The Spanish Maine (1945) Los piratas del mar Caribe
Laurent van Horn is the leader of a band of Dutch refugees on a ship seeking freedom in the Carolinas, when the ship is wrecked on the coast of Cartagene. governed by Don Juan Alvardo, Spainish ruler. Alvarado has Laurent thrown in prison, but the latter escapes, and five-years later is a pirate leader.
He poses as the navigator on a ship in which Contessa Francesca, daughter of a Mexican noble, is traveling on her way to marry Alvarado, whom she has never seen. Laurent's pirates capture the ship and Francesa, in order to save another ship, gives her hand-in-marriage to Laurent, who sails her to the pirate hideout.
This irks the jealous Anne Bonney and,also, Captain Benjamin Black, who was already irked, anyway. They overpower Laurent and send Francesa to Alvarado, and then Mario du Billar, trusted right-hand man, makes a deal to deliver Laurent to Alvarado also.
Paul Henreid ... Capt. Laurent Van Horn
Maureen O'Hara ... Contessa Francesca
Walter Slezak ... Don Juan Alvarado
Binnie Barnes ... Anne Bonney
John Emery ... Mario Du Billar
Barton MacLane ... Capt. Benjamin Black
J.M. Kerrigan ... Pillery Gow
Fritz Leiber ... Bishop
Nancy Gates ... Lupita
Jack La Rue ... Lt. Escobar (as Jack LaRue)
Mike Mazurki ... Erik Swaine
Ian Keith ... Captain Lussan
Curt Bois ... Paree
Antonio Moreno ... Commandante
What fun!! Get some popcorn (or nachos in this day and age) and just hunker down for a evening of fun and romance. Maureen O'Hara at her red-haired best as the aristocratic lady, and Paul Henreid the swashbuckling pirate have a merry romp in this film. The villainous Walter Slezak is so very good being bad.
All in all, for this type of film from 1945, a pleasure to watch. It all comes out in the end with a beautiful sunset, the lovers together and all is well as the music rises. What more can you ask for an hour and a half of your time?
The studio sets and models are not too bad although the matts are visible in some shots. The action is a bit lacking. There is the obligatory duelling galleys in the early part of the movie but you don't really get the feel that these are men fighting for their lives.
The lack of action is not made up for by the story. There are some amusing bits of dialogue, most of the good bits are on IMDb.
Maureen O'Hara looks terribly mature for a 25 year old but plays her role well but the film lacks a strong central role such as Robert Newton.
Previous comments have said nearly all, but I thought this film was a good effort for 1945. As always with films of this date, I wonder why some of the fit-looking men weren't in the armed services. (I realise that Paul Henreid was an Austrian who had fled his country before the war; and I note a lot of the supporting cast have Hispanic names, suggesting they may have been from countries not directly involved in the fighting.) Though Henreid made a number of swashbucklers, he appears a just a little effete, almost a not-quite-so sensitive version of Leslie Howard. I couldn't quite believe Maureen O'Hara finding him fascinating at first glance (as always, she looks marvellous). Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power would have been more convincing.
The battling ships sequences look good, though it would be churlish to note that the model vessels show no signs of human life. I agree with the comments that Walter Slezak makes a fine villain.