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The Pirates of Blood River (1962)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  August 1962 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 491 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 16 critic

A group of ruthless pirates attack a 17th Century Huguenot settlement on the Isle of Devon in search of treasure and will stop at nothing to obtain it.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jonathon Standing
...
Henry
...
Captain LaRoche
Peter Arne ...
Hench, a pirate
Marla Landi ...
Bess Standing
...
Brocaire, a pirate
Andrew Keir ...
Jason Standing
Michael Ripper ...
Mack, a pirate
David Lodge ...
Smith
...
Timothy Blackthorne
Jack Stewart ...
Godfrey Mason
Lorraine Clewes ...
Martha Blackthorne
Jerold Wells ...
Penal Colony Master
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Storyline

In a village of Huguenot refugees, Jonathon Standing is exiled by his father to a nearby penal colony for his improper relationship with a married woman. This penal colony is then invaded by pirates who force Jonathan to lead them back to his village, convinced that it contains a great treasure. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ransacking a lost tropic island... for a fabulous idol of gold!


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aima sto kokkino potami  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The penal colony where Jonathon Standing (Kerwin Mathews) was sent to was also the Callow Hill Location. The scene of his escape and his attempted killing by two men was shot in one of the swamps at Burnham Beeches. Other scenes of the pirates wading through the swamp and walking in wooded areas was a combination of Burnham Beeches and Black Park. See more »

Goofs

When the blindfolded pirates fight and a pirate hides inside a wooden frame, he is shown is subsequent scenes with his sword either straight out in front or to the side against the frame. See more »

Quotes

Jonathon Standing: [to the elders] I am not guilty. The cause of Maggie's death... was fear. Fear of her brutal husband. Yes, fear is your weapon, and it's a dangerous weapon because one day it will recoil on your heads.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Matinee (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hammer the pirates
1 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I taped Pirates of Blood River off TCM only because it showed just before Morgan the Pirate w/ Steve Reeves, which I'd seen as a boy, but my appetite was whetted when the first credit indicated it was a Hammer Film. For post-boomers' information, Hammer was a unique studio from the late 50s through the 60s. The studio's most characteristic films were in the horror genre. The plots of these films featured stereotypical characters, dubious motivations, and exploitative outcomes. But the studio had a distinctive "house style" that featured lush colors, accomplished acting, and, for those Anglophilic times (Beatles, Stones, 007), nubile Brit babes displaying rosy cleavage. Sometimes the parts all clicked. A deep memory is of being home from college in NC around 1970 and walking with friends through the cold to a surviving downtown theater to see "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave." We expected a campy hoot-film but ended up marveling at its quality--haven't seen it since.

Point: given the convenience of a fast-forward button, I'll take a chance on any Hammer Film. Pirates of Blood River is outside Hammer's standard horror genre, but the very opening has the studio's look even if it's set on a lush island rather than in a Gothic castle. The color is rich, and the Maggie character with whom Kerwin Matthews dallies displays the overripe buxomness that was among the studio's signatures. Her escape from her angry husband and other Huguenot elders into a body of water where she is eaten by piranhas earns the film's "Blood River" title.

After that opening, it's not much of a pirate film or a Hammer film, and the Huguenot historical framework remains undeveloped. A painted-in pirate ship appears in one gorgeous landscape shot, but otherwise the pirates grow peckish as they attack a village on foot and carry a golden statue of a Huguenot leader back to the river. Christopher Lee and Oliver Reed, who would later play Dracula, Mummy, and Werewolf in other Hammer Films, embellish their characters with stylish physicality, but most of the other pirates are only irritating or bland beyond their standard costumes. The islanders stage an impressive ambush or two, but overall it's a low-budget, underwritten adventure that feels longer than its 87 minutes. What seems most impressive or charming--and maybe a minor testament to the 50s-60s in economic history--is that such a film could ever be made at all; unimaginable today.


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