Adapted from Rafael Sabatini's novel, a reformed pirate falls in love and takes his reluctant love to capture an unreformed pirate.
Pirates plunder and are attacked by soldiers. Don Miguel tortures captain Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power), who is rescued by Tommy Blue (Thomas Mitchell). Governor Lord Denby (George Zucco) says that England and Spain are at peace but is taken away. His daughter Margaret Denby (Maureen O'Hara) comes in with a pistol; but Jamie knocks it away and kisses her as she resists. Captain Leech (George Sanders) says captain Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar) is a spy. Jamie and Leech duel with swords until Morgan stops them, saying the king offers them a hundred acres each and that he is governor of Jamaica. Morgan takes over the governor's palace from Denby. Jamie takes Margaret's room and finds her jewel he gives her. They argue, and he knocks down her friend Roger Ingram (Edward Ashley). Margaret falls off her horse, and Jamie carries her. As he tells his story, she hits him with a rock and limps off.
Ingram tells Leech of a ship with gold that Leech attacks with the Black Swan. Morgan sends Jamie to get Leech; but Ingram sends Fenner to warn Leech to leave Tortuga and attack a ship. Ingram tells Margaret he inherited money. Denby and Ingram move to impeach Morgan, because Leech took another ship. Jamie could not find Leech and returns, saying Leech was warned. Ingram says he is going to England with his bride Margaret. Jamie and Margaret argue again, but he says he loves her. He and Tommy abduct her.
On his ship Margaret refuses to eat. Seeing Leech's two ships, Jamie with only one ship decides to join him. Jamie tells Leech and Wogan (Anthony Quinn) he went back to Port Royal to get his wife Margaret. Jamie and Margaret go on Leech's ship. Jamie signs articles, and they head toward Maracaipo. Margaret sleeps in the bed, and Jamie sets up a hammock; but he gets in bed for suspicious Leech. Morgan arrives at Maracaipo and complains that Jamie took Margaret. Leech overhears Jamie and has Wogan tie him up. Leech uses Jamie's ship to attack Maracaipo. Jamie gets loose and unlocks the hatch so his men can fight Leech's men. Jamie duels Leech with swords. Jamie is wounded and kills Leech in front of Margaret. Morgan says that Jamie will hang, but Margaret thanks Jamie. On the way back to Jamaica Margaret asks Jamie to come back to bed.
This drama reflects a violent world where both pirates
and governments use force to get their way; government, being
bigger and stronger, almost always wins, but some pirates love
their personal freedom. Jamie wins over Margaret ultimately by
having respect for her despite their mutual arrogance.