A Premier Date! The Sea Hawk!

I am sure many of us use several sources to confirm the movie premiere dates for Flynn’s films. One of the largest, and generally reliable, is is IMDb. But it is always good to double check.

As an example I checked the date for The Sea Hawk with IMDb and it is listed as July 1, 1940 with a second listing of August 10 in New York City. Wellll, that’s not quite right.

After filming was completed on April 19, 1940 there was no release date set. On July 4th there was a special sneak preview of the film in Pomona, Cal. and still no release date set. On July 17 there is an all day preview of the film at Warner’s Hollywood theatre with guests anD reporters and a tentative premiere date was announced to be the Labor day wekend, but not printed.

On August 9th, the film opened at the Strand Theatre in Manhattan with continuous performances from then on, to and past the official premiere date of August 31, 1940. By the way, besides the movie, there was also live entertainment by Phil Spitalny’s popular, all-girl, 22-piece orchestra with 5 shows a day in between films.

There would be over 350 previews, openings, screenings and showings around the country before the official August 31st date.

I guess it would be a good idea to double check the dates and one of the easiest ways is to gain access to original newspapers…available on many sites.

Oh, by the way…while investigating Flynn’s friend John Barrymore, who had a premiere of his film The Great Profile listed as August 30, 1940 per IMDb, it turns out the actual world premiere was on September 11th …




July 7, 1940 – LA Times


August 9, 1940 – Brooklyn Daily Eagle


September 11, 1940 – LA Times

— Topper

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