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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Black Swan (1942)

The infamous Morgan The Pirate (Laird Cregar) is not only granted a pardon from King Charles II but he is made the governor of Jamaica! But when a renegade pirate (George Sanders) continues to pillage British ships, the new governor sends his best man (Tyrone Power) to bring him back dead or alive. Now this is a swashbuckler! Clocking in at a tight 85 minutes running time, director Henry King crams the film with color (it won the Oscar for best color cinematography), action and romance. Power had already proven himself adept at Fairbanks like derring-do in THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) and he doesn't disappoint here. Toss in a feisty Maureen O'Hara in glorious Technicolor and you have a terrific recipe for a grand entertainment. Some of Power's treatment of O'Hara is dubious by 2016 standards. He slaps her around and kidnaps her but she carries a pistol and bashes his head with a rock so it's not as if she's a tremulous damsel in distress. If lacking originality, it makes up for it with vigor and swagger. The lively underscore is by Alfred Newman. With Anthony Quinn, Thomas Mitchell, George Zucco and Fortunio Bonanova. 

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