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Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
Errol Flynn had played an English adventurer opposite Bette Davis's Elizabeth I in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939), but the monarch role in The Sea Hawk's script was too small for the studio's top female star.
King Philip II:
The riches of the New World are limitless, and the New World is ours - with our ships carrying the Spanish flag on seven seas, our armies sweeping over Africa, the Near East, and the Far West; invincible everywhere... but on our own doorstep. Only ...
In the initial battle scene, the Albatross is shown sailing around the Spanish ship with her sails always set the same. This means that she had to sail into the wind at some point, which is impossible for sailing ships.
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