Captain Kidd (1945)

Captain Kidd is a 1945 American adventure film starring Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott and Barbara Britton. It was directed by Rowland V. Lee, his last before he retired, and produced by Benedict Bogeaus and James Nasser. The music was conducted by Werner Janssen. The film was released by United Artists. Original release date: November 22, 1945

In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev noted that this was one of Joseph Stalin’s favorite films, and that Stalin identified with the mischievous captain. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 18th Academy Awards.


In 1699, pirate William Kidd loots and destroys the English galleon The Twelve Apostles near Madagascar. He and three confederates bury the stolen treasure on a remote island. He returns to London and hires a gentleman’s gentleman. Kidd then presents himself at the court of William III of England as an honest shipmaster seeking a royal commission as a privateer after striking his colors to a pirate. The king is persuaded by Kidd that the captain of The Twelve Apostles was that pirate, who has disappeared with its treasure. The King grants the commission. Kidd recruits a crew from condemned pirates in Newgate and Marshalsea prisons, promising them a royal pardon at the end of their voyage. Among them is the quarrelsome though cultured Adam Mercy.

Directed by Rowland V. Lee – Produced by Benedict Bogeaus – Screenplay by Norman Reilly Raine – Story by Robert N. Lee

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