Captain Kidd (film)

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Captain Kidd
Captain-Kidd-1945.jpg
Movie poster
Directed by Rowland V. Lee
Screenplay by Norman Reilly Raine
Story by Robert N. Lee
Produced by Benedict Bogeaus
Starring Charles Laughton
Randolph Scott
Barbara Britton
Cinematography Archie Stout
Edited by James Smith
Charles Odds
Music byWerner Janssen
Production
companies
Benedict Bogeaus Productions
Captain Kidd Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • November 22, 1945 (1945-11-22)(United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Captain Kidd is a 1945 American adventure film starring Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott and Barbara Britton. [1] It was directed by Rowland V. Lee, his last before he retired, [2] and produced by Benedict Bogeaus and James Nasser. The music was conducted by Werner Janssen. The film was released by United Artists. It has entered the public domain because the producers neglected to renew the copyright in 1972. In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev noted that this was one of Joseph Stalin's favourite films, and that Stalin identified with the mischievous captain.

Contents

Plot

Captain Kidd complete movie

In 1699, pirate William Kidd loots and destroys the English galleon The Twelve Apostles near Madagascar. He and three confederates bury the stolen treasure on a remote island.

He returns to London and hires a gentleman's gentleman. Kidd then presents himself at the court of William III of England as an honest shipmaster seeking a royal commission as a privateer after striking his colours to a pirate. The king is persuaded by Kidd that the captain of The Twelve Apostles was that pirate, who has disappeared with its treasure. The King grants the commission.

Kidd recruits a crew from condemned pirates in Newgate and Marshalsea prisons, promising them a royal pardon at the end of their voyage. Among them is the quarrelsome though cultured Adam Mercy. Kidd makes him the new master gunner because of his claimed prior service with pirate Captain Avery.

The King sends Kidd and his ship the Adventure Galley to the waters near Madagascar to rendezvous with the ship Quedagh Merchant and provide an escort back to England. The Quedagh Merchant carries Lord Fallsworth, the King's ambassador to the Grand Mughal, his daughter Lady Anne Dunstan, and a chest of treasure from the Indian potentate to King William.

Kidd's story about a pirate he fought nearby persuades Lord Fallsworth to switch ships with his daughter and the precious cargo. Kidd's navigator Jose Lorenzo lights a candle in the ship's magazine. Just as the transfer takes place, the Quedagh Merchant blows up. Kidd also arranges a fatal "accident" for Lord Fallsworth, leaving only a frightened Lady Anne. She turns to the only man she thinks she can trust, Shadwell, Kidd's servant. When she mentions the recent battle with pirates, Shadwell tells her it never happened. He advises her to put her faith in Adam Mercy.

On the voyage home, Kidd schemes to rid himself of his three close associates (to avoid sharing the booty) and Mercy (whom he suspects of being a spy). Mercy is really the vengeance-seeking son of Admiral Lord Blayne, the slandered captain of The Twelve Apostles. When a smitten Lorenzo tries to force himself on Lady Anne, Kidd is delighted when Mercy engages him in a sword fight. Lorenzo is driven overboard to drown. During the fight, Mercy's medallion is torn from his neck. Kidd finds it and recognizes the Blayne family crest so he strongly suspects Mercy is really a relative of the murdered Captain Blayne.

Kidd drops anchor at a lagoon. Kidd, Orange Povey (his only surviving confederate, protected by an incriminating letter that will be sent to the crown authorities if he should die), and Mercy go ashore and dig up the loot from The Twelve Apostles. When Mercy sees the Blayne crest he feigns indifference, but Kidd goads him by insulting his dead father's honor. Mercy is enraged and attacks Kidd, fighting him and Povey. Outnumbered, Mercy is knocked unconscious, falls into the water, and does not resurface. While the others believe him dead, he swims secretly back to the ship. Mercy and a loyal crewman row Lady Anne away in the ship's jolly boat, but are spotted. Shadwell sacrifices himself needlessly to cover their escape and Kidd blows up the jolly boat.

Believing himself safe, Kidd appears before King William with the Mughal's treasure to claim his reward (Lord Blayne's aristocratic title and estate). He learns that Mercy and Lady Anne have survived and preceded him to court. The King's men found the loot from The Twelve Apostles after searching Kidd's cabin. Kidd is tried, condemned and hanged.

Cast

Production

Charles Laughton's casting was announced in December 1944. [3] Laughton said he had long been interested in playing Kidd and liked the opportunity to show his versatility. [4] Rowland Lee was signed to direct. [5]

In January 1945 Randolph Scott signed to play the romantic male lead. Filming began 25 January. [6] It was shot at the General Service Studio using a boat that had been built for The Black Swan and used for The Princess and the Pirate. [7] Reginald Owen was borrowed from MGM. [8]

Awards

This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 18th Academy Awards. [9]

Notes

As a work of fiction rather than a documentary film, the story contains some historically incorrect material, including a London scene showing Tower Bridge two hundred years before it was built. [10] Kidd's London prisoner crew was removed before it sailed from England and Kidd was forced to find a new crew in New York City. Kidd returned to New York, not to London.

Laughton reprised his part in the 1952 farce Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd . [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

William Kidd Scottish sailor tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean

William Kidd, also known as Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd, was a Scottish sea captain who was commissioned as a privateer and had experience as a pirate. He was tried and executed in London in 1701 for murder and piracy.

1698 Calendar year

1698 (MDCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1698th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 698th year of the 2nd millennium, the 98th year of the 17th century, and the 9th year of the 1690s decade. As of the start of 1698, the Gregorian calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Treasure Concentration of riches

Treasure is a concentration of wealth — often originating from ancient history — that is considered lost and/or forgotten until rediscovered. Some jurisdictions legally define what constitutes treasure, such as in the British Treasure Act 1996.

Anne Bonny Irish pirate

Anne Bonny, sometimes Anne Bonney, was an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean, and one of a few female pirates in recorded history. What little that is known of her life comes largely from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates.

Adventure Galley, also known as Adventure, was an English sailing ship captained by William Kidd, the privateer. She was a type of hybrid ship that combined square rigged sails with oars to give her manoeuvrability in both windy and calm conditions. The vessel was launched at the end of 1695 and was acquired by Kidd the following year to serve in his privateering venture. Between April 1696 and April 1698, she travelled thousands of miles across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in search of pirates but failed to find any until nearly the end of her travels. Instead, Kidd himself turned pirate in desperation at not having obtained any prizes. Adventure Galley succeeded in capturing two vessels off India and brought them back to Madagascar, but by the spring of 1698 the ship's hull had become so rotten and leaky that she was no longer seaworthy. She was stripped of anything movable and sunk off the north-eastern coast of Madagascar. Her remains have not yet been located.

Captain Flint Fictional pirate in Stevensons Treasure Island

Captain Nathaniel J. Flint is a fictional 18th-century pirate captain who features in a number of novels, television series, and films. The original character was created by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894). Flint first appears in the classic adventure yarn Treasure Island, which was first serialised in a children's magazine in 1881, and later published as a novel in 1883.

Henry Every English captain and pirate

Henry Every, also known as Henry Avery, sometimes erroneously given as Jack Avery or John Avery, was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian oceans in the mid-1690s. He probably used several aliases throughout his career, including Benjamin Bridgeman, and was known as Long Ben to his crewmen and associates.

Reginald Owen British actor (1887–1972)

John Reginald Owen was a British actor known for his many roles in British and American film along with television programs.

<i>Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd</i> 1952 film by Charles Lamont

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd is a 1952 comedy film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, along with Charles Laughton, who reprised his role as the infamous pirate from the 1945 film Captain Kidd. It was the second film in SuperCineColor, a three-color version of the two-color Cinecolor process, and which utilized an Eastmancolor negative as Cinecolor did not offer three-color origination, only two-color origination via bipack.

Treasure map Map to find treasure

A treasure map is a map that marks the location of buried treasure, a lost mine, a valuable secret or a hidden locale. More common in fiction than in reality, "pirate treasure maps" are often depicted in works of fiction as hand drawn and containing arcane clues for the characters to follow. Regardless of the term's literary use, anything that meets the broad definition of a "map" that describes the location of a "treasure" could appropriately be called a "treasure map."

<i>Blackbeard the Pirate</i> 1952 film by Raoul Walsh

Blackbeard the Pirate is a 1952 Technicolor adventure film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Robert Newton, Linda Darnell, William Bendix, Keith Andes, and Torin Thatcher. The film was made by RKO Radio Pictures and produced by Edmund Grainger from a screenplay by Alan Le May based on the story by DeVallon Scott.

Pirates in the arts and popular culture Representations of pirates in fiction or literature

In English-speaking popular culture, the modern pirate stereotype owes its attributes mostly to the imagined tradition of the 18th century Caribbean pirate sailing off the Spanish Main and to such celebrated 20th century depictions as Captain Hook and his crew in the theatrical and film versions of J. M. Barrie's children's book Peter Pan, Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1950 film adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, and various adaptations of the Middle Eastern pirate, Sinbad the Sailor. In these and countless other books, films, and legends, pirates are portrayed as "swashbucklers" and "plunderers". They are shown on ships, often wearing eyepatches or peg legs, having a parrot perched on their shoulder, and saying phrases like "Arr, matey" and "Avast, me hearty". Pirates have retained their image through pirate-themed tourist attractions, film, toys, books and plays.

Barry Clifford

Barry Clifford is an American underwater archaeological explorer, best known for discovering the remains of Samuel Bellamy's wrecked pirate ship Whydah [pronounced wih-duh], the only fully verified and authenticated pirate shipwreck of the Golden Age of Piracy ever discovered in the world – as such, artifacts from the wreck provide historians with unique insights into the material, political and social culture of early 18th-century piracy.

The Pirate Round was a sailing route followed by certain, mainly English, pirates, during the late 17th century and early 18th century. The course led from the western Atlantic, parallel to the Cape Route around the southern tip of Africa, stopping at Madagascar, then on to targets such as the coast of Yemen and India. The Pirate Round was briefly used again during the early 1720s. Pirates who followed the route are sometimes referred to as Roundsmen. The Pirate Round was largely co-extensive with the routes of the East India Company ships, of Britain and other nations.

Quedagh Merchant, also known as the Cara Merchant and the Adventure Prize, was an Indian merchant vessel famously captured by Scottish privateer William Kidd on 30 January 1698.

Harry Cording English-American actor (1891–1954)

Hector William "Harry" Cording was an English-American actor. He is perhaps best remembered for his roles in the films The Black Cat (1934) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).

Captain Kidd's cannon is an iron cannon that was discovered in 2007 off of the coast of Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic. The cannon is believed to be part of the wreckage of the Quedagh Merchant, a ship that was commandeered and later abandoned by Captain Kidd in 1699. It is the first pirate cannon that has been recovered from the Caribbean. One of 26 cannons found off the coast of Catalina Island, it was first taken to Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation for investigation and research before being displayed in the exhibit National Geographic: Treasures of the Earth at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Thomas Wake was a pirate from Newport. Active during the Golden Age of Piracy, he is best known for sailing alongside Thomas Tew to join Henry Every in the Indian Ocean, hunting the Moghul treasure fleet.

Tempest Rogers was a pirate trader active in the Caribbean and off Madagascar. He is best known for his association with William Kidd.

References

  1. "Captain Kidd | TV Guide". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  2. "Rowland Lee, 84, of Films Is Dead". The New York Times. 22 December 1975. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  3. "Hedda Hopper LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD". Los Angeles Times. Dec 20, 1944. p. 10.
  4. "LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD WITH HEDDA HOPPER: THE KIDD STEPS OUT". Chicago Daily Tribune. Mar 4, 1945. p. C3.
  5. "SCREEN NEWS: Eddie Ryan, Jackie Paley Cast in Fox Mystery". THE NEW YORK TIMES. Dec 29, 1944. p. 12.
  6. "SCREEN NEWS: Scott Signed for Role in 'Captain Kidd' Of Local Origin Van Dyck Etching Brings $1,650". New York Times. Jan 17, 1945. p. 17.
  7. FRED STANLEY (Jan 7, 1945). "HOLLYWOOD BOWS TO THE LADIES: Busy Ladies Taking It Easy SOME MORE HOLLYWOOD DATA Anchors Aweigh New Sponsors". New York Times. p. X1.
  8. "SCREEN NEWS: MacMurray and Fenton Form Producing Firm Of Local Origin". New York Times. Jan 30, 1945. p. 22.
  9. "The 18th Academy Awards | 1946". Oscars.org | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  10. "London's Best Movie Bloopers: Part 2". Londonist. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  11. Levy, Emanuel (7 September 2014). "Captain Kidd (1945): Oscar Nominated Drama, Starring Charles Laughton". Emanuel Levy. Retrieved 2019-01-08.