The film stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland with Lionel Atwill and Basil Rathbone. It was the first of eight films co-starring De Havilland and Flynn, and in 1938, the two would be re-united with Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood.
In seventeenth century England, Irish Dr. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn) is convicted of treason against the King for aiding a wounded friend who had participated in the Monmouth Rebellion. He is sold into slavery, and purchased by the beautiful Arabella Bishop (Olivia de Havilland). Doctor Blood and his fellow slaves escape, steal a Spanish ship and begin a life of piracy.
Eventually, Blood saves Arabella and a Royal dignitary from a treacherous fellow pirate and decides to return them to safety near the colony of Port Royal. However, Blood's crew sights the French attacking the colony while its defenders are nowhere to be found and elsewhere hunting for Blood. The dignitary pleads with Blood to save the colony, but the captain and his crew to a man refuse to sail for James II of England. However, the dignitary reveals that James II has been deposed in the Glorious Revolution and he is representing the new king, William of Orange.
At this delightful surprise, Blood and his crew immediately decide to sail under English colors and save the colony in a pitched battle. As a reward, Blood is appointed the new governor of the colony and has the pleasure to deal with his hostile predecessor, now in serious trouble for dereliction of duty, at his pleasure.