The Black Swan
Not to be confused with the 2010 balletic thriller of the same name, "The Black Swan" is a period action yarn featuring 1940s heartthrob Tyrone Power.
With his athleticism and swarthy good looks, Power was a born swashbuckler. 20th Century Fox took notice, casting him in numerous films that showcased his charm, sex appeal, and deft swordsmanship. In this one, he portrays Jamie Waring, a former Caribbean pirate who assists 17th century Captain Henry Morgan in protecting English territorial waters from the sinister pirate Billy Leech, and the Spanish fleet. Along the way he meets aristocratic spitfire Maureen O'Hara, whom he mistreats from their first encounter. Midway through the story, she begins to enjoy it, with predictable results.
The routine plot and script are riddled with cliché. However, the "The Black Swan" is elevated by high production values, sumptuous Technicolor photography, and the performance of campy giant Laird Cregar, who does a convincing Charles Laughton impersonation as the boisterous Morgan. The accomplished supporting cast also includes suave George Sanders, cast against type as the gruff Captain Leech, the young Anthony Quinn as Leech's first mate, and the beloved Irish character actor Thomas Mitchell.
Having been issued on a superb DVD edition in 2006, "The Black Swan" is among the film classics just released on Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox. The dense color is richly saturated in the new edition, and, along with the sharper, high-definition image, makes for splendid viewing. As is the case with most of Fox's new Blu-rays, the special features are limited to those previously released on home video, in this case the theatrical trailer and audio commentary. However, Maureen O'Hara's in-depth conversation with film historian Rudy Behlmer, in which she details working on the production, and with the likes of Power and Cregar, provides invaluable insights into film-making during Hollywood's Golden Age.
"The Black Swan"