Starring Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, John Carradine, Gilbert Roland, Barbara Britton
(7-Very Good Film)
Exciting. Solid. Adventurous.
Captain Kidd, as played by a bewitching Charles Laughton, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s a pirate masquerading as an English Gentleman and Officer. Having had to hide his loot on a previous voyage, Kidd sets out under the guise of a British mission, to steal more treasure, and regain his lost loot. He takes with him three co-conspirators (whom he plans to murder) and a crew full of inmates working for a pardon from their majesty. One member of the crew, Adam Mercy (Scott), however, is more than he appears to be. A roaring adventure of the old-school swashbuckler variety, Captain Kidd delivers on everything except skilled swordplay. Perhaps you sacrifice some action when casting the exemplary dramatic figure, Laughton, as your lead- the ending is anti-climactic without any big duel- but there’s enough mystery and intrigue to make for an absorbing movie, and Laughton is, as mentioned, fantastic.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-