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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Light-hearted pirate adventure is entertaining...

6/10
Author: ccmiller1492 (ccmiller1492@yahoo.com) from Fairfax, VA
3 February 2006

The light-hearted nature of this pirate adventure is immediately evident as the film opens with Barbarosa (Payne) being discovered romancing some harem ladies whereupon he's furiously chased by soldiers. He manages to reach the seacoast and swims out to the nearest ship. This is the best part of the film as he surreptitiously climbs aboard and rather than becoming a galley slave, he persuades the crew to mutiny and then to piracy with him as their chief!

From then on it's pretty standard pirate movie fare. Henry Brandon and Gerald Mohr are surprisingly effective as wealthy but dishonest Spanish schemers, but their modern haircuts don't go very well with their elaborate 17th century court costumes. Donna Reed looks good, but is not convincing as the haughty daughter of a Spanish governor. The film comes alive only when John Payne is on screen, but nevertheless manages to entertain.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Passable swashbuckler with John Payne as the legendary pirate Barbarossa against the Spanish armada

6/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
10 January 2014

An agreeable as well as decent John Payne swashbuckler about the Pirate Barbarossa, a real personage against the Spanish Main. This classic story of romantic adventure come to life enriched by Technicolor photography and adapted rightly to the screen. Since man's earliest venturings upon the oceans ..into the icy breakers of the North.. or the warm waters of the golden gulf have come down wondrous tales of Raiders of the Seven Seas . Barbarossa was one of them , sailing recklessly through the seventeenth Century , from India's Ocean to the Caribbean islands , today he still lives in hundreds of legends . This is one : It begins in Morocco , in the palace of the Sultan , where Barbarossa (John Payne) flees . As Barbarossa takes over a Spànish ship called Santa Margarita and frees a bunch of prisoners and makes them his crew , as his aide Peg-Leg (Lon Chaney) and deputy Renzo (Anthony Caruso) , among others . As a corsair captain and a crew of escaped convicts plundering for loot and revenge . On a raid, he takes as a prize a Spanish countess (Donna Reed) , Alida , governor's daughter . He has fallen in love with her by the time he manages for her ransom by the captain Salcedo (Gerald Mohr) who was to marry her . Meanwhile, Barbarossa goes to Santo Domingo and Turtle Island . Exposing her intended as a liar and a coward , he goes to ask for her hand but she has fled , and Barbarossa believes she is the one who murdered his assistant . Barbarossa encounters dangerous situations while trying retrieve his lover , as he is double-crossed and after that , he attacks La Habana , Cuba , where is the residence of the governor general and his officer , Captain Goiti (Henry Brandon).

Amusing pirate movie , plenty of action , thrills , colorful cinematography and luxurious costumes . Although the story has been told before , tight filmmaking and nice acting win out . Overwhelming battle ships , sword-play and full of villainy , romance , swashbuckler and heroism . The picture is fast-moving , exciting and thrilling right up to the almost balletic climatic confrontation between John Payne and Gerald Mohr . Average-budgeted film by United Artists Pictures , using appropriate ship shots and miniature sets when possible . Nice acting by John Payne as a famous pirate who uses all kind of shrewdness in order to penetrate a well-defended stronghold on La Habana . Payne starred various swashbucklers and classic adventures such as ¨Tripoli¨ with Mauren O'Hara , ¨Captain China¨ by Lewis R. Foster , ¨Caribbean¨ by Edward Ludwig with Arlene Dahl , ¨Crosswinds¨ by Lewis Foster with Rhonda Fleming , among others . ¨Raiders of the seven seas¨ results to be one of John Payne's swashbuckling best though hasn't achieved a classic status . There appears the gorgeous Donna Reed as a hot-tempered countess moll who swoons over Payne ; furthermore , an enjoyable support cast such as Gerald Mohr as Captain Jose Salcedo , Lon Chaney Jr as Peg Leg , Anthony Caruso as Renzo , Henry Brandon as Captain Goiti and Frank DeKova as Captain Romero .

United Artists took advantage of the unused as well as left sets from other A-movies by scripting and shooting a hastily assembled B-picture . This is a good-natured Technicolor romp with glamorous cinematography by Howard Greene and evocative musical score by Paul Sawtell. The motion picture was professionally produced and directed by Sidney Salkow , a craftsman who had already filmed other adventures . He realized all kind of genres such as routine westerns (Sitting Bull , The great Sioux massacre , Pathfinder) , Adventures (Prince of Pirates , Sword of the avenger) , war films , Sci-Fi (The last man on Earth) , Terror (Twice-told tales) and melodramas (City without men) . Salkow first worked for Republic, after joining Universal . At Columbia , he handled , among other assignments, four installments of the popular Lone Wolf series . After 1953, Salkow was primarily active as director of episodic television . Rating : 6 , acceptable pirate movie , entertaining stuff . It will appeal to John Payne and Donna Reed fans .

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

RAIDERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS (Sidney Salkow, 1953) **1/2

6/10
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta
11 December 2008

My fourth trip to the Maltese sexton who's been an avid film buff/collector/projectionist all his life provided me with the opportunity to watch this solid seafaring adventure (albeit opening rather incongruously in a Moroccan Sheik's harem!) which, in the words of the award-winning lyricist friend who (as usual) set up the screening, was very popular locally in its day among schoolboys and is still fondly remembered today among people of his generation. Although perhaps not one to be mentioned in books on film history (much less criticism) – I don't think I've ever come across it in essays I've read specifically dealing with the swashbuckler genre – the title itself has a familiar ring to it and, actually, I do recall catching a glimpse of it in the early days of Cable TV.

Another reason for the film's relative neglect over the years is the fact that it was not a major studio effort (Global Productions but released theatrically through United Artists) and has second-league stars (John Payne and Donna Reed) as leads. Furthermore, the film-makers behind the low-budget studio-bound RAIDERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS may not have had the required dough to erect the necessary sets but at least proved savvy enough to shoot it in Technicolor – by pioneering color cinematographer W. Howard Greene, no less – for added vividness (even though the print I saw screened theatrically boasted the tell-tale signs of aging via a constant reddish hue for most of the film's first half). Having said that, this negative aspect is ironically suited to the material at hand since Payne stars as legendary Pirate Barbarossa (Red Beard) with his hirsute attributes appropriately colored in that fashion (even when posing as a beggar in his nemesis' household, which begs the question of why he wasn't suspected at all); wondering why Payne seemed to drop off the cinematic radar in the late 1950s, I learned from his IMDb biography that he had suffered facial scars in a terrible car accident in 1962! For the record, I have obtained (and have further access to) several John Payne movies of late – although, regrettably, not his other Technicolor pirate yarn CARIBBEAN (1952).

Anyhow, to get back to the film proper: no self-respecting pirate goes without a genial sidekick by his side and Lon Chaney Jnr. (as the one-legged old sea dog Peg-Leg) fits the bill here and in turn has a resourceful kid to take care of. Perhaps thankfully, however, we are spared the would-be comic relief characteristics that usually pervade both these personalities in similar fare and, in truth, it must be said that RAIDERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS has an admirably somber tone throughout that is atypical for pirate adventure pictures. Indeed, having Peg-Leg murdered by a duplicitous member of their gang (Anthony Caruso) and the awaiting folk – including, so we are told, women and children – mercilessly wiped out at their hide-out by the villainous Spaniards (Gerard Mohr and Henry Brandon) gives the whole an unexpectedly Shakespearean tragedy feel a' la "Henry V"!

It also goes without saying that Reed is, at first, understandably miffed that Payne has abducted her from her pampered surroundings to his island hideaway and that she bribes Caruso to set her free but, what is also unusual here is that Payne's predictable love for Reed actually seems to cloud his judgment and make him see red {sic} with jealousy whenever she's around Caruso and, if that wasn't enough evidence of his true feelings for her, he gives up the gold ransom he had been paid for her freedom! Director Sidney Salkow – who was an old hand at this type of thing, including a Sterling Hayden/Rhonda Fleming swashbuckler called THE GOLDEN HAWK (1952) which, happily, also proudly forms part of the above-mentioned projectionist's collection – doubled as a co-writer/producer here but, at least from this one preliminary viewing, it's rather unfortunate that, for all its incidental pleasures and uncommon ingredients, RAIDERS OF THE SEVEN SEAS lacks the requisite number of memorable sequences or characters (perhaps even strong musical backing would have sufficed) which might have made it a much-better known film of its type – rather than being relegated to the hazy recollections of an age-old theatrical visit in their childhood days of an appreciative few.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

John Payne and Donna Reed make a pretty good pair in Raiders of the Seven Seas

7/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
8 July 2012

Just watched this obscure pirate flick on Netflix Streaming. Since I've been devoting these summer months-in honor of the recent new "Dallas" series on TNT-to the original cast, regular and recurring, of the first series in order to review their work, on TV and film, in chronological order, this was next on the list with the second Miss Ellie-Donna Reed-in the heroine role opposite that of the hero-John Payne. Payne plays Barbarossa, a pirate who fights the villainous Spainards, one of whom was planned for an arraigned marriage with Ms. Reed. I'll stop there and just say that I found much of the action and dialogue much fast paced but also clear enough for me to understand what and why whatever happens is going on. Also, I liked Lon Chaney Jr.'s supporting performance as sidekick Peg Leg. So on that note, Raiders of the Seven Seas is worth a look if you're interested in these obscure old-time adventures.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

not that bad

7/10
Author: rickdumesnil from Canada
18 September 2012

Just saw 7 seas movie. I did not hate it at all. the scenery is adequate and the color was alright. Some scenes were a little hard to swallow but the actors made the film believable. Was fun to see sexy John Payne is something else different from Twentieth Century Fox musicals. Mr.Payne can really show emotions when especially he is mad...watch his forehead and his eyes.Donna reed i simply adore...she has a face that you cant forget. Reminds me a lot of my all time favorite MISS PAULETTE GODDARD. The supporting cast is all recommended and the plot is simple but effective. Really worth a watch. You no what.....todays movies may be advanced and up to date.....id rather see JOHN Payne as a pirate anytime compared to Johnny Depp who has everything handed to him on a silver platter. Yester years actors really worked and sweated to give the best performance ever...and they didn't have much help like the actors of today have.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lightweight pirate adventure

6/10
Author: gordonl56 from Canada
21 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When one considers the amount of acting talent here it is a shame it was so misused. With the likes of B-movie vets John Payne, Donna Reed, Gerald Mohr, Anthony Caruso and Lon Chaney i was expecting much more. It is just your basic story of a ship's captain, John Payne, who frees a crew from the nasty Spanish and takes off to be a pirate. It also features the standard pirate plot where Payne captures the local lord's wife to be, Donna Reed, who of course falls for the dashing pirate. Director Salkow did much better with THE GOLDEN HAWK and PRINCE OF PIRATES. Donna Reed would win a Best Supporting Oscar on her next film, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. She gave not a clue of such talent in this rather soft action flick. Same thing with the normally solid, John Payne. Not a complete loss since there are several brisk battle scenes and the odd comic touch from Lon Chaney. A grade b, b film. (color)

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11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Not much wind in these sails

5/10
Author: dinky-4 from Minneapolis
26 August 2003

First, the good news. This movie is only 4 minutes and 23 seconds old before John Payne takes off his shirt, revealing a V-shaped torso which, unlike many of his earlier unveilings, is gloriously unshaven and only a few years past its prime. Now the bad news. It's all downhill from here. Even fans of pirate B-movies will find this concoction an anemic affair which lacks energy and style and which, due to a tight budget, has a disappointingly studio-bound quality. Throwing in an "adorable" child actor only accentuates the vapidity of the proceedings.

John Payne manages to get by without serious damage to his reputation, aided, of course, by that bare-chest scene, but adding a reddish dye to his dark hair tends to make him look more silly than rakish. Donna Reed doesn't have the fire and flash needed for her part but, to be fair, no one could do much with lines such as: "I will enjoy (your company) even more when you are stretched to the four winds on a torture-rack!"

A better grade-B pirate movie from this era is "Prince of Pirates" with John Derek and Barbara Rush.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A pirate abducts a Spanish noblewoman.

6/10
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
21 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just one the many adventures of the legendary pirate Barbarossa. This fearless swashbuckler is played aptly by John Payne. Barbarossa stages a mutiny and commanders the ship for his own. He convinces the freed Spanish prisoners to stay on as his crew. He plans to kidnap a Spanish noblewoman, Alida(Donna Reed); to obtain a large ransom and destroy what he can of the Spanish war fleet. In the process, the pirate falls in love with the beautiful countess and has to contend with the officer she is supposed to marry. Very appealing scenery and plenty of action and adventure. Payne seems a bit throttled, but still shows Barbarossa to be pompous and fearless. Reed seems reserved, but so pretty and demure. Lon Chaney Jr. is notable as the pirate's aide, Peg-Leg. And young Skip Torgerson is a useful Datu. The supporting cast includes: Frank DeKova, Gerald Mohr, Anthony Caruso and Claire Du Brey.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Flabby pirate epic--not good, not bad, just . . . meh!

4/10
Author: fredcdobbs5 (fredcdobbs5@yahoo.com) from California
28 June 2014

Low-budget independent (released through United Artists) pirate adventure starring John Payne has him as famed pirate Barbarossa fighting against a corrupt Spanish officer (Gerald Mohr), with an uncomfortable-looking Donna Reed miscast as the "fiery" daughter of a Spanish governor who is Payne's love interest. In every one of director Sidney Salkow's films I've seen he's had problems with pacing, and his track record is unbroken here. It moves like molasses, with awkward dialog scenes broken up by mostly lackadaisical, by-the-numbers action scenes (and some rather shoddy miniature work for the ship-to-ship battles). Payne is earnest, and actually a bit more animated than he normally tends to be, but Reed looks like she wished she was somewhere else. A decent supporting cast helps somewhat, but overall the picture is pretty standard fare.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A crew of would be slaves

5/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
10 January 2013

Raiders Of The Seven Seas looks like a project that would have fit Tyrone Power a whole lot better than John Payne. Even though the two looked similar and I've always believed that Payne was signed by 20th Century Fox to take Power's place in musicals, Payne just doesn't quite have the proper élan to be a swashbuckling pirate.

The story has Payne escaping from the Barbary Coast and taking over a slave ship that was sitting idle in calm waters. The cargo of would be slaves provide a very willing crew as they were to be sent to the Spanish West Indies as plantation help.

Payne goes there too and builds himself quite a little pirate fleet and gets himself involved with Donna Reed who is scheduled to marry Captain Gerald Mohr. Mohr himself has a nasty rivalry with a soldier sent from Spain played by Henry Brandon. Mohr's rivalry with Brandon and his jealousy of Payne prove to be his undoing.

Three other roles deserve mention, Payne's treacherous second in command Anthony Caruso, his loyal pilot Lon Chaney, Jr., who plays your typical peg-leg pirate in the style of Long John Silver, and young Spud Tergerson who is a kid in the crew. What he was doing there other than to attract a juvenile audience, God only knows.

Despite a miscast Payne, Raiders Of The Seven Seas is a pleasant enough average adventure drama. It will never take the place of such swashbuckling classics as Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, or The Black Swan.

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