Bert I. Gordon stepped away from the giant insects long enough to direct this children's film about a young Jimmy Warren (Charles Herbert) who is in trouble by his parents because all he does is think about the days of the pirates. After coming across a genie, the boy is transported back to when Blackbeard (Murvyn Vye) ruled the sea and the boy gets to see what it was really like. THE BOY AND THE PIRATES is innocent enough and there are a few good things about it but I think most adults are going to have trouble staying awake through it. I'll start off with the good stuff, which includes some decent special effects considering some of the director's earlier films and not to mention that the budget here isn't that big. I also thought we got some nice supporting performances including Vye as Blackbeard and Paul Guilfoyle who plays a pirate who befriends the children. The director's daughter Susan Gordon actually steals the show in a dual role as Jimmy's friend. Even Joe Turkel isn't too bad as the genie. I think Herbert wasn't all that interesting in the lead so his performance certainly brings the film down a notch or two. Another problem is that there's really just not enough energy to carry the film and its rather short running time. There are quite a few pirate battles but none of them are so exciting to the point where you're having a great time. Instead, they get the job done to just barely keep you awake. I think the darker moments of the film (the kids constantly being threatened) really don't mix too well with some of the lighter humor (the bubblegum getting in the pirate's food) but these scenes on their own are quite effective.
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