Friday, June 6, 2014

Pirate this movie!

Now that we're in a new month, we get a new Friday Night Spotliht on TCM. This month, the spotlight is on pirate movies, hosted by comedian Greg Proops. I have no idea if Proops is going to be a good host; most of my knowledge of him is based on those snarky list shows that usually have a countdown of itmes that fit whatever the show topic is, with various talking heads making comments about the various items in the list. With Proops, I think I saw him in I Love the 80s on VH1; looking through his credits, I see why I don't know his work very well.

Anyhow, tonight's lineup kicks off with the 1924 version of The Sea Hawk at 8:00 PM. This one stars Milton Sills as a retired privateer in Elizabethan England who gets tricked into his half-brother into going with a ship's captain (Wallace Beery) who has been paid off to sell Sills into slavery. The only thing is, the ship gets taken by the Moors which is not the sort of slavery that the half-brother had in mind. Sills sees the valor of the Mohommedan (I think they use that word rather than more modern words in the movie) fighters and converts to Islam himself, vowing to gain revenge. This is one of those movies that I saw several years back when it aired on TCM as part of a salute to something: I think the Arab Images in FIlm series, but I'm not quite certain. Rousing entertainment, although for more detailed information you'd probably want to consult somebody who has a specific interest in silents. The knowledge they have on silent movies puts mine to shame.

You may recall the Errol Flynn title The Sea Hawk. That title was taken from this movie, or more accurately both were taken from the book by Rafael Sabatini, who also wrote The Black Swan, which follows at 10:15 PM tonight. However, only the silent version of The Sea Hawk tells the story that's in the Rafael Sabatini book; the later Errol Flynn movie tells a different story. The Errol Flynn movie will be part of this month's pirate movie spotlight, on June 20.

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