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)
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


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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
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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 Star Power: The Creation of United Artists (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't Mess with Doug
11 April 2008 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In this "page from the history and lives of the most bloodthirsty pirates who ever infested the southern seas," the title cards explain, "it was the custom of these pirates to subdue their prey, loot the ship, bind their captives, and blow them up." That's exactly what happens to seafarer Douglas Fairbanks and his father, as the film begins. But, you don't mess with Doug. Mr. Fairbanks survives the attack, and infiltrates the offending ship (as "The Black Pirate"), vowing revenge, particularly due to the death of his father. Fairbanks also finds romance on ship, with kidnapped princess Billie Dove (as Isobel), whom he saves from gang rape.

Colorful entertainment, from Fairbanks and company. Notable for the early feature-length color photography, by Henry Sharp; and, for Fairbanks' typically robust performance. Mrs. Fairbanks (aka Mary Pickford) stands in for the kissing long shot, near the film's end. Donald Crisp and Sam De Grasse are among the entertaining supporting players. In hindsight, the use of color probably hampered the production somewhat, as it looks more restrictive than other Fairbanks films of the 1920s. Still, it's a classic.

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