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 <David.Chappell@mail.trincoll.edu>
According to the commentary on the Kino Video DVD, the crew of Douglas Fairbanks' longboat in the climactic chase and battle were members of the crew of the USS Arizona. 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 »
I knew little of this film before watching it, but am glad I found it. It's an excellent early film about a group of cutthroats. The thing that surprised me the most was that it was in color. It was filmed using the experimental two-color technicolor process. After watching the "Making of", apparently Douglas fairbanks was a real pioneer in that area and did much research on color film. This was my first Fairbanks film and I was quite impressed with not only his screen presence, but his ability to do impressive stuntwork, including the infamous sliding down a sail on a knife. This film had all the requirements of a pirate movie... Swordplay, torture, murder, robbery, kidnapping, romance, and even walking the plank. As well as the infamous quote, "Dead men tell no tales!". It had a decent score by Mortimer Wilson that was mostly fitting. One scene I found amusing, was when the pirates drew lots for the monkey. If you're a fan of pirate movies, this is a must see. I found it quite enjoyable.
*** (out of 4)
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