The Spanish Main
Directed by Frank Borzage
Produced by Frank Borzage (uncredited)
Robert Fellows (executive producer)
Stephen Ames (associate producer)
Written by Aeneas MacKenzie (story)
George Worthing Yates
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Starring Maureen O’Hara
Music by Hanns Eisler
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
October 4, 1945 (U.S.)
Running time 100 min.
The Spanish Main (1945) is an adventure film starring Paul Henreid, Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak and Binnie Barnes, and directed by Frank Borzage. It was RKO’s first all-Technicolor film since Becky Sharp ten years before.
Cinematographer George Barnes received an Academy Award nomination for Best Color Cinematography. Though a box office hit upon its first release, the film is chiefly remembered today for its lavish and intricate score by Hanns Eisler.
Dutch sea captain Laurent van Horn (Henreid) is shipwrecked off the coast of the Spanish settlement of Cartagena. After being held and sentenced to death, Van Horn and his crew manage to escape. They capture Francisca Alvarado (O’Hara) who has been arranged to marry the corrupt governor (Slezak). Over time Francisca and Van Horn become attracted to each other and must set out to defeat villainous local politicians and treacherous pirates.
The film includes the character Anne Bonny (Barnes), in a fictionalized account of a real-life cross-dressing female pirate.