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The Black Swan is a 1942 American swashbuckler Technicolor film by Henry King, based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini, and starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara.[3][4] It was nominated for a total of three Academy Awards, and won the award for Best Cinematography, Color. It was based on the 1932 novel of the same title by Rafael Sabatini.

The Black Swan
The Black Swan poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry King
Produced byRobert Bassler
Screenplay byBen Hecht
Seton I. Miller
Based onThe Black Swan
by Rafael Sabatini
StarringTyrone Power
Maureen O'Hara
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byBarbara McLean
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release date
  • December 4, 1942 (1942-12-04)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3 million (US rentals)[2]
$5,727,000 (worldwide)[1]

This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello.


After England and Spain make peace, notorious pirate Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) decides to reform. As a reward, he is made Governor of Jamaica, with a mandate to rid the Caribbean of his former comrades, by persuasion or force if necessary. He replaces the former governor, Lord Denby (George Zucco), but is not trusted by either the lawful residents or the pirates.

Captain Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power) and his lieutenant, Tom Blue (Thomas Mitchell), reluctantly give up their "trade" out of friendship for Morgan, but others of the Pirate Brotherhood, such as Captain Billy Leech (George Sanders) and Wogan (Anthony Quinn), refuse to change.

Meanwhile, Waring takes a liking to Denby's daughter, Lady Margaret (Maureen O'Hara), who happens to be inconveniently engaged to an English gentleman, Roger Ingram (Edward Ashley). As it turns out, her fiancé is secretly providing information about ship sailings to the unrepentant pirates.

Morgan sends Jamie to track down Leech but fails due to Ingram's help. The Jamaican assembly votes to impeach Morgan, and Ingram announces he and Margaret will sail to England to inform the King.

Morgan orders Jamie to capture Leech. Jamie doesn't want Margaret to marry Ingram and so captures her and sails off.

Jamie's ship is captured by Leech. Jamie pretends that he has run away to join Leech and marry Margaret. Margaret reluctantly goes along with the ruse. Morgan hears of Jamie's "betrayal" and heads off to catch them.

Leech discovers the marriage between Margaret and Jamie is a sham and captures Jamie. However he escapes and manages to kill Leech in a duel.

Morgan is inclined to hang Jamie because he abducted Margaret but she declares that she accompanied him of her own free will. By now they have genuinely fallen in love and they kiss.

Power and O'Hara in the trailer for The Black Swan (1942)



The film was a huge hit and made a profit of $2,366,300.[1]


The film won an Academy Award and was nominated for two more:[5]


DVD releaseEdit

The DVD version of the film contains commentary by Maureen O'Hara with film critic Rudy Behlmer.


  1. ^ a b c Mank, Gregory William (2018). Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy. McFarland.
  2. ^ "101 Pix Gross in Millions" Variety 6 Jan 1943 p 58
  3. ^ Variety film review; October 21, 1942, page 8.
  4. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; October 24, 1942, page 171.
  5. ^ "The 15th Academy Awards (1943) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-22.

External linksEdit