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The Buccaneer (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, History | 4 February 1938 (USA)
Semi-fictional account of pirate Jean Lafitte's involvement in the War of 1812.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Franciska Gaal ...
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Margot Grahame ...
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Ian Keith ...
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Robert Barrat ...
Fred Kohler ...
Gramby (as Fred Hohler Sr.)
Hugh Sothern ...
John Rogers ...
Hans Steinke ...
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Storyline

In the War of 1812, the British have sacked Washington and hope to capture New Orleans, where pirate Jean Lafitte romances blueblooded Annette de Remy and openly sells his loot in a pirates' market. But he never attacks American ships. Can the British bribe Lafitte to help them? Can Lafitte persuade American authorities of his loyalty? Will a love triangle between Annette and pretty Dutch girl Gretchen (survivor of a pirates' prize) bring about Lafitte's undoing? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

....The thundering drama of the beloved rogue who saved a nation that swore to hang him! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

4 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les flibustiers  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The premiere in New Orleans drew 15,000 people. Traffic was so congested that pleas were made on the radio to avoid the downtown area for the second showing. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Day of the Locust (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the pirates
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User Reviews

 
A pirate's life without a home country
26 August 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Plenty of action! Not a movie anyone will ever sleep through! The highs and lows of pirate life well depicted, even a "walking the plank" episode.

When Lafitte the notorious pirate (Fredric March) comes a-courtin' to the home of his lady-love, Annette (Margot Grahame), a matron cries out in alarm to hide the silver as he might steal it. Here was an instant recall of similar words uttered in the film "Les Miserables," an earlier role March played so well, where as Jean Valjean he was looked on with suspicion by the housekeeper after seeking shelter in a priest's home. But as the pirate Lafitte he has plenty of stolen goods to pass on.

Gretchen (Franciska Gaal) as a young Dutchwoman has a little terrier in tow at the beginning, and both are spunky! She soon encounters and falls in love with Lafitte and lets him know about it but sadly, his heart is elsewhere.

I really enjoyed seeing Akim Tamiroff portray Dominique with such flair. As a supporting actor his fine style has always been colorful and convincing in serious or lighter roles. He's fun to watch in this one.

Andrew Jackson (Hugh Sothern) gives us a glimpse of what war and fighting was really like in those early frontier days when militiamen were more often local recruits ill-prepared and ill-equipped.

One can only wonder what would have been the course of American history if Lafitte had lived elsewhere.


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