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Captain Kidd (1945) is a film starring Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, and John Carradine, directed by Rowland V. Lee, produced by Benedict Bogeaus and James Nasser, music conduced by Werner Janssen, and released by United Artists. The film has entered the public domain since the producers neglected to renew the copyright in 1972.


In 1699, William Kidd (Laughton), a ruthless pirate, presents himself at the court of King William III, as an honest shipmaster seeking royal backing for an expedition. With this backing, he recruits a crew from condemned prisoners in Newgatemarker and Marshalseamarker prisons, promising them a royal pardon if they survive. But his new master gunner, Adam Mercy (Scott), arouses his suspicions with his educated manner and knowledge of seamanship.

In waters near Madagascarmarker, Kidd's ship tracks down and captures an Armenianmarker ship, the Quedagh Merchant. Kidd's piratical and murderous intentions are revealed.

Kidd attempts to get rid of Mercy, and he is thought drowned, but survives and returns to England. When Kidd appears at court with his treasure and claims his reward (an aristocratic title and estate), Mercy reveals that the treasure was previously stolen from his family and that he is the bearer of the title claimed by Kidd. Kidd is tried, condemned and hanged.

The film contains much historically incorrect material, including a London scene showing Tower Bridgemarker - two hundred years before it was built.

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