Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Captain Kidd

captain-kiddOnce upon a time, pirate movies were all the rage. People used to love all the plundering and high seas hi-jinks. Pirate movies hit a huge lull until Pirates of the Caribbean, but there was a whole mess of them from the 20′s through the 50′s. One of the more interesting offerings is 1945′s Captain Kidd.

Charles Laughton plays the eponymous pirate who manages to trick the King into giving him a ship and a crew full of condemned pirates. Kidd is expected to complete his charge and the crew expects a pardon for faithful service, but Kidd has other plans. He hopes to have others blamed for his acts of piracy while he reclaims his treasure and kills the crew, and gain a Lordship in the process.

While Laughton is not the prototypical swashbuckler, he’s still a great actor. His Captain Kidd percolates with a mania fueled by greed and blood lust. He might not look the part of a pirate that swings around the deck and nimbly dances during sword fights, but he’s utterly believable as a cutthroat leading a crew of cutthroats.

It’s not the greatest pirate movie, but it’s one of the most interesting. The solid cast, including Randolph Scott and John Carradine, and great sets raise the movie above the pack and make this one worth watching.

Do yourself a favor and download a copy from the Internet Archive.

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