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At the Fine Arts


Hollywood has done it many times before; and in all probability it will do it many times again. But the fascination of Tudor England seems to hold American moviegoers entranced and they come to see tales of the Virgin Queen screened and re-screened. Perhaps it's the sword-play, perhaps it's the capes, perhaps its Errol Flynn's tawny beard that gets 'cm.

But whatever the cause, the result is big box office, and rightly so. For the period is admirably adapted to a combination of stealthy, seething intrigue and red-blooded action. Them was the days when you didn't clout a guy over the head with an epigram or plug him with a bullet; you killed him at the end of a fifteen minute sequence of dueling and overturned every table, chair, and candelabrum in the bargain.

Latest edition of the Elizabethan epics, complete with duel, is "The Sea Hawk," which is a long-winded account of Geoffrey Thorpe, a nautical counterpart of Jesse James, who drained the Spanish Main of every ingot of gold t'other side of Lisbon. He gets his fingers burned in Panama, re-crosses the Atlantic as a galley-slave, beats up on the Spanish crew, sails the galleon to England and single-handed saves the British Empire from the Spanish Armada. All of which goes to show that England cannot be invaded,--we-hope-we-hope-we-hope.

The whole film is produced with a couple of million and a flourish, the script lays it on with a shovel, the music is superb, the pace is gusty, and the whole thing is swell stuff.

To fill out the bill, a variety of ten-minute side-kicks are shown. They include a nifty Donald Duck and some sad items on stunt-men and sealions. Also a weird pot-pourri on the history of the Academy Award, which gives tid-bits from the cinematic wows since '28. It doesn't seem to prove much, but it's interesting.

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