The Buccaneer (1938)

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



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To the world he was a ruthless adventurer!.. To her the most romantic man that ever lived! Yet she unwittingly destroyed the hero she loved! See more »


Adventure | History


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Release Date:

4 February 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les flibustiers  »

Filming Locations:


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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Evelyn Keyes' debut. See more »


Referenced in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »


Yankee Doodle
Sung by the pirates
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User Reviews

Cecil B. DeMille's The Buccaneer is a rousing historical epic
21 July 2007 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

Having just moved back to Baton Rouge, La. in 2003 after living in Jacksonville, Fla. for the previous 16 years, I started getting reacquainted with the history of the state I had first lived much of my life from age 7 to 19. One of those sources was from this Cecil B. DeMille account of Louisiana's pirate-hero Jean Lafitte. It was he and his men who helped General Andrew Jackson with his troops defeat the British at The Battle of New Orleans. This was in exchange for a full pardon for him and his men after originally getting a price on his head from the Governor of The Pelican State. Fredric March makes a dashing Lafitte with Akim Tamiroff splendid as his sidekick Dominique. Margot Grahame is Lafitte's fiancée while Franciska Gaal is the Dutch girl Gretchen who falls for Jean after walking the plank from another ship that was lead by a man who betrayed Lafitte. Walter Brennan is funny here as Peavey, a sidekick to General Jackson (Hugh Sothern). Watch what happens when he and Tamiroff have a scene together! Because of some of the accents and the speed of some of the dialogue, I couldn't understand everything that was said but most of the time it was the action that got to me, especially when the American military men initially were attacking Lafitte's men as they were about to welcome them. Grahame and Gaal had their own feminine charms that made either one good chemistry with March so whichever one ended up with him would have been fine. I think I've said enough so I'll just say for anyone who loves a good old-fashioned story with some history thrown in, I highly recommend Cecil B. DeMille's The Buccaneer.

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