film 3 of 8

The Black Swan

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jul 16, 2015

Modern awarenesses make this violent wooing of women stuff (I know you want me) distressing, and renders all the swashbuckling hi-jinx somehow less diverting, and though the Power character gets his share of whacks during the negotiations, somehow the deck seems stacked against Miss O’ Hara; apart from that, lovely florid technicolor, a story that may not quite have complexity and dimension, but which doesn’t overstay its welcome, either, a delightfully athletic and almost unrecognizable George Sanders–even at this late date the sword fights are undercranked, which led me to some great insight which I’ve forgotten–an interesting sketching of colonial governmental bodies, a suspenseful last kidnapping and extrication, and especially a superbly oversized performance by Laird Cregar as Morgan the Pirate, all outlandish wigs and clothes and swagger, and a lovely voice that takes the potentially fruity period dialogue and makes it sound indisputably authentic