"The Sea Hawk" p.2, Hollywood magazine, 1940
Slowly the great ship rolled,
beneath a cloud of canvas, through a smother of angry foam. Then, with
a majestic swoop, it curtseyed till the horizon reeled and the toughest
Eliabethan sailor aboard said, "Gosh!"...and gulped uneasily.
Half of the sixteenth century buckaroos were seasick the first day.
As a matter of fact, the only two privateers who didn't grow queasy
once in the course of the voyage were Errol Flynn and Alan Hale. They
sail boats, themselves. But not across oceans like this.
For all that deep sea stuff was proceeding merrily upon an indoors ocean
with a roof over it. A life on the rolling waves, with plenty of waves,
had been concocted at the Warner studio inside the world's largest soundstage.
The billows heaved exclusively and expensively on behalf of The
Sea Hawk, that romantic tale of derring-do in the England of 1585.
And where the indoor briny had it over the outdoor kind -- they could
turn off the weather whenever director Mike Curtiz told them to cut
He told them. The roll stopped. In a jiffy, or as soon as the camera
could be set up at a new angle, the ship came quietly to dock in the
English harbor of Dover. Boy, what a trip! And there on the high,
carved quarterdeck stood the hero of it.
He was Geoffrey Thorpe, played by Errol Flynn, a gallant figure in
green and russet velvet, with a sword that glittered in the sun and
a cape that flung out jauntily at each impatient gesture. He was impatient
for the sight of a pair of dark Spanish eyes...for Maria, proud and
alien among the ladies of the English court.
Meanwhile, on the roofs and quays the whole town crowded, roaring
with excitement. It awaited the arrival of Good Queen Bess (Flora
Robson) who was coming to reward young Thorpe with knighthood.
The character of Geoffrey Thorpe was patterned after that of Admiral
Sir Francis Drake. It's worthy of note in passing that Drake cruised
along the California coast only twenty miles and four hundred years
from the spot where Warner's were now filming exploits based upon