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Top Ten Famous Movie Pirates

Updated on April 19, 2016

What is it about pirates?

In general, pirates are a dirty, smelly, murderous bunch of thieves, but yet we find them most appealing. Perhaps it is the Hollywood treatment or pirates that has made them so dear to our hearts. I have no doubt that if we were to happen upon the real Blackbeard, we might not be so willing to accept his faults and share a glass of mead with him.

The real Blackbeard

Edward Thatch (or Teach) was the scourge of the Caribbean for a relatively short time. Earning the name Blackbeard because of his abundant facial hair, Thatch began his life as a pirate around the year 1713 and over the next few years he captured over 50 ships. He and his men were given pardons by the Governor of North Carolina in 1718, but continued pirating ships. Later that year he was killed in a fight with the North Carolina Royal Navy contingent.

James Purfoy

Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Blackbeard: Terror at Sea 2007
Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Blackbeard: Terror at Sea 2007

Robert Newton

Blackbeard the Pirate 1952
Blackbeard the Pirate 1952

Angus Mcfayden

Blackbeard 2006
Blackbeard 2006

Captain Blood 1935

Errol Flynn is Captain Blood, a doctor turned pirate in the vein of Robin Hood. The movie has a lot of swash and buckle, along with love interest Olivia DeHavilland and friend turned foe Basil Rathbone.

Errol Flynn

Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Captain Blood 1935
Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Captain Blood 1935

Captain Hook

Cartoon pirate, Captain Hook is the nemesis of children's hero Peter Pan. Captain of the Jolly Roger, he terrorizes Neverland harbor and rules over Pirate cove with an iron (hooked) hand with boatswain, Smee.

Peter Pan 1953

Dustin Hoffman

Hook 1991
Hook 1991

Jason Issacs

Peter Pan 2006
Peter Pan 2006

The Black Swan

Former pirate Captain Jamie Waring kidnaps Lady Margaret Denby, played by Maureen O'Hara, to help former pirate pal, Sir Henry Morgan, keep his position as governor of Jamaica in 1674.  The Black Swan is a love story infused with villiany and deeds of daring.

Tyrone Power

Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - The Black Swan 1942
Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - The Black Swan 1942

Cuthroat Island

The race is on as female pirate Morgan Adams, played by Geena Davis, searches for treasure on a hidden island. A partial map to the island was given to Adams by her dying father along with a pirate ship. Adams must find the other two parts of the map before her enemies do in order to secure the treasure.

Geena Davis

Cuthroat Island 1995
Cuthroat Island 1995

Long John Silver

Robert Lewis Stevenson's Long John Silver set the model for the stereotypical pirate that we all know and love today. He had a parrot companion who perched on his shoulder and was missing a leg. The story has him befriending young boy Jim Hawkins, but he is slowly revealed to be a scoundrel whose only interest is his own survival by whatever means necessary.

Robert Newton

Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Treasure Island 1950
Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Treasure Island 1950

Sir Henry Morgan

Sir Henry Morgan's pirating was done in the name of England.  Appointed governor of Jamaica, he fought the Spaniards for his homeland, keeping all that he plundered as his payment.

Laird Cregar

The Black Swan 1942
The Black Swan 1942

Jack Sparrow

Johnny Depp created the memorable character of Jack Sparrow in the Pirate of the Caribbean movies. Using The Rolling Stone's Keith Richards for inspiration, Depp's Sparrow is a charismatic pirate with a heart.

Jack Sparrow

Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Pirates of the Carribean 2003
Top Ten Famous Pirates in the Movies - Pirates of the Carribean 2003

Captain Barbossa

The cursed captain of the Black Pearl, Captain Barbossa kidnaps Elizabeth Swann, who has the last piece of Aztec gold which will break the curse.

Captain Barbossa

Pirates of the Caribbean 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean 2003

Captain Kidd

Captain William Kidd started out his career as a privateer for England, but greed quickly led him to the life of a pirate. He was hired by the Royal Governor of Massachusetts to find and kill Blackbeard, but the mission failed. Kidd never admitted to being a pirate, even though he was tried and hung for it in 1701.

Captain Kidd


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    8 years ago from Dayton, ohio

    I wonder if Captain hook was a pedophilia. Always chasing Lost Boys instead of treasure.

    I also wondered why people feared Long John Silver. All you had to do was take away his crutch and he'd be helpless.

    I prefered Steve Reeves Henry Morgan, much more masculine than Larid Cregor.

  • profile image

    abbie molloy 

    8 years ago

    thanks for u help

  • lafenty profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from California

    thanks for commenting, Scorpion123

  • scorpion123 profile image


    9 years ago

    nice hub really liked it

  • lafenty profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from California

    Thanks for your comment Donna. I will have to research those lady pirates and add them to my hub. Blackbeard does seem to have made the most lasting impression as far as real pirates go.

  • DonnaCSmith profile image

    Donna Campbell Smith 

    10 years ago from Central North Carolina

    It was a thin line between privateer and pirate in those days. My favorites are the "ladies" Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Black Beard's ghost still lurks in the backwaters of North Carolina, and still contributes to our state's coffers through tourist dollars!


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