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Terry and the Pirates (1940)

Dr. Herbert Lee (John Paul Jones), an archaeologist seeking to decipher ancient Mara inscriptions, is aided by his son, Terry (William Tracy), and Terry's pal, Pat Ryan (Jeff York), and ... See full summary »



(based on cartoon strip by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Jeff York ...
Pat Ryan (as Granville Owen)
Normandie Drake
Victor DeCamp ...
Big Stoop (as Victor De Camp)
Sheila Darcy ...
The Dragon Lady
Master Fang
John Paul Jones ...
Dr. Herbert Lee (as J. Paul Jones)
Allen Drake


Dr. Herbert Lee (John Paul Jones), an archaeologist seeking to decipher ancient Mara inscriptions, is aided by his son, Terry (William Tracy), and Terry's pal, Pat Ryan (Jeff York), and Normandie Drake (Joyce Bryant). Fang (Dick Curtis), a jungle pirate and warlord,plots to kill The Dragon Lady (Sheila Darcy), Queen of the Temple of Mara, and seize the treasures of her ancestors. Both Fang and The Dragon Lady have sworn death for any foreign intruders. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

treasure | pirate | son | temple | jungle | See All (41) »


Based upon the famous Milton Caniff cartoon strip See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Teri i pirati  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


10. Too Many Enemies 11. Walls of Doom 12. No Escape 13. The Fatal Mistake 14. Pyre of Death 15. The Secret of the Temple See more »


In Chapter 5, when Normandie leaves the hut, there is no light coming from the window behind her. This despite the window being open and a candle burning in the room, as shown in the shot before. See more »


[first lines]
Terry Lee: Say, Pat, do you think Dad will be sore at me for coming along?
Pat Ryan: It's a little late to be worrying about that now, Terry. You know, your father will be so happy to see you that he won't think about bawling you out until later.
See more »

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User Reviews

A good one, tons of action and smiles
20 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Unlike the other reviewer, I really enjoyed this. I barely remember the old Terry and the Pirates comic strip. The other reviewer was upset because the serial wasn't the same. The comic strip was boring, this definitely isn't. I can honestly say this is one of the very few serials that actually got more interesting in the later chapters. There are plenty of death traps, fights, chases, explosions, pretty girls, and dastardly bad guys to please most serial fans.

It was kind of fun to see several of the old western bad guys head to the jungle to make life miserable for our heroes and heroines. Terry and the Pirates looked pretty darn good too, with a handful of solid sets. There was also quite a few effects in this film. Some stock footage was used in the early chapters but it was edited well and didn't pose any problem as far as I could determine.

The plot is pretty thin as one might expect with a serial. Some thugs led by the Fang are looking for a fortune in treasure located near the domain of the Dragon Lady. Lots of characters play into the action and it all works pretty well as a vehicle at least. I thought the cast was really good and the entire production tries hard to please. I think they succeeded. The fights were well staged and the death traps were cool looking. Throw in a really cool gorilla, some croc wrestling, a few large scale battles, some bizarre costumes, some pretty well done humor (or camp if you will) and you have a true winner. There really aren't any name stars but Terry and the Pirates was well cast. I definitely recommend this, especially to fans of the jungle serials.

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