The Pirate of the Black Hawk (1958) Poster

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Routine pirate adventure from director Sergio Grieco.
copycat102510 December 2003
This film catches Sergio Grieco in the middle of a number of low-budget adventure films he directed based on Italian history. Filmed originally in color, this appeared a few years later in U.S. drive-ins in a tawdry black-and-white version, which strips the film of any lustre it may have possessed on the big screen. Thus, it is hard to appreciate what the director had in mind when shooting the film, and one must refer to "Lo Spadaccino Misterioso" and others to see what was being done in the genre at that period. There is quite a bit of action in this one, but somehow, the charisma is lacking. After viewing this three or four times, I found that the film doesn't really get much better after the first viewing, and I'll have to hope that a color version (preferably letterboxed) shows up some day, so that I can better evauluate this film. Nevertheless, it features some great faces, and an over-the-top raid by Moorish pirates. The ending revenge scene is also particularly memorable.
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If you think that "spaghetti Westerns" are boring . . .
Edgar Allan Pooh11 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
. . . pasta pirate flicks are ten times worse. Non-fluent foreigners are still dubbing in the English with clueless inflections, but there are no gun duels to break up all of the unintended humor of butchered language. THE PIRATE OF THE BLACK HAWK is at sea for 28 seconds of his namesake film. Where I come from, teachers customarily address first-graders as "Master Green" and "Master Brown," and the "sword fights" of BLACK HAWK place its uncredited sword-master on an equal footing with these Six-Year-Olds. Since there are dozens of murky, contradictory, counter-intuitive, and\or just plain nutty plot points here with which one could quibble, suffice it to say that even though most of the story "twists" and "turns" make no sense, after ten minutes or so you can see them all coming from a mile away. As a punishment device at a Super Max Prison, Guantanamo Bay, Purgatory, or Hell, BLACK HAWK may serve some useful purpose. Otherwise, avoid it like the Plague, especially if it stars one of your ancestors (why be forced to second-guess your gene pool?)>
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Lots of Twists and Turns
Uriah4321 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
In an effort to take over the Duchy of Montefort by force, "Manfred" (Andrea Aureli) has Saracen pirates kill the Duke and attempts to kidnap his young heir. However, a loyal subject named "Richard" (Gerard Landry) has no intention of allowing Manfred to assume the throne and after capturing a Saracen pirate ship creates all kinds of problems for the usurpers. Surprisingly, this movie doesn't follow the standard format typically associated with films of this type and--although it isn't very long (only 72 minutes)--there are several sharp twists and turns throughout. To me this was its best feature and the main reason I have rated it slightly higher than most people on IMDb. Make no mistake, it isn't a great "pirate film" by any means with the English dubbing being probably the biggest flaw to speak of. But it wasn't a bad movie either and because there was so much action compacted in the limited run time so I have rated it accordingly. Average.
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"OK, you bloodsucking weasel, where's Manfred?"
classicsoncall6 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The lone trivia note regarding this film states that it was made in color and released in the U.S. in black and white. Surprisingly then I suppose, the color version shows up on a three DVD/nine movie set of films from St. Clair Vision under their 'Pirates' compilation.

Echoing the sentiment of the only other reviewer for the film at this time, charisma is a word that need not apply here. In fact it takes some doing to figure out what's going on, but the basics are something like this. A usurper to the throne of Monteforte has done away with the Duke and has kidnapped his young son (even though a quick storyboard at the beginning of the film states the Duke is in exile). Manfred (Andrea Aureli) is supported by Saracen pirates looking a bit like members of the Papal Royal Guard. A rival band of pirates from the Black Hawk are led by Captain Richard (Gerard Landry), attempting to set things right by the original Duke. The Duke of Monteforte happened to have a rather beautiful daughter Eleanor (Pina Bottin), thereby providing for the romantic angle.

There you have it, that's about all you need to know before, during, or after the film is over. I would hope the original Italian dialog was more original than the English translation, which featured such Twentieth Century clichés (in a Fifteenth Century setting) as - "It's no good, let's make a break for it!" In fact the most inspired line I heard in the film was the 'bloodsucking weasel' reference in my summary above.

Listen, you won't lose a lot of sleep if you pass on this salty sea tale on land, or conversely, if you do watch it, it just might put you to sleep. The best thing this one has going for it is the U.S. release title - "The Pirate of the Black Hawk".
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