Captain Kidding a Kidder

DATELINE: William Kidd

Laughton the Kidd!

 

When Charles Laughton, once Captain Bligh on the Bounty, was given the lead role as the despicable Captain William Kidd, he was both at once perfect for the role and utterly out of his element as a real figure from history.

Like many of his roles of biographical people, he always took on the most notorious. Even in the one movie that was shut down before he finished, he was to play Claudius, the successor to Caligula. He was so associated with Henry VIII that he repeated that role several times.

So, the silly and fictional version of Captain Kiddseemed a bit off, even in 1945. However, by today’s Oak Island buried treasure standards, we have to look at Laughton’s movie villain in a new light.

You must remember this: he was surrounded by great film stars like Gilbert Roland, John Carradine, Reginald Owen, Henry Daniell, and every workable Randolph Scott. He had to be on top of his game to avoid having scenes stolen under his nose.

Scenes are simply juicy confrontations between actors, each more earnest in his biting delivery. Of course, at the eye of this storm of melodrama is Charles Laughton, lending his powerful, clever, sly, obsequious villain. Whether Kidd was ever like this matters not. He should be the way Laughton presents him. Oh, you Kidd.

With a gentleman’s gentleman hired for the task of smoothing out his rough edges, Kidd tries to refine his crudeness with an overlay of charming evil. You might well think that a boy’s adventure movie never had it so good.

Women are not central to this story. You have here a testosterone contest with the mugs mugging.

Laughton’s ship seems only slightly smaller than the Queen Mary—and they spend nearly all their time heading to Madagascar. Kidd’s plan is to take over the estate of a nobleman and show off more than a sow’s ear.

Before you can say double-cross, you may find you have been crossed in quadruple fashion. What an absolutely delightful discovery from the vaults of forgotten black and white movies of 1945.

What Gives on Oak Island?

 DATELINE: Yo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Rum

avast there, matey! 

Actor Robert Newton as Your Standard Pirate in Treasure Island

Curse of Oak Island began to tantalize in strange and mysterious ways in the fifth episode of the fifth season.

If something has to give eventually, and secrets are the least valuable something buried by someone, we are about to have an epiphany this season.

Our favorite Australian metal seeker used one of his most powerful tools to uncover a 17th century spike on an odd stretch of beach on the island: the consensus concluded that it was used on a wharf or docking platform on the clear stretch of shore. By whom and why, we do not yet know.

Though hampered by dangerous equipment failure previously, the new safety measures allowed resumption of deep digging. White-gloved in a library dig, Alex Lagina and Charles Barkhouse dug into historical documents that indicated a different direction of the early tunnel system—which caused modifications in the dredging scheme.

The upshot of the search on this week’s show was that something significant was coming up from depths unheard of in previous searches.

At nearly 200 feet, pieces of pottery or porcelain was found. Though they joked it was a smashed teapot, the fact puzzled archeologist Niven who placed it, off-hand, in late 1700s—somewhat before the earliest treasure hunts.

Further compounding the importance of discoveries, pieces of something dense was located: presumed to be human bone at 165 feet. It is a rather deep plot for a burial. If you consider the old myths of putting a dead man with a buried treasure, you may have an imaginative conclusion that defies fanciful.

Can it be that our long, impatient process may yield something to sate greed and curiosity both?

Okay, we are more hooked than ever on our vicarious, armchair treasure hunt.