Public Domain Theater: Captain Kidd (& “The Wacky Wabbit”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

Today we have for you the 1945 swashbuckling pirate flick, Captain Kidd! Loosely based on the real life exploits of Captain William Kidd, this film follows the titular pirates as he deceives, manipulates, and backstabs everyone in sight in his quest for wealth and a place in the British peerage. This film also holds the dubious honor of being one of Josef Stalin’s favorite movies, as he saw something of himself in the duplicitous, murderous pirate captain.

To go with this picture, we have a short focused on another trickster “hero”, the Bugs Bunny cartoon “The Wacky Wabbit”. This is from the character’s early days, when the folks at Termite Terrace were still fine-tuning Bugs and his nemesis Elmer into the icons they’d become. Notably, in this cartoon Elmer Fudd is a lot fatter, and Bugs is a lot more of an instigator, antagonizing Elmer for no reason at all, rather than defending himself from a hunter.

So come hoist the mizzenmast, port the broadside, and (insert nautical words here), and enjoy this tale of vicious, remorseless cutthroat . . . and also a tale of Captain Kidd.

Opening Cartoon:

Feature Presentation: