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Cannons thunder, blades clatter and Erich Wolfgang Korngold's incomparable music swirls and flourishes in The Sea Hawk. In one of his best roles, Errol Flynn plays Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe, who commandeers a 40-gun galleon, endures captivity, then boldly escapes to warn England of Spain's armada. Working on his 10th of 12 movies with Flynn, Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) masterfully directs the film's blend of royal intrigue and derring-do heroics – made on a then-lavish $1.7-million scale that included construction of two full-sized ships. The film was stirringly topical in its day. When Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson) exhorts her country to maintain fighting readiness against tyranny "now and forever," audiences knew forever had come: Hitler had launched his World War II air siege of England.