“Heroic, is it? Bedad, it’s epic! Ye begin to perceive the breadth and depth of my genius.”*

by chuckofish

sabatini

Today is the birthday of author Rafael Sabatini (April 29, 1875 – February 13, 1950). He was born in Italy, the son of an English mother and an Italian father–both opera singers, which explains a lot.

Sabatini wrote in English, and all in all, he produced 31 novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and a play. I think I read Scaramouche way back when, but he is best known these days because of two great movies and a bunch of other not-so-great movies, which were inspired by his novels. I’m thinking, of course, of Captain Blood (1935)

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and The Sea Hawk (1940)

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both starring Errol Flynn and directed by Michael Curtiz.

But we mustn’t forget Scaramouche (1952) which starred Stewart Granger

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and The Black Swan (1942) with Tyrone Power–

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both not as good despite being filmed in flaming technicolor. (There are also quite a few old silent movies based on his adventure novels.)

Anyway, I suggest we all watch movies this weekend inspired by the stories of Rafael Sabatini. We could do a lot worse. I vote for Captain Blood which is full of action and good dialogue:

Arabella Bishop: Oh, forgive me for not recognizing you, Dr. Blood. You’re so changed… and for the better.

Dr. Peter Blood: The Governor tells me I have you to thank for that.

Arabella Bishop: You don’t sound very grateful, Dr. Blood.

Dr. Peter Blood: Do you suppose I’d be grateful for an easy life, when my friends are treated like animals? Faith, it’s they deserve your favors, not I. They’re all honest rebels. I was snoring in my bed while they were trying to free England from an unclean tyrant [King James].

Arabella Bishop: I believe you’re talking treason.

Dr. Peter Blood: I hope I’m not obscure.

Have a great weekend!

*Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini