The Sea Hawk was released in 1940 and starred Errol Flynn as Geoffrey Thorpe, a British privateer during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Although Thorpe was fictitious the actual story bears a remarkable resemblance to the adventures of Sir Francis Drake who lived during that time.
This is a time when Spain is seeking to dominate the world and building its armada. The Sea Wolves, a group of privateers, are the only thing standing between it and England.
When Thorpe plunders a Spanish galleon with Spain’s ambassador to England, Don José Alvarez de Cordoba and his niece Doña Maria on board things really begin to heat up.
Queen Elizabeth, trying to prevent a war with Spain, orders him and the other Sea Wolves to stop their pirating ways. Dona Maria played by Brenda Marshall at first detests Thorpe for being a pirate.
But Thorpe convinces the queen to let him go on a secret mission to Panama and stop the flow of gold that is building the Spanish Armada.
Meanwhile, Dona Maria’s heart begins to soften towards our gallant swashbuckling hero.
Unfortunately the Spaniards become aware of his plan. Dona Maria seeks to warn him but arrives too late, the ship has already sailed. The Spaniards are waiting for him and Thorpe and his men wind up as galley slaves in a Spanish ship.
Eventually Thorpe and his men break free, take over the ship and return to England. There Thorpe wins Dona Maria’s heart and fights his way through the palace to bring proof of Spain’s impending attack to the queen. Of course the Armada was eventually defeated and in true Hollywood tradition the hero gets the girl.
Watch The Sea Hawk Movie Trailer