Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Perhaps unintentionally, the 1942 Technicolor swashbuckler The Black Swan is a bondage fetishist's dream, with hero and heroine Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara taking turns being tied up and imprisoned throughout the film's brisk 85-minute running time. Very loosely adapted by Ben Hecht and Seton I. Miller from a novel by Rafael Sabatini, the film casts Power as rogueish, hot-tempered buccaneer Jamie Waring, who considers the day wasted when he hasn't sacked a Spanish galleon or plundered a rich coastal town. Jamie's partner in crime is pirate king Henry Morgan Laird Cregar, an alliance that comes to an end when Morgan is appointed governor of Jamaica. Disgusted by this defection, Jamie considers joining the scurrilous Redbeard George Sanders, but eventually decides to reform his ways when he falls in love with Margaret Denby Maureen O'Hara, the gorgeous daughter of the former Jamaican governor Lord Denby George Zucco. Before the final obligatory sail into the sunset, however, Margaret is kidnapped and manhandled on a seemingly hourly basis, while Jamie is subjected to even more abuse at the hands of pirates and officials alike. Henry King handles the derring-do in Black Swan with commendable sobriety, leaving the story's tongue-in-cheek elements in the capable hands of the cast and the screenwriters.
battle [war], Caribbean, damsel-in-distress, governor, hero, high-seas, honor [recognition], kidnapping, pirate [seafarer], rescue, swordfight, villain