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The Sea Hawk

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The Sea Hawk

Postby Lzcutter » August 7th, 2010, 11:01 pm

I know that most people prefer Errol Flynn in Robin Hood but, for me and his swashbuckling films, I prefer The Sea Hawk. I know that's blasphemy in some circles but I really like the score, I adore Flora Robson as Elizabeth and the supporting cast which includes Gilbert Roland is great. I love the final fencing scene between Captain Thorpe and Lord Wolfingham with its great shadows on the wall.

Don't get me wrong, I like Robin Hood plenty but The Sea Hawk nudges it out. And for the record, don't watch Hawk back to back with Captain Blood because you'll see a lot of the same fight scenes.

I hadn't planned on watching the film, just tuned in to hear what Robert O and Alec had to say about the film and discovered that Richard Dreyfus was right (in the documentary that TCM produced and which had an encore broadcast this afternoon) once you start watching, you don't stop. My only disagreement with Dreyfus is that he didn't seem to think Doug Fairbanks blazed the trail that Flynn followed.

I've enjoyed Flynn's day at SUTS, from Objective Burma (I am a BIG fan of Raoul Walsh) to Prince and the Pauper, the documentary, Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk.

Up next, Gentleman Jim and Edge of Darkness (Thanks Ark for the heads up on that one!)
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Re: The Sea Hawk

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 24th, 2011, 1:29 pm

I enjoyed the recent airing of The Sea Hawk on The Essentials this Saturday.

The intro for The Sea Hawk with Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin was informative and energetic concerning Michael Curtiz, Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, and Claude Rains, but I know they can't discuss every actor in the film because they don't have that much time...

I wish I had been able to see the documentary with Richard Dreyfuss...

So I also don't want viewers to forget about the great Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth:
"Spanish ships are notoriously slow. They should have chosen an English ship..."

Robson first portrayed Queen Elizabeth in Alexander Korda's Fire Over England with Sir Laurence
Olivier and Vivien Leigh, so The Sea Hawk was her second portrayal of the famous monarch, and her Hollywood successes ultimately contributed to her royal honors as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952 and her ascension as Dame Commander (DBE) in 1960.

A biography by Kenneth Barrow (Flora: The Life of Dame Flora Robson) was published in the early eighties.

Some critics believed that her portrayal as "Good Queen Bess" was more indicative of the persona
of Queen Elizabeth I than Bette Davis' more affected performance that was more indicative of the Davis personality and her individual mannerisms.

But for me, both actresses are entertaining and allow viewers an in-depth interpretation of the regal lady.

The heavy, sequined brocade on Robson's costume she wears when receiving Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn) in a private audience looked like a formidable uniform, indeed. It isn't easy to flounce and emote at the same time when sporting such a frock, but when Orry Kelly is the master of the threads, a gal must always feel fairly regal.

And I enjoy how Flynn acts with equal aplomb when faced with a Brazilian monkey or a well-trained stage actress like Robson. He was unflappable.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the "powdered monkey" sequence. Just the right amount of levity.
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