It is the seventeenth century and a treaty has just been signed between warring England and Spain. That allows for the notorious English pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) to be pardoned instead of hanged by the English king, and to boot he’s given a title and called Sir Henry and made governor of Jamaica. He then enlists the help of some of his plundering former pirate partners in ridding the Caribbean of buccaneers. One of them is the roguish buccaneer Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power), who lives only for sacking the Spanish vessels and the coastal territories along the Caribean. Also joining Morgan is Tommy Blue (Thomas Mitchell), an old pirate with larceny in his heart but fiercely loyal to both Morgan and Jaimie. But a problem arises when the cutthroat pirate dressed in a thick red wig and beard, Captain Leech (George Sanders), and his first mate (Anthony Quinn), refuse to go along with the orders to reform, and instead they loot a ship filled with gold when supplied with info by the effete spy Roger Ingram (Edward Ashley). Roger is a snooty lord who wants Morgan impeached, with the dual motives for his foul deeds being greed and political intrigue. He’s engaged to former Jamaica Governor Denby’s (Zucco) pretty daughter Margaret (Maureen O’Hara). Jamie has also fallen for the lovely lady of wealth and privilege, who spurns his persistent advances in a feisty manner—but to no avail.
It builds to the finale swashbuckling ship battle scene, with Jaime ordered by Morgan to bring down Leech and bring back law and order to the Caribbean. But Jaime is so taken by Margaret and upset that she plans to leave the next day with Roger to England to marry him, that he kidnaps her and holds her in bondage. On the high seas he’s met unexpectedly by Leech and to save his hide from Leech’s more powerful vessel the Black Swan, he pretends that he has come to join him and that he brought along his wife Margaret. The pirates head to Maracaibo to loot some more gold, but Morgan and his men are there to bring on the heroic fight for justice. —Ozu’s World of Movie Reviews
After a start as a stage actor, Henry Kingbegan appearing in films in 1912, and by 1915 was directing. King made numerous dramas, westerns, and actioners over the teens, achieving special distinction with his 1919 comedy 23-1/2 Hours Leave. Two years later he co-wrote, produced, and directed the landmark rural drama Tol’able David; his other important works of the ‘20s include The White Sister (1923), Romola (1925), and The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926). A prolific and reliable craftsman, King made numerous handsome films into the early 1960s, most notably two outstanding films with Gregory Peck: a psychological drama of World War II, Twelve O’Clock High (1942), and the moody, intelligent western The Gunfighter (1950). King’s career is also notable for his feeling for Americana, as found in 1930s projects as different as State Fair (1933), Jesse James (1939), and In Old Chicago (1938), as well as in such later films as Remember the Day (1941) and Wait ’Til the Sun Shines, Nellie… read more