An English lady falls madly in love with a French Pirate.


Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Frenchman's Creek (TV Movie 1998)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Seeking to escape the stifling London court society, the beautiful headstrong Lady Dona St. Columb flees to her family estate on the Cornish coast. Her new freedom swiftly brings her into ... See full summary »

Director: Ferdinand Fairfax
Stars: Richard Bonehill, Jeremy Child, Christian Cloarec
Ivy (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An Edwardian belle meets a rich bachelor, but what to do about her husband and her lover?

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Joan Fontaine, Patric Knowles, Herbert Marshall
Kitty (1945)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An 18th century London wench gets involved with the nobility.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Paulette Goddard, Ray Milland, Patric Knowles
Mystery | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young man plots revenge against the woman he believes murdered his cousin, but his plans are shaken when he comes face to face with the enigmatic beauty.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, Audrey Dalton
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Coast Guardsman suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress becomes involved with a beautiful and enigmatic seductress married to a blind painter.

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Joan Bennett, Robert Ryan, Charles Bickford
Crime | Thriller | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A master criminal terrorizes the occupants of an isolated country mansion.

Director: Roland West
Stars: Chance Ward, Richard Tucker, Wilson Benge
These Three (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Mary Rafferty comes from a poor family of steel mill workers in 19th Century Pittsburgh. Her family objects when she goes to work as a maid for the wealthy Scott family which controls the ... See full summary »

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The bond of friendship between a worldly-wise Army Master Sergeant and his naive worshiper.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Steve McQueen, Jackie Gleason, Tuesday Weld
New Orleans (1947)
Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A gambling hall owner relocates from New Orleans to Chicago and entertains his patrons with hot jazz by Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Woody Herman, and others.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Dorothy Patrick, Marjorie Lord
Love Letters (1945)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards
The Ritz (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On his deathbed Carmine Vespucci's father tells him to "get Proclo". With "the hit" on, Gaetano tells a cab driver to take him where Carmine can't find him. He arrives at the Ritz, a gay ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Jack Weston, Rita Moreno, Jerry Stiller


Cast overview:
Dona St. Columb
Arturo de Córdova ...
Jean Benoit Aubrey
Lord Rockingham
Harry St. Columb
Harald Maresch ...
Edmond (as Harald Ramond)
Billy Daniel ...
Pierre Blanc (as Billy Daniels)
Lady Godolphin
Patricia Barker ...
David James ...


An English lady bored with London society brings her 2 children to their country home. Her servant William is also working for a French pirate who holds up with his ship and crew off the coast. They soon meet and she embarks on an adventure with the pirates!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Lady of Fire and Ice... A Rogue of Steel and Gallantry


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 September 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pirata y la dama  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Version of Frenchman's Creek (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

FRENCHMAN’S CREEK (Mitchell Leisen, 1944) ***
3 April 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Director Leisen, who started out as Cecil B. De Mille’s art director, was one of Hollywood’s supreme stylists throughout the 1930s and 1940s; unfortunately, his reputation has dwindled in recent years and, consequently, much of his filmography has so far been neglected on DVD (only DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY [1934], HANDS ACROSS THE TABLE [1935] and GOLDEN EARRINGS [1947] are available – with EASY LIVING [1937] and MIDNIGHT [1939] coming up)! While he’s best-known for sophisticated comedies in the vein of Lubitsch, Sturges, Wilder et al – all four, incidentally, worked most often at Paramount – he also dabbled in other genres (or mixed them with utmost confidence) and, this, in fact is a costumer/romance/swashbuckler all in one!

The film is based on a novel by Daphne DuMaurier – very popular around this time, including two Hitchcock adaptations (JAMAICA INN [1939] and REBECCA [1940]); the latter had made a star of Joan Fontaine, who also fills the leading role here – throughout the decade, she would appear in a number of costumers (JANE EYRE [1944], IVY [1947], LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN [1948] and, later on, IVANHOE [1952] and CASANOVA’S BIG NIGHT [1954]). Lavishly-mounted (copping an Oscar for Hans Dreier’s production design) and shot in rich Technicolor (as was the case with THE Spanish MAIN [1945] by George Barnes and an Academy Award winner, incidentally, for the afore-mentioned REBECCA), Leisen is ably served by the fine cast he managed to assemble in this case.

Even if he’s supposed to be French, Arturo de Cordova is a most interesting choice for the dashing and virile pirate; I acquired a soft spot the Spanish actor after viewing his impressively nuanced central performance in Luis Bunuel’s study of pathological jealousy EL (1952) – still one of the most fascinating character studies ever put on film! Basil Rathbone is a stalwart in this type of film, though he’s a lecherous aristocratic villain here rather than a rival swordsman for the hero; his startling death scene at the hands of Fontaine is an undeniable dramatic highlight. Cecil Kellaway is terrific as Fontaine’s amiable but mysterious butler, who’s eventually revealed to be a foremost member of de Cordova’s pirate entourage; the popular Australian character actor would soon after play the painter Gainsborough in another costumer by Leisen, KITTY (1945) – a variation on “Pygmalion” starring Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard which remains one of the director’s finest films. Smaller roles were given to Nigel Bruce, typically obtuse and pompous as an aristocratic pirate victim (interestingly, this is the only film he and Rathbone would make together outside of their classic, and long-running, “Sherlock Holmes” series) and Ralph Forbes in the role of Fontaine’s insufferably fey husband. Incidentally, being aware of Mitchell Leisen’s homosexual tendencies (together with those of executive producer David Lewis), one can hardly escape the film’s gay subtext: apart from the afore-mentioned character of Fontaine’s husband (who is clearly more interested in his best friend Rathbone), Fontaine herself dresses up as a cabin boy for a chunk of the movie, De Cordova is often seen bare-chested and surrounded by his handsome lieutenants, his crew gleefully dress up in the women’s clothing they’ve just pillaged, etc.

With a not inconsiderable length of 112 minutes, the film’s first half – more akin to the so-called “woman’s picture” – is somewhat leisurely-paced and rather dreary. However, it eventually bursts into satisfying excitement and suspense – with such sequences as the pirates’ theft of a merchant ship from the docks, de Cordova’s decision to confront the nobility gathered at Forbes’ estate to plan his apprehension, the ensuing scuffle between the two factions and, finally, after the hero has been cornered and jailed, his shrewdly-organized flight from captivity with the help of the loving Fontaine and the devoted Kellaway. The CASABLANCA-like finale, in which the dutiful mother Fontaine sacrifices her own happiness to return to a repentant husband and their children, is unusual for this type of film and only adds to its already apparent value as a superior example of the genre(s).

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good movie or not? TheCellist1985
Rathbone and Bruce jknuttel-2
Discuss Frenchman's Creek (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: