IMDb > The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
The Pirates of Blood River
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The Pirates of Blood River (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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John Hunter (screenplay) &
John Gilling (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Pirates of Blood River on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
August 1962 (USA) See more »
Ransacking a lost tropic island... for a fabulous idol of gold!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Hammer the pirates See more (16 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Kerwin Mathews ... Jonathon Standing

Glenn Corbett ... Henry

Christopher Lee ... Captain LaRoche
Peter Arne ... Hench, a pirate
Marla Landi ... Bess Standing

Oliver Reed ... Brocaire, a pirate
Andrew Keir ... Jason Standing
Michael Ripper ... Mack, a pirate
David Lodge ... Smith

Dennis Waterman ... Timothy Blackthorne
Jack Stewart ... Godfrey Mason
Lorraine Clewes ... Martha Blackthorne
Jerold Wells ... Penal Colony Master
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diane Aubrey ... Margaret Blackthorne (uncredited)
John Bennett ... Penal Colony Guard (uncredited)
Richard Bennett ... Seymour (uncredited)
Ronald Blackman ... Pugh (uncredited)
Bill Brandon ... Pirate (uncredited)
John Collin ... Lance (uncredited)
Marie Devereux ... Maggie Mason (uncredited)
Don Levy ... Carlos (uncredited)

Desmond Llewelyn ... Tom Blackthorne (uncredited)
Michael Mulcaster ... Martin (uncredited)
Jim O'Brady ... Pirate (uncredited)
Michael Peake ... Kemp (uncredited)
Keith Pyott ... Silas (uncredited)
Ernie Rice ... Pirate (uncredited)
John Roden ... 2nd Settler (uncredited)
Denis Shaw ... Silver (uncredited)

Directed by
John Gilling 
Writing credits
John Hunter (screenplay) &
John Gilling (screenplay)

Jimmy Sangster (from a story by)

Anthony Nelson Keys  uncredited

Produced by
Michael Carreras .... executive producer
Anthony Nelson Keys .... producer
Original Music by
Gary Hughes 
Cinematography by
Arthur Grant (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Eric Boyd-Perkins 
Casting by
Stuart Lyons 
Production Design by
Bernard Robinson 
Art Direction by
Don Mingaye 
Makeup Department
Roy Ashton .... makeup artiste
Frieda Steiger .... hair stylist
Production Management
Clifford Parkes .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Peverall .... assistant director
Sound Department
Alfred Cox .... sound editor
Jock May .... sound recordist
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Len Harris .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Molly Arbuthnot .... wardrobe supervisor
Rosemary Burrows .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
James Needs .... supervising editor
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... musical supervisor
Other crew
Tilly Day .... continuity
Bob Simmons .... horse master
Bob Simmons .... master at arms
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

When approached by Michael Carreras to write a script for a pirate movie, Jimmy Sangster was cautioned by the producer that they couldn't afford a ship. The ship seen from long shot in the beginning was a stock shot.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
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 »
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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Hammer the pirates, 1 October 2008
Author: whitec-3 from United States

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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