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(Out of Africa) A Star is Born

26 Aug

August 25, 1935

Los Angeles Times

By Muriel Babcock

Adventure again is holding the stage. The cutthroats and brigands and brave seamen of Raphael Sabatini’s swashbuckling tale of the Seventeenth Century, Captain Blood, are coming to life on the Warner Brothers set in Burbank, California, in this year, 1935.

One of the most interesting sets I have seen in visits to many studios, is the great, sprawling layout if a Jamaican slave plantation of the Captain BloodCaptain Blood, as you know, is the story which gives Errol Flynn, the Irish adventurer, his big chance in pictures. Chatting with him idly between scenes, I discovered that while his adventures in Captain Blood are thrilling, he has had almost as exciting ones in his own life before he came to America. He has a terrific scar on his left leg from an arrow shot at him by African natives.

LIFE’S BIGGEST SCARE

He was lost in the African jungles, and for two days, while hunted by the incessant tom-tom of drums, he hid from the natives and tried to make his way to safety. “Never in my life have I been so frightened” he told me.

But more about these interesting sets of Captain Blood. On still another stage are two huge replicas of galleons of that day, on of the Arabella, a Spanish ship, the other the Diligent, a French pirates’ boat. They are a beautiful sight to come upon, and it takes you a moment to realize they are only half ships that move back and forth on pulleys across the stage against the painted canvas sea background, instead of sailing the Caribbean as they did in Captain Blood. I climbed up on one, and I assure you it gives you a thrilling feeling.

The Jamaican Plantation*

*Imagery from the superb “Blonde at the Film” review of “Captain Blood 1935”

— Gentleman Tim

 

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