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The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy | 27 September 1952 (USA)
Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings on of a revolution in the Caribbean in the late 1700s. A light hearted adventure ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Vallo (The Crimson Pirate)
Humble Bellows
Prof. Elihu Prudence
Leslie Bradley ...
Baron José Gruda
Pablo Murphy
Frederick Leister ...
Eliot Makeham ...
Frank Pettingell ...
La Signorita (as Dagmar Wynter)
Joseph - Military Attaché
Ewan Roberts ...
Claw Paw
John Chandos ...
Stub Ear


Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings on of a revolution in the Caribbean in the late 1700s. A light hearted adventure involving prison breaks, an oddball Scientist, sailing ships, naval fights, and tons of swordplay. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An astounding exhibition of daredevil deeds never before seen on the screen--and all filmed in the Mediterranean. See more »


Adventure | Comedy


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 September 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der rote Korsar  »

Box Office


$1,850,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Co-producers Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht were not fans of the witch hunts then taking place of "communists" in Hollywood, led by the House Un-American Activities Committee. This movie was a sly slap at those activities, starting with the title, "The Crimson Pirate," during the "red scare" of the fifties, and continuing with the plot line, of a government denying the rights of the people. They got away with it, as almost nobody noticed the political content of a pirate comedy-adventure movie. See more »


When the King's men capture the pirate ship in the harbor and throw the drunk pirates overboard, the first pirate that is picked up has a yellow head covering, white shirt, tan trousers, and boots; when they show that pirate being thrown overboard in close-up, he has a gray head covering, torn dirty white shirt and dirty yellow trousers and boots; when they show that pirate hitting the water, he has no boots. See more »


Pablo Murphy: This one
[indicates Ojo]
Pablo Murphy: can't talk and this one
[points at Vallo]
Pablo Murphy: can't keep quiet.
See more »


Spoofed in The Meaning of Life (1983) See more »


What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?
Traditional sea shanty
See more »

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User Reviews

Lancaster At His Best
23 April 2003 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

This is probably one of the best films I have ever seen. It had a perfect mix of adventure and comedy due to the fact that it pokes fun at all the pirate cliches. Also, it really gave the legendary Burt Lancaster a chance to show of his acrobatic talents. Too bad they don't show this on television anymore. This film would probably appeal not only to older fans but to children as well.

39 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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