Approved | | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The unhistorical adventures of pirate Captain Kidd revolve around treasure and treachery.
The film is loosely based on real-life pirate William Kidd. Born in Scotland in 1645, he began his career as a privateer. By 1690 he became a wealthy shipowner in New York. In 1696, during a trip to East Africa, he turned to piracy. He captured or looted many ships. Trusting that his privateer commission would protect him, he returned to Long Island in 1699. He was ordered to England, where he was arrested, tried and convicted for piracy and murder. He was hanged in 1701. Stories about Kidd's buried treasure were legendary but the only booty ever found was on Gardiners Island, near Long Island, in New York.
Capt. William Kidd:
Stab me, there's a pretty sight!
Orange Povey: It'll be prettier still when the fire reaches the magazine, Captain.
Cyprian Boyle: Pity though. Lots of stout seamen among 'em. They've been with us a long time.
Capt. William Kidd: We can none of live forever, Mr. Boyle. Dead men don't talk.
As Lady Anne Dunstan's father is about to be knocked off ship by a swinging treasure chest, and just after he is knocked off deck, a large vertical seam between two of the background flats is clearly visible.
The Roan Group DVD version, which comes from an excellent print, is sadly missing one of the best scenes in the film. In the scene Charles Laughton has trouble dressing for dinner on the ship, he is chastised for his hair-do by his valet, and then gets confused with his manners during dinner. We also learn a little more about Randolph Scott's character in this delightful scene. It can be found on the Australian VHS release from Force Video.
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