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(Review originally written at 7 November 2007)

Yeah, sure I missed Errol Flynn, but Gregory Peck is of course a more than great substitute. He plays a great and compelling character and I way only he could do. And just leave it up to director Raoul Walsh to make a good entertaining swashbuckler!

The movie has a great adventurous historic story, about life on the sea. It isn't constantly action but still the movie constantly maintains a pleasant atmosphere. But still the movie also has some good action moments in it as well. The sea battles are truly great! But unfortunately the movie also feels the need to put in a love interest and love-story of course. The movie starts to go a bit downhill after the love-story kicks in, since it takes away lots of the pace and adventurous atmosphere of the movie. Luckily after that the movie soon starts to become fast and entertaining again. Because there are many different things happening in the movie, with changing characters and enemies, the movie feels much longer than its 'merely' 117 minutes, which is a real positive thing to say in this case.

No, this movie really ain't no swashbuckler like the used to make in the '30's but nevertheless the movie has different qualities and is great to watch on its own, mainly because it's such a well made movie.

The directing is great and so is the overall pace. You can really tell director Raoul Walsh is really comfortable within the genre. The effects are also very good and convincing looking for its time. Only problem is that the movie too often makes sudden leaps in time. The time-line of the movie doesn't always feel sensible.

The movie truly benefits from Gregory Peck's presence. He uplifts the movie and he fits the role surprisingly well. It's fun that the movie also features a still young Christopher Lee as well, in one of his first small movie roles. At least he can say that he once crossed swords with Gregory Peck. Most other actors in the movie aren't really much impressive, including Virginia Mayo (who?).

All in all a great movie to watch!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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