As far as costume swashbucklers are concerned, this is one of the greats. It has everything: fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. And all of it anchored by a really excellent performance by leading man Milton Sills, who specialized in these kinds of brawny feats of derring-do.
Full-size ships, an Elizabethan atmosphere, Barbary corsairs and fidelity to the original novel by Rafael Sabatini further add to the please. This is a don’t-miss picture and easily one of the best swashbucklers made in any era.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.Sills clears his name and is able to quit the Barbary corsairs and return to England.
Read my full-length review here. I also cover the 1940 Errol Flynn version, which jettisoned the original novel in favor of a Spanish Armada theme.
If it were a dessert it would be: Neapolitan 5-Layer Cake. Distinct layers combine into an elegant and harmonious whole.
Availability: Released on DVD from Warner Archive with a fine organ score by Robert Israel.