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1940 Film 'The Sea Hawk'
to Screen at UW-Eau Claire April 24-27

RELEASED: April 15, 2008

poster for The Sea HawkEAU CLAIRE — "The Sea Hawk" (U.S. 1940) — "the jewel of Errol Flynn's career" (Village Voice) — will be presented April 24-27 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The film, Flynn's 10th collaboration with director Michael Curtiz, will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

"The Sea Hawk" takes its title and little else from Rafael Sabatini's 1915 novel. The original screenplay was written by Howard Koch and Seton I. Miller, inspired by the exploits of Sir Francis Drake. The swashbuckling plot is uncharacteristically complex, filled with political intrigues that echo the pre-World War II Europe of 1940.

While Queen Elizabeth I (Flora Robson) haggles over the cost of a navy to protect England from the Spanish Armada, she turns a blind eye to privateer Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Flynn), who leads his crew of buccaneers in an undeclared war against Spain on the high seas. After he raids a ship conveying the Spanish ambassador (Claude Rains) and his haughty, beautiful niece (Brenda Marshall) to the court of his queen, Thorpe devises an ill-fated plan to wrest the riches of the New World away from Spain. The black-and-white cinematography changes to sepia during Thorpe's adventure in the jungles of Panama, and returns to black-and-white for the final encounter with the duplicitous Lord Wolfingham (Henry Daniell).

"It cost $1,700,000, exhibits Errol Flynn and 3,000 other cinemactors performing every imaginable feat of spectacular derring-do, and lasts two hours and seven minutes," wrote Time magazine upon the picture's release. "Produced by Warner's Hal Wallis with a splendor that would set parsimonious Queen Bess's teeth on edge, constructed of the most tried-and-true cinema materials available, 'The Sea Hawk' is a handsome, shipshape picture."

Two full-scale ships were especially built for the film, shot on a maritime stage in water 12 feet deep. The art direction, special effects, sound and score by Erich Wolfgang Korngold were nominated for Academy Awards.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

The screenings are sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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