6.4/10
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The Spanish Main (1945)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Romance | October 1945 (USA)
After being wronged by the Caribbean authorities, a Dutch captain turns pirate to wage war.

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

George Worthing Yates (screenplay), Herman J. Mankiewicz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maureen O'Hara ... Contessa Francesca
Paul Henreid ... Capt. Laurent Van Horn
Walter Slezak ... Don Juan Alvarado
Binnie Barnes ... Anne Bonney
John Emery ... Capt. Mario Du Billar
Barton MacLane ... Capt. Benjamin Black
J.M. Kerrigan ... Pillery Gow
Fritz Leiber ... Bishop
Nancy Gates ... Lupita
Jack La Rue ... Lt. Escobar (as Jack LaRue)
Mike Mazurki ... Erik Swaine
Ian Keith ... Captain Lussan
Curt Bois ... Paree
Antonio Moreno ... Commandante
Victor Kilian ... Santa Madre Captain
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Storyline

Laurent van Horn is the leader of a band of Dutch refugees on a ship seeking freedom in the Carolinas, when the ship is wrecked on the coast of Cartagene, governed by Don Juan Alvardo, Spainish ruler. Alvarado has Laurent thrown in prison, but the latter escapes, and five-years later is a pirate leader. He poses as the navigator on a ship in which Contessa Francesca, daughter of a Mexican noble, is traveling on her way to marry Alvarado, whom she has never seen. Laurent's pirates capture the ship and Francesca, in order to save another ship, gives her hand-in-marriage to Laurent, who sails her to the pirate hideout. This irks the jealous Anne Bonney and, also, Captain Benjamin Black, who was already irked, anyway. They overpower Laurent and send Francesca to Alvarado, and then Mario du Billar, trusted right-hand man, makes a deal to deliver Laurent to Alvarado too. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THEIR SAVAGE WAR FOR PLUNDER...split the seven seas asunder! (original print ad) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

En la ruta de los corsarios See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Heinreid, Binnie Barnes and Walter Slezak were all of Jewish descent. See more »

Quotes

Don Juan Alvarado: Commandante, in the future, we will apply the word "beautiful" to all the ladies who have previously appeared on these premises. You will now invent a new word meaning "much more than beautiful", which will be applied exclusively to La Contessa Francesca.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The Spanish Main--cruel, oppressive and ruthless, where power alone was a man's single title to everything he held dear, including his very life. It was, thus, a cruel fate that a peaceful Dutch pilgrim ship should be driven there by torrential waves--and crash upon the rocks immediately outside Cartagena, its most remorseless citadel. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who: Origins (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Taunton Dean
From "The Jolly Crew" 1641 play at the Cockpit, Drury Lane, London
Sung by Paul Henreid
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ahoy there Frankie Borzage.
31 January 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

What's this, Frank Borzage producing commercial popcorn fodder? Indeed yes it is. The Spanish Main is a good old pirate/seafaring romp, the production design is considerably better than the actual plotting, with RKO pushing the boat out (hrr hrr hrr), but as long as you have a kink for such old fashioned genre pictures then there is much to enjoy; and much that's easy to ignore...

Maureen O'Hara, Paul Henreid and Walter Slezak are the draw cards, though each one is short changed by the screenplay. O'Hara isn't called on to rise above being a feisty Technicolor beaut who will inevitably become Henreid's gal. Henreid himself is, in spite of the film very much being his baby, actually miscast and wholly unbelievable in the pirate stakes, while the ever wonderful Slezak is quite simply under used.

However, fans of such fare easily forgive the shortcomings, focusing on having a good time with the extended sword play and naval battle scenes, buying into the romance angle and shouting hooray at film's finale! It's all very conventional on the page, but the smart craft involved in bringing it to life is sometimes all you need to brighten a miserable winter's day. 6.5/10


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