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Pirates of the High Seas (1950)

Approved | | Action, Crime | 2 November 1950 (USA)
Two ex-Navy buddies travel to a tropical island to help search for a fugitive Nazi and a fortune in diamonds stolen by him during WWII, and encounter multiple dangers at the hand of a gang ... See full summary »


(written for the screen by), (written for the screen by) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gov. Frederick Whitlock
Walter Castell (as Tris Coffin)
Neyle Morrow ...
Lamar - Whitlock's Aide
Hugh Prosser ...
Roper - Jeff's First Mate [Chs.1-2, 5-8]
Lotus Lady
Barker - Phantom Cruiser Henchman [Chs.1-4]
Rusty Wescoatt ...
Adams - Phantom Cruiser Henchman
Turner - Trader [Ch.1] (as Stanford Jolley)


Two ex-Navy buddies travel to a tropical island to help search for a fugitive Nazi and a fortune in diamonds stolen by him during WWII, and encounter multiple dangers at the hand of a gang also seeking the treasure for the island's corrupt governor. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Action | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pirates of the High Seas - Phantom Raiders of the Deep  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


CHAPTER TITLES: 1. Mystery Mission; 2. Attacked by Pirates; 3. Dangerous Depths; 4. Blasted By Atoms; 5. The Missing Mate; 6. Secret of the Ivory Case; 7. Captured by Savages; 8. The Vanishing Music Box; 9. Booby Trap; 10. Savage Snare; 11. Sinister Cavern; 12. Blast from the Depths; 13. Cave-In; 14. Secret of the Music Box; 15. Diamonds From The Sea. See more »


Referenced in Citizen Steve (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Diverting, if unremarkable, will hold your attention if you are undemanding
23 June 2008 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

(SPOILERS ahead)

15 Part Columbia serial starring Buster Crabbe concerns the search for 5 million dollars in diamonds that went missing at the close of the Second World War. Crabbe plays Jeff Drake who is summoned to a small south pacific island by a war time buddy who has run in a nest of vipers looking for the stolen gems. The story begins as Jeff is summoned to the island, and how he reluctantly heads out, the result not so much of wanting to help a friend, rather because several people, including his friends sister, all want to go to the island. Once he's on his way Crabbe and his friends are beset by many of the usual and several unusual serial dangers.

Good but far from great serial suffers from story stretch. This would have been a dynamite two hour movie or even a 12 chapter serial, but as it stands now it's a very over long tale that goes round and around the same locations too much. Granted you were never suppose to watch a serial in one sitting as I did, but at the same time I've seen most of the sound serials and many do work as one long movie. It would have here except that there is too much of the same places and quests over and over again.

The film also suffers from several jumps of illogic most notably in the way a cigarette case is suppose to lead to a music box. I still can't quite get how they make the jump from one to the other. Equally odd is how the music box leads to the diamonds. (However by the time I got to that point I just had stopped caring deeply and was more interested in just getting to the end to see how it all came out) I won't even get into the chapter ending where the heroine goes off a cliff into the water after a man who was attacking her is shot by someone who was on the other side of a mountain in a place he couldn't be see what was happening.

The cliffhanging action sequences are a mixed bag with some neat ones (getting dragged behind a truck on a "sled", or a rock that drops on Crabbe while tied up in a coffin like box) with the usual ones (fire, falls, gunshots, explosions). The real problem is that many of them are resolved in lackluster ways, or turn out to be dangers that aren't really dangers, The sled slows to a stop (and then, inexplicably, a villain tumbles off a cliff for no good reason), people fall into water and swim away, and details are fudged (They fudge a great deal in this film, more so then is usual in most of the serials I've seen). After a couple of dangers that lack the "how'd he get out of that" you kind of stop caring. I'm sure the pacing is largely to blame since if they didn't have to stretch things they might have been able to cut a few of the poorer ones.

Still for all my complaining it kept me up until after midnight (closer to 1 am) watching because I had to see how it came out and didn't want (ie couldn't) to wait until the next day to finish. Worth a look if you're in the mood for an undemanding unremarkable serial that will hold your attention for four and a half hours.

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