Top 10 Pirate Movies
Talk like us pirates talk.
ARRRRRR!!! Avast, ye swabs! Heave ho, matie! Stow that bilge, lubber, or I'll keelhaul ye! Beg your pardon, it's contagious, isn't it! It's hard to believe that we'll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Wednesday, Sept. 19th. This day is practically a religious holiday on some people's poop deck - a day when they're up to their scuppers in flintlocks, cutlasses, eye patches and parrots.
Any day is a good day to watch a revenge-your-father plot, a damsel in distress, rip-roaring duels, derring-do and what-have-you, but I've been waiting all year to use this as an excuse to talk about pirate movies.
Photo Credit: Kratty Aurion
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International Pirate Day
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Read On, Matey!
Find out what pirating is all about. The REAL thing! REAL pirates!
Heave ahead rogue
Pirate flicks are good, violent, escapist fun, full of explosions, sea battles, sword fights, incomprehensible jargon, treasures, rum, women and song.
Even a cursory search unearths more movies about these oceanic outlaws than you can shake a marlinspike at. The Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) lists no fewer than 33 film versions of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic "Treasure Island" - and four of "Return to Treasure Island!" An analysis of just those films would be as stultifying as life aboard a becalmed sloop in the Sargasso Sea. So let's just skim the cream, shall we? Focus your spyglass on these beauties, me hearties!
A very personal Top 10
# 1 - Against All Flags
Errol Flynn plays Brian Hawke, who goes undercover to join a syndicate of pirates off Madagascar. Hawke even orders himself lashed in the opening sequence in the event that he is examined.
The two gang leaders - played by Maureen O'Hara and Anthony Quinn - each have their own ideas as to the sincerity of Hawke's alleged defection from the British Fleet. Brasiliano (Quinn) wants him dead, and Spitfire Stevens (O'Hara) wants beauty advice. Hey, you think I'm kidding???
Plans for Hawke grow complicated when the pirates raid a royal ship from India and unknowingly include a princess among their hostages. Hawke knows of course, and so he tries his best to protect both her virtue AND identity.
The shining star here is Maureen O'Hara, in top form as a lady pirate. This was a role she was well-acquainted with, having previously appeared in THE BLACK SWAN opposite Tyrone Power; she handles a blade well.
Against All Flags - Released: 1952
# 2 - A High Wind in Jamaica
Length: 104 Minutes
Synopsis: The parents of children living in Jamaica, afraid that the kids are growing up uncivilized, decide to send them to England. But during the voyage, the children's ship is boarded by pirates and in the confusion the children wind up trapped on the pirate ship. The children view it as a lark, and one of them, a girl named Emily, develops an unusual bond with Chavez, the pirate captain.
The superstitious pirates can't wait to unload the kids at the first port, but a tragedy prevents it, and Emily's relationship with Chavez takes a fateful twist.
A High Wind In Jamaica - Trailer
Talk like a Pirate. Dress like a Pirate! - Costumes
If you need a costume international pirate day have a look here.
You'll be the hit of the party in this costume!
# 3 - The Light at the Edge of the World
Made in: Spain
Synopsis: Pirates take over a lighthouse on a rocky island in the South Atlantic during the 19th century. They then execute a devious plan to cause ships to run aground, pillaging their wrecks.
A lone member of the lighthouse crew survives, and he deperately fights their plot. A shipwrecked maiden that avoids the pirates slaughter soon complicates the situation.
The Light at the Edge of the World
# 4 - The Master of Ballantrae
Made in: USA
Length: 89 Minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure
Synopsis: Master of Ballantrae has fantastic script and score and the color cinematography is fantastic. The main asset, of course, is Flynn who really shows up in this one. He proves, probably for the last time, why he was such a big star.
Also, it's a good buddy picture with a funny Irish actor playing Alan Hale role. There are some fabulous locations and a couple of solid villians to round things out.
Another asset is the use of real sailing ships. There are very few process shots or back projection garbage. If you're a Flynn fan and you've missed this one, check it out. It's a terrific, action packed swashbuckler.
The Master of Ballantrae - The first part of.
This is a great film that is largely forgotten and is pushed aside by Errol Flynn's other great films like Robin Hood, etc. This is the kind of film you can compare to Rambo or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull or even Die Hard in the sense that it shows that even though he is an aging action hero he still has what it takes.
I think it has one of the best buddy pairings in cinema history, Errol Flynn and Roger Livesy. In my opinion, Livesy was an Irish version of Chris Tucker or Eddie Murphy. He really stole the show sometimes. A film that everyone who loves Errol Flynn should get a chance to see.
# 5 - The Pirates of Penzance
(Gilbert & Sullivan)
Made in: USA
Length: 112 Minutes
Genre: Musical, comedy, Dance
Synopsis: In my opinion, this 1983 version of the "Pirates of Penzance" is the BEST of all the movie versions.Kevin Kline's performance in the role of the "Pirate King" was so incredible no-one has yet managed to equal it.
An adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's hilarious comic operetta of the same name, the story involves a series of wild and funny conincidences that result in side-splitting laughter.
The plot of the story is that the dying father of Frederick instructs the nanny to apprentice the child to a pilot (ship navigator.) Since the nanny is hard of hearing, she mistakes "Pilot" for "Pirate" and apprentices him to a Pirate.
At his 21st birthday he is finally free of the indenture and wants to leave the crew. This causes many complications because he is actually the only effective pirate among them and the crew do not want him to leave. Pursuing his dream of marrying the woman he loves is not easy.
The Pirates of Penzance - Released: 1983
Of all the movies released on this musical (and there have been a considerable number) I like this one released in 1983 the best. Actors Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury and Rex Smith make the movie what it is ... a really great show!
Costumes for Lady Pirates
Aha, my lovelies! Here yu'll be makin' ma maties drool if yu ware un of these!
My Movie Recommendations - Pirate movies only
If you have missed seeing any of the movies that I have reviewed, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with these swashbuckling films.
# 6 - The Princess and the Pirate
Made in: USA
Length: 94 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Musical
Synopsis: Bob Hope is felicitously teamed with luscious Virginia Mayo. Hope plays Sylvester the Great, a two-bit entertainer "touring" the West Indies in the 18th century. Mayo is Princess Margaret, who is kidnapped by a rough,tough buccaneer known only as "The Hook."
Through a series of unbelievable circumstances, Sylvester rescues Margaret, and the two of them pose as travelling troubadours in a treacherous pirate colony.
One of the performances that I really enjoyed in this movie was offered by Walter Brennan as an addled pirate named Featherhead, a character right out of a Tex Avery cartoon!
The Princess and the Pirate
Where's the Princess?
Virginia Mayo and Bob Hope in a clip with ... THE HOOK!
# 7 - The Princess Bride
Made in: USA
Length: 98 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Synopsis: The Princess Bride is staged as a book read by grandfather (Peter Falk) to his ill grandson (Fred Savage.)
A tongue-in-cheek fairy tale depicting a stable boy-turned-pirate. She gets kidnapped, he gets killed, but it all ends up okay. Do not miss this one!
The Princess Bride Movie Trailer
The narrative of the movie is framed by a scene featuring a boy sick in bed (Fred Savage) and his grandfather (Peter Falk). The plot of the movie is the enactment of the story as it is being read, which is occasionally interrupted by comments from the grandson and grandfather.
A beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm in the fictional country of Florin. She delights in ordering the farm hand Westley (Cary Elwes) to perform chores for her. Westley's only answer is "As you wish." Eventually Buttercup realizes he really means "I love you."
Pirate costumes for the younger set.
Kids, pirates and parties seem to go together. Your next costume party why not dress like a pirate? Look like the real sea-faring swashbuckler! (or bucklerette)
# 8 - The SeaHawk
Made in: USA
Length: 127 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Romantic
Synopsis: In the 1580's the SeaHawk -- the name given to the bold privateers who prowl the oceans taking ships and treasure on behalf of the British crown are the most dedicated defenders of British interests in the face of the expanding power of Philip of Spain. Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) is the boldest of the Sea Hawks, responsible for capturing and destroying more than 50 Spanish ships and ten Spanish cities. His capture of a Spanish galleon, however, leads to more than he bargained for, in a romance with the ambassador's niece (Brenda Marshall).
The SeaHawk was the last and most mature of Flynn's swashbuckling adventure films, played with brilliant stylistic flourishes by the star at his most charismatic.
The SeaHawk - with Errol Flynn
Errol Flynn's second pirate film. He had made "Captain Blood" in 1935 and had appeared in a number of romantic costume dramas in the intervening years. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz, the famous director of "Casablanca."
Flynn played Geoffrey Thorpe, an English privateer plundering Spanish ships to help the motherland build a fleet to counter the threat posed by the build-up of the Spanish armada. Claude Rains played the oily Spanish ambassador; and Brenda Marshall played his attractive neice who falls for Thrope.
# 9 - The Deep
Made in: USA
Length: 124 Minutes
While not a pirate movie per se .. this is one of the most suspenseful adventures ever. The underwater photography throughout this movie is gorgeous, all accented by one of John Barry's finest musical scores which lends mystery and expectation to various scenes and sustains an atmosphere of suspense throughout the movie.
The Deep - The Trailer
Scuba divers David Sanders and Gail Berke (Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset), assisted by Romer Treece (Robert Shaw), discover a sunken treasure off the Bermuda coast. They also find a stash of narcotics. David and Gail spend the rest of the picture avoiding bad guys who stashed the drugs and want the treasure as well.
# 10 - Long John Silver
Made in: USA
Length: 106 Minutes
Genre: Adventure, Romantic
A family/adventure classic, based on the characters created by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Robert Newton repeats his Treasure Island role as Long John Silver. The ruthless pirate "El Toro" Mendoza has kidnapped the Governor's beautiful young daughter and captured Jim Hawkins along with her.
Around Jim's neck hangs a medallion that will help Long John find more of legendary Captain Flint's buried gold, still waiting to be discovered on Treasure Island.
Long John Silver - 1954
After the Treasure Island adventure, Long John Silver turns up on a British Caribbean island, where he hears that rival pirate Mendoza has taken the ship carrying the governor's daughter...and his young friend Jim Hawkins.
Naturally, there's more to his rescue plan than meets the eye; he hopes to get a new ship and go back for more treasure...
What is your favorite pirate movie of all time?
I have given you a number of pirate movies to choose from. If you do not like any of this selection please let us know your choice.
Out of all of the pirate movies listed here which one did you enjoy the most?
Get your Pirate Movie Fix from these great movies! - Movies for the young and young-at-heart.
Do Pirates Really Wear Earrings? - Yes they do. Why?
It is almost impossible to see a pirate movie without seeing earrings. Naturally the question has often arisen, did real pirates wear earrings? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
The Black Swan is one pirate movie I remember well. Tyrone Power (pictured above) was the handsome, and very rough I must add, pirate.
While I'm sure Hollywood was trying to make leading men such as Erroll Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks look suave and exotic, real pirates were piercing their ears for a more practical purpose. It was believed that piercing the ears with such precious metals as silver and gold, improved one's eyesight. This was the main reason pirates performed such a ritual. It must also be noted that most other seafaring men also indulged in the practice.
While for years this was considered an old wives tale, today the art of acupuncture lends some credence to the practice of ear piercing. The ear lobe is an acupuncture point for several eye ailments. It is quite possible that the practice of ear piercing was brought to the west from the oriental trade routes.
Still another source says:
They used the earring as payment when they crossed over to the next world (when they died). Now this sounds logical considering the superstitious nature of mariners but it has one problem. A fellow pirate was quick to pull your payment from your earlobe rather than send a perfectly good earring with you to Davy Jones.
Danny from the UK says:
"As you are aware, sailors are superstitious and religious in their own way, and they carried gold from their ear so that if their body is washed ashore, they might buy a proper Christian burial. Because of this association between the earring and drowning, it soon became a good luck charm protecting the wearer from drowning. Later, an earring in the other ear became a charm to protect the wearer against fire (which was the other great danger sailors faced)."
And as always it may have simply been a "fashion statement" on the wearers part. As pointed out by many people, pirates (at least the successful ones) were a colorful lot.
All about pirates .. - verses ninjas
In the 17th century Caribbean, buccaneers fought under the national flag of their mother country. Sometimes, other flags were flown, designed to intimidate the enemy or as identification, often flown together with a national flag.
Red was the preferred color for these flags, a color traditionally meaning no quarter would be given. This meant a fight to the death, and the defender's instant surrender was the only alternative. Some privateer captains devised personal banners with red backgrounds to add menace to the already fearsome image. For instance, Edward Cooke flew a red flag with a hand clutching a sword, and Christopher Moody used a skull and crossbones, a raised sword and a winged hourglass. These later banners became known collectively as the "Jolly Roger", possibly derived from the French phrase "Jolie Rouge' (pretty red), an ironic reference to these piratical ensigns.
Flags with a black field date from the early 18th century, the first recorded example being 1700. By 1715, many pirates used a black flag for their identifying standard and a red flag when going into battle. In 1718 Charles Vane flew the English flag from one mast and a black pirate flag from another. In 1720, Edward England flew a black flag from his mainmast, a red flag from his foremast and the English flag from his ensign staff.
Symbols such as the skull and crossbones or skeletons (representing imminent death) or hourglasses (meaning your time had run out) or weapons (a brutal fight) were widely used.
From: Reefs, Wrecks, and Rascals
The Mel fisher Maritime Heritage Society
Flags ahoy - AAARRRGGGHHH!
Dis be our sec'nd pirate flag we be flyin' ut lastin' 3 lng year. Twas a fair one, mind, much gold, bullions an rupies was had by all.
Yargh fer replacin' her we be lookin' t one of th flags alo.
Flags o quality and o good luck these be. Fly her high and proud an much booty wull be had.
No swummin' with t manatees, mind! Thar'll be a short pace off t plank fer yarrrr/
Respcts ta ya. An aboot t flg. Ain't nun unbest! Buy un fo yarself and yar mrs!
Were off ta warr har!
So yargh I say this be a good flag! It bein' two yars 'n bringin' ourselfs ton o bootie!
'Tis not fer fun we'll hoist this un!
Arrrrg! 'Tis trut!!!
International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon,Avast! No lubbers today, ye scurvy bilge rats!( U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.The Original Talk Like A Pirate Day Web site, by John Baur and Mark Summers. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy. The holiday is a major observance in the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
In Movie Theaters Now - 2012 Movie
THE PIRATES! IN AN ADVENTURE WITH SCIENTISTS
And thankfully, after nearly five years of planning, miniature set building and laborious clay tweaking, it's one to treasure. Beautifully animated, joyfully voiced and cutlass-sharp, this hearty tale is the Bristol-based outfit at its best. MORE
Pirate Related Links
- A General History by Daniel Defoe
Movies and books re Pirate Rogues listed here.
- International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Wikipedia - where you can find almost everything you need to know about Pirates, Buccaneers or Privateers.
- The Golden Age of Piracy
More about pirates.
- Nicole Kipar's late 17th Century Clothing History
17th Century Clothing History
- The Museum of UnNatural Mystery
Pirates, buccaneers and privateers discussed.
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I am so proud of this lens. I do a lot of canning. Some homemakers call it preserves but I call it canning even though I use jars not cans. I have many canning books that call it "canning" also.
So canning/preserves .. this lens will show in detail how to save your garden produce and, set you on the road to tastier, less expensive and more nutritious food for the winter.
I was over the moon when this lens also became winner of the sought-after Purple Star.
Winner of The Purple Star and Lens of the Day Awards - Woo Hoo!
It seems like all of my life I have been canning. I remember when I was a very young girl of six helping mum to can/preserve raspberries. In those days most families didn't own a refrigerator, much less a freezer. Therefore it was necessary for us to preserve eatables if we wanted to store them to eat during the long winter months.
Here you will find simple ways of canning summer produce. Can It!
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Our quail family started with a mumma and poppa quail and multiplied until now we have about 100 wild quail skitting around our property.
This lens is written by one of the newest of our quail family. Come have a peep. I'm sure you will find what he has to say entertaining.
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Photo: Bear cubs climbing the tree for protection.
Created to answer the Hot Potato Challenge, this lens addresses developments in the world's largest forest and the dangers these present to animals and perhaps to the whole world.
I hope that you find this article interesting, educational and motivational. Canada's Boreal forest needs our protection.
There are very important decisions Canada and the world must make soon. Please read: Canada's Boreal Forest
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I bid you farewell for the nonce .. a fair good morrow. May good fortune attend you and a fair wind ta ye. Hi up the treasure chest wi diamonds, rubies and "Likes" and leave yer mark for ye heave ahead.