A chronicle of Errol Flynn's pre-Hollywood sea adventures up the east coast of Australia. His crew includes his best friend Rex, a wild, visceral young man, the Dook, a proper young gent from Cambridge, and Charlie, the aging, depressed previous owner of the boat.
Flynn and company encounter beautiful virgins, underground boxing clubs, police raids, bar brawls, man-eating sharks, and cannibals while being forced to smuggle opium to survive. They must also battle the raging sea itself.
Dianne Koser - Deckchair Programming Committee
I have been surprised to realise that many of my Australian friends were not aware that
Errol Flynn was an Australian. He was in real life a true Larrakin.
Flynn was born in Hobart, Tasmania, the son of professor Theodore Thomson Flynn, a world
renowned Marine biologist, and Lily Mary Young. Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble. Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in.
The rebellious Flynn ran away to New Guinea at the age of eighteen where for several years
he worked on a range of jobs, including sanitation inspector, police inspector and copra
plantation overseer, constable, gold miner and guide up the dangerous Sepik River. In 1930,
Flynn returned to Sydney and purchased a boat, and he and three friends embarked upon a
seven-month voyage to New Guinea. Upon arrival, Flynn became the overseer of a tobacco
plantation and also wrote a column for the Sydney Bulletin.
In 1933, back in Australia, Flynn's introduction to acting came via an Australian film
producer who happened to see photographs of the extraordinarily good-looking young man
and had him cast as Fletcher Christian in the low-budget docudrama In the Wake of the
Bounty (1933). Errol Flynn ranked among Hollywood's most popular and highly paid stars from the mid-'30s through the early '40s, and his costume adventures thrilled audiences around the world.
The film, which deals with his pre Hollywood life, happily prioritises embellishing legend
over recreating life. All the cast are slightly (and quite deliberately) over the top to accommodate the film’s tone, which is sort of real and sort of not: historical drama by way of Saturday matinee.
Cocquerel leads the cast with an appealing and slightly cartoonish performance that has
more than a whiff of Indiana Jones about it. David Wenham arrives 45 minutes in to steal
the show as the fictitious Christian Travers, mayor – and priest – of Townsville. With a
pencil-thin curly moustache and the suspicious, flustered demeanour of a vaudeville hack,
Wenham is irresistibly eccentric.
Many consider Captain Blood to be his best film.
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