starring J. Warren Kerrigan
October 4, 1924
The long awaited motion picture version of "Captain Blood" has at last arrived on Broadway. Everyone is well acquainted with Sabatini's young Irish physician who eventually became a pirate and sailed at least two of the seven seas, but we doubt if anyone ever conceived the daring Captain Blood as he appears in the screen version which Vitagraph is presenting. After talking about it for months, they chose Warren Kerrigan, and in portraying this character Mr. Kerrigan has at least not yielded to precedent. For we doubt if ever before there trod the screen a Sabatini, swashbuckling hero like this one. And yet we like him. He isn't rough, but he has finesse, and he looks handsome in the curls, plumes, satins and swords of that period.
Jean Paige as the gentle heroine is distinctly disappointing. As someone remarked, "You can't emote much with a profile." 'Tis true, 'tis pity. There are hundreds of ships and thousands of extras to blow up these ships which cost thousands of dollars. The cast is large, costly and in most cases more than "adequate." So "Captain Blood" will probably be a financial success. As for us, we got not a single thrill out of it.
starring J. Warren Kerrigan
Here is Vitagraph's most ambitious effort. This much-heralded picture easily lives up to the fulsome praises sung in its behalf by its sponsors. Rafael Sabatini surely knows how to write stirring sea stories that have film possibilities written all over them. Like "The Sea Hawk," it tells a vivid, absorbing, romantic tale of the Spanish Main when pirates roved the seven seas. Like that memorable picture, it carries all the elements of drama to appeal to the imagination. Seeing it, we become transported to the adventurous days of the past. It stimulates the mind and quickens the pulse in the action-full revelations of adventure and romance. It capitalizes courage and colors life in such compelling manner that the reader or spectator quickly adapts himself to that life.
It is a tale of heroics that overcome all obstacles. What greater meat for picturization! The sea for a background - the sailing ships with their broadsides, the pirates, the adventurers - and the faire ladyes who loved. From the moment that the adventurous Blood is exiled by King James to Barbados, to the hour when he gives up piracy to fight for the English flag, the picture commands unswerving attention. It is truly colorful. It glorifies romance and adventure in a day when life was held cheaply.
The story is told in a straightforward manner, revealing in the journey to its climax - scene after scene of tense action, vivid drama, intimate romance, delightful humor and incident. The photography is excellent - and more than excellent when the ships are caught, full sail, against the horizon. And when it flashes its big battle scene as the ships come abreast with the guns belching powder and flame and smoke - and the men pouring over the sides to fight in hand-to-hand encounters, there is revealed one of the most stirring shots every caught by a camera.
The picture is finely treated in story and direction. Its intimate episodes are especially captivating as a credit to David Smith, the director. The acting is also of a high order -- with J. Warren Kerrigan giving the best performance of his career. A large cast renders fine assistance.
Return to reviews page