustice (and to Robin himself), eventually becoming a trusted ally. James Cagney was originally announced for the role of Robin Hood, just before Cagney left Warner Bros. in a salary dispute. William Keighley was the original director, but he worked too slowly to suit the tight production schedule and was replaced by Michael Curtiz (both men receive screen credit). A lengthy opening jousting sequence was shot but removed from the final print; portions of this sequence show up as stock footage in the 1957 Warners film The Story of Mankind. The chestnut-colored Palomino horse ridden by de Havilland in the Sherwood Forest scenes later gained screen stardom as Roy Rogers' Trigger. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Sea Hawk
    In the 1580s, the Sea Hawks -- the name given to the bold privateers who prowl the oceans taking ships and treasure on behalf the British crown -- are the most dedicated defenders of British interests in the face of the expanding power of Philip of Spain. And Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) is the boldest of the Sea Hawks, responsible for capturing and destroying more than 50 Spanish ships and ten Spanish cities. His capture of a Spanish galleon, however, leads to more than he bargained for, in a romance with the ambassador's niece (Brenda Marshall) and the first whiff of a plan to put Spanish spies into the court of Elizabeth I (Flora Robson). Thorpe's boldness leads him to a daring raid on a treasure caravan in Panama which, thanks to treachery within Elizabeth's court, gets him captured and, with his crew, sentenced to the life of a slave aboard a Spanish ship. Meanwhile, Philip of Spain decides to wipe the threat posed by Elizabeth's independence from the sea by conquering the island nation with his armada. Thorpe, though chained to an oar, knows who the traitor at court is and plans to expose him and Philip's plans, but can he and his men break their bonds and get back to England alive in time to thwart the plans for conquest? The Sea Hawk was the last and most mature of Flynn's swashbuckling adventure films, played with brilliant stylistic flourishes by the star at his most charismatic, and most serious and studied when working with Flora Robson, whom he apparently genuinely respected. Boasting the handsomest, most opulent production values of a Warner Bros. period film to date, The Sea Hawk was made possible in part by a huge new floodable soundstage. Another highlight was the best adventure film score ever written by Erich Wolfgang Korngold; and the script's seriousness was nailed down by various not-so-veiled references not to 16th century Spain but 20th century Nazi Germany. The movie was cut by over 20 minutes for a reissue with The Sea Wolf, and the complete version was lost until a preservation-quality source was found at the British Film Institute. Since then, that 128-minute version -- which actually contains a one-minute patriotic speech by Robson as Elizabeth that was originally left out of U.S. prints, as well as amber tinting in all of the Panamanian sequences -- has become standard. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

    The Adventures of Don Juan
    Though Errol Flynn was well past his prime (and obviously well lubricated in certain scenes), he rises to the occasion of The Adventures of Don Juan with a spirited, athletic performance. As fabled Spanish swashbuckler/lover Don Juan, Flynn spends the early portions of the film romancing willing young ladies and dueling with jealous husbands. Spain's Queen Margaret (Viveca Lindfors) assigns Don Juan to head the royal fencing academy to keep him out of trouble. When scheming Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas) plots to topple the monarchy, it is Don Juan's eager young fencing pupils who come to the rescue. Though a troubled production (filming was habitually halted due to Flynn's precarious physical condition and by constant changes and replacements in production personnel),The Adventures of Don Juan moves swiftly and enjoyably from start to finish, abetted by a rousing, semi-satirical Max Steiner musical score, which has since been heard in such 1980s films as Zorro, the Gay Blade and Goonies. Incidentally, Errol Flynn is doubled in the famous leap from the head of a long staircase by stunt expert Jock Mahoney. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Cast & Crew

    • Errol Flynn
      Errol Flynn - Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe
    • Brenda Marshall
      Brenda Marshall - Donna Maria Alvarez de Cordoba
    • Claude Rains
      Claude Rains - Don Jose Alvarez de Cordoba
    • Flora Robson
      Flora Robson - Elizabeth I
    • Donald Crisp
      Donald Crisp - Sir John Burleson
    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.