A scene from CAPTAIN KIDD’S TREASURE, directed by Leslie Fenton for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Captain Kidd’s Treasure (1938, Leslie Fenton)

Captain Kidd’s Treasure runs into a problem I’m unfamiliar with for a docudrama. Its fictive license posits itself as fact, which makes entire short puzzling.

There’s a brief recount of Captain Kidd, his execution and his treasure island. I think I’ve heard the name before, but I didn’t know the Kidd story. These MGM “Historical Mysteries” are almost more interesting as historical items–as indicators of what was popular in the the late thirties.

Anyway, there’s this modern day expedition headed out with what the short shows to be Kidd’s actual map. Only the expedition is just a narrative device to show the differing opinions of Kidd’s culpability. It’s very confusing.

Fenton’s a limp action director, but he’s not terrible. His narration has a little more energy.

The acting’s weak, especially Stanley Andrews as Kidd. Ian Wolfe is okay though.

Treasure did get me curious about Kidd, which is something….

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Leslie Fenton; written by Herman Boxer; director of photography, Robert Pittack; music by David Snell; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Starring Stanley Andrews (Capt. William Kidd), Charles Irwin (First Mate Palmer), Wade Boteler (Captain of Modern-Day Expedition), Edward LeSaint (Member of Modern-Day Expedition) and Ian Wolfe (Skeptical Member of Modern-Day Expedition). Narrated by Leslie Fenton.

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