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Queen of the Seas (1961)
"Le avventure di Mary Read" (original title)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  1963 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 65 users  
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Redhead Mary is a girl who dresses like a man to better approach, and rob the jewels worn by the pretty ladies of her time. The King's Guard captures her, and she finds herself in the same ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lisa Gastoni ...
Mary Read
Jerome Courtland ...
Peter Goodwin
Walter Barnes ...
Captain Poof
Agostino Salvietti ...
Pirate Mangiatrippa
Germano Longo ...
Pirate Ivan
Gianni Solaro ...
Florida Governor
Gisella Arden ...
French dancer
Dina De Santis ...
Lady flirting with Peter
Tullio Altamura ...
Don Pedro Alvarez
Ignazio Balsamo ...
Captain of the Guard
Anna Arena ...
Signora sulla Diligenza
Giulio Battiferri ...
Prison Guard
Franco Jamonte ...
Horse-riding instructor
Edoardo Toniolo ...
Lord Goodwin
Piero Pastore ...
Protocol instructor


Redhead Mary is a girl who dresses like a man to better approach, and rob the jewels worn by the pretty ladies of her time. The King's Guard captures her, and she finds herself in the same cell with Peter Goodwin, a nobleman - who pretends to be a robber like her, to flirt with her. After her evasion, Mary goes up the ladder in her criminal life - becoming a good pirate under captain Poof. When the captain dies, the only 'man' aboard who is respected by every faction among the pirates is... Mary. She represents a menace to the Florida Governor, who invites a nobleman to lead the King's naval forces against the pirates: Peter Goodwin. Written by Artemis-9

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Release Date:

1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Queen of the Seas  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

QUEEN OF THE SEAS (Umberto Lenzi, 1961) **1/2
26 March 2014 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I only recently became aware of this early Lenzi swashbuckler, but I had read generally favourable assessments of it; having now watched it myself, I quite agree that the film is an above-average peplum – with star Lisa Gastoni in fine form (though most other credits are unfamiliar, including American leading man Jerome Courtland!). Acquired via a late-night Italian TV screening, the print was apparently a hybrid – as the main titles were severely panned-and-scanned, while the rest was in the proper aspect ratio…albeit of hardly optimal quality!

The plot (while supposedly set in England and the Americas, the road signs are conspicuously displayed in Italian!) deals with lady criminal Mary Read – who is already notorious when we first meet her, even if operating on a small-scale level. She ends up in prison after committing a theft while donning male attire; her philandering cellmate happens to be the son of a lord (Courtland), and it does not take him long to realize her true gender – of course, the heroine freshening up while he is ostensibly asleep does not help her conceal the fact! However, their relationship runs hot and cold: after the nobleman is released and she escapes (by chaining the door to the window bars which, when the former is forced open by prison attendants the latter get unhinged!), he makes fun of her to his peers. She swears to get even and, to this end, falls in with a pirate leader bearing the unfortunate name of Captain Poof! When he is killed in a raid, she even assumes his identity; her buccaneering exploits become the stuff of legend: at one point, we are told that she has taken up residence in the colonies with the likes of Blackbeard and Sir Henry Morgan (but these historical figures never actually come into play)!

The male protagonist, on the other hand, is scolded by his dad and offered three courses of action to follow: marry a rich ugly woman (which, when he refuses, presumably becomes his mother-in-law since she is subsequently father's constant companion!), take monastic vows or opt for a military career. He chooses the minor evil amongst them and settles on the latter: given his clout at court, he is almost instantly entrusted with the biggest ship in the British fleet...yet he proceeds to scuttle the Governor's vessel, after being deliberately misled by Poof! However, he determines to make up for his error by offering to catch the feared pirate single-handed: when he finally boards the ship and finds Mary in the captain's cabin, he berates her for having become his lover – only to be told that she herself is Poof. Still, they predictably patch up their differences and, when the Governor comes to assist Courtland and wrecks the buccaneer's vessel, the hero passes Read off as a captive; back at court, dad is happy his offspring is, at long last, ready to settle down. All in all, this proves a lively and colourful entertainment, though perhaps too low-key to stick in the memory for too long...

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