High praise for most of the ingredients that went into "The Sea Hawk"...
This documentary starts with Korngold's rousing score beneath scenes of ERROL FLYNN as THE SEA HAWK, and then begins with narration by Lincoln Hurst, Rudy Behlmer and Robert Osborne, all of them full of praise for the classic swashbuckler that Warners was so capable of making.
Noted are the sets which were leftovers from THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX and ROBIN HOOD; that the Howard Koch script was really a reflection of the times: Hitler vs. Churchill in the 20th Century; the bigger budget for this than for CAPTAIN BLOOD, with two life-size ships built on a huge sound stage on hydraulic lifts so the ships could sway; and the fact that Errol Flynn, although the biggest box-office draw at the studio, never felt fully appreciated by Jack Warner, who never took him seriously as an actor.
ALAN HALE and FLORA ROBSON are praised highly for their contributions, but BRENDA MARSHALL is cited as a "cool Norwegian beauty at her best when being morally indignant" but no substitute for Olivia de Havilland, according to Lincoln Hurst.
Musician John Mauceri further states: "Seeing Errol Flynn without Olivia was really hard for everybody. It's really difficult to accept the fact it should be Olivia de Havilland and how could he dare look at a woman when it's not Olivia like that." And he goes on to praise the Korngold music which is probably one of the finest scores he ever wrote, whereas another composer might have been content to merely recycle his score from other films.
Another detriment aside from the casting of Brenda Marshall, is the fact that HENRY DANIELL, while a wonderful villain, could not fence and is seen only in the close-ups of the dueling scene. A double had to be used for 90% of the fight, which nevertheless manages to be one of the best staged duels of its kind, thanks to imaginative camera work and Michael Curtiz's direction.
Summing up: A fascinating glimpse of the Flynn classic.
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