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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.
The beautifully crafted costumes were made for the Errol Flynn movie, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939). Re-using them saved Warner Brothers a huge amount of money, since the costumes were heavily researched, meticulously created, and very expensive.
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 sequence when Thorpe & the galley slaves are preparing to escape, a guard descends to check on noise below deck. Just before his POV shot of the "sleeping slaves" cuts back to him, a slave can be seen creeping out behind the second row on the lower right. But on the cut, the guard, still looking, turns away.
In the DVD version, the scenes in which Captain Thorpe and his men are in South America are tinted (as opposed to colorized), as they were upon the film's original release. Several other black-and-white films use this 'tinted" effect during suspenseful scenes, notably, "Portrait of Jennie".