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A United States Navy ship in the first half of the 19th century, under the command of Captain David Porter, is expecting to put ashore after a year on the seas; but the arrival of one of Porter's ex-students, the willful and independent Lieutenant David Farragut, brings a new mission: to disguise the ship and crew as a pirate ship and help the Navy locate the criminals who have been robbing America's merchant fleet. But as Farragut's disobedience threatens the safety of the crew, they stumble upon an international conspiracy. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Porter served his country in the undeclared war against France, the Barbary Coast War, the War of 1812. While serving in the West Indies in the action to stamp out piracy (1823-1825), the period covered in this film, he invaded a Spanish town in Puerto Rico to avenge the jailing of one of his officers. The U.S. government did not sanction the action, and he was court-martialed. As a consequence, he resigned his commission to accept the post of Commander of the Mexican Navy (1826-1829). See more »
Porter was stepfather to Farragut, not just another junior officer, and they did not serve on the same ship during the West Indian campaign. See more »
The real David Dixon Porter and the real David Glasgow Farragut are portrayed in Yankee Buccaneer by Jeff Chandler and Scott Brady. The film is concerned with a wholly fictitious incident involving about a US Naval vessel going undercover as a pirate ship to find out where these seemingly organized pirates are headquartered. In real life Porter and Farragut were more than teacher and pupil, in fact they were step-brothers.
Yankee Buccaneer also has them involved in a way that the film does not make clear with the Portugese dynastic situation in the 19th century in the person of Suzan Ball. The Braganza family was exiled to Brazil during the Napoleonic Wars which is a whole film in itself, but not terribly germane to the plot here.
Anyway Joseph Calleia is a Spanish governor of one of the few islands in the Caribbean left to Spain. But that's his day job, by night he's the ringleader of the pirate activity and he's a slick article.
This naval film plays like one of those old B westerns where real historic people are involved in fictitious situations. Yankee Buccaneer doesn't play fast and loose with history, it just rewrites it to suit the fans of Chandler and Brady. George Matthews has a nice part in this film as the CPO of the ship.
A few others might like it as well as the fans of the leads.
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