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The Black Pirate (1926)

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Seeking revenge, an athletic young man joins the pirate band responsible for his father's death.



(story) (as Elton Thomas) , (adapted by)
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Complete credited cast:
Princess Isobel (as Miss Billie Dove)
Tempe Pigott ...
Duenna (as Miss Tempe Pigett)
MacTavish (as Mr. Donald Crisp)
Sam De Grasse ...
Pirate Lieutenant (as Mr. Sam de Grasse)
Anders Randolf ...
Pirate Captain (as Mr. Anders Randolf)
Charles Stevens ...
Powder Man (as Mr.Charles Stevens)
John Wallace ...
Peg-Leg Pirate (as Mr. John Wallace)
Fred Becker ...
Pirate (as Mr. Fred Becker)
Charles Belcher ...
Chief Passenger - Nobleman (as Mr. Charles Belcher)
E.J. Ratcliffe ...
The Governor (as Mr. D. J. Ratcliffe)
The Duke of Arnoldo / The Black Pirate (as Mr. Douglas Fairbanks)


A nobleman vows to avenge the death of his father at the hands of pirates. To this end he infiltrates the pirate band. Acting in character he is instrumental in the capture of a ship, but things are complicated when he finds that there is a young woman on board whom he wishes to protect from the threat of rape. Written by David Chappell <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Love Story of a Bold Buccaneer


Adventure | Action


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

8 March 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Buccaneer  »

Box Office


$1,300,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (restored)

Sound Mix:


(2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Donald Crisp was the original director, but after a few days of filming had a falling-out with star Douglas Fairbanks and was replaced by Albert Parker. See more »


At about 31 minutes into the film, there are several shots of the "Black Pirate" aiming two swivel cannons at the viewer, interspersed with reaction shots of other actors. The first shot shows him in front of a whitish background (eg an overcast sky), the second such shot (a few seconds later) has a pitch black background. All such shots after that have the white background. See more »


Featured in Terror Night (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Dated, but great fun with the astonishing Douglas Fairbanks
25 February 2002 | by (Tappan, New York) – See all my reviews

I first heard about this film from my father, who once told me that he saw it as a boy when it first came out and was completely blown away by it. I only recently had the opportunity to see it myself, and I can appreciate his point. Of course it's absurd to compare the production values of an antique movie such as this to modern films, but just see it and try to imagine how it must have seemed to audiences at the Roxy back in 1926!

Needless to say, this elaborate, full-color production is merely a showcase for the incomparable Douglas Fairbanks. Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Sean Connery and Harrison Ford pale to insignificance beside Fairbank's bravura on-screen personality. Fairbanks virtually invented the "action-adventure" movie, and films like "The Black Pirate" make it clear why he was the biggest movie star of his time.

In addition, bear in mind that there were no stunt men or blue-screen special effects back then. Fairbanks actually DID all those amazing stunts himself! The only latter-day Hollywood star who would (and did) dare to do his own stunts was the equally incomparable Burt Lancaster.

Don't expect modern acting or sensibilities in The Black Pirate, the movie itself is typical 1920s melodrama. The sets are pretty hokey and the plot is absurd. However, just ignore all that while you sit back and enjoy Douglas Fairbanks delivering one of the most spectacular performances ever captured on screen.

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