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The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)

 -  Action | Adventure | Thriller  -  May 1964 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 326 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 13 critic

A damaged privateer deserts the Spanish Armada and makes land for repairs near a village on the British coast, terrorizing the local inhabitants.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain Robeles
Andrew Keir ...
Tom, Harry's father
John Cairney ...
Harry
Duncan Lamont ...
The Bosun
Michael Ripper ...
Pepe, a pirate
Ernest Clark ...
Sir Basil Smeeton
Barry Warren ...
Don Manuel Rodriguez de Savilla
Suzan Farmer ...
Angela Smeeton
Natasha Pyne ...
Jane, Harry's sister
Annette Whiteley ...
Meg
Charles Houston ...
Pirate
Philip Latham ...
Miller
Harry Locke ...
Bragg
Leonard Fenton ...
Pirate
Jack Rodney ...
Mandrake
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Storyline

A pirate ship, fighting in 1588 on the side of the Spanish Armada, suffers damage and must put into a village on the British coast for repairs. The village is small and isolated and the Spanish convince the villagers that the English fleet has been defeated and that they, the Spanish, are now their masters. This results in the villagers' sullen cooperation, but rumors and unrest begin to spread and soon the Spanish pirates find themselves facing a revolt. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hot-Blooded Crew of Cut-Throats!


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Teufelspiraten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Jimmy Sangster remarked that this movie's basic premise is similar to that of "The Desperate Hours" in which a gang of criminals holds a family hostage. See more »

Goofs

The naval battle depicted in the opening credits sequence, purported to be a battle involving the Spanish Armada in 1588, and which is obviously stock footage from some other film, includes wooden naval vessels and, more glaringly, naval attire from a much later period, late-18th Century at least. See more »

Quotes

Sir Basil Smeeton: [about Tom] We'll have to do something about him! He'll get us killed!
Vicar Brown: If it's God's will we be killed...
Sir Basil Smeeton:
  • God's will or not, you don't want to die any more than I do. So start thinking of a way out!



See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hammer's High Adventure
21 November 2000 | by (Calgary, AB, Canada) – See all my reviews

Hammer's foray into straight adventure stories occasionally resulted in some first-rate films. Of course as was the norm with most Hammer productions, they were made on a shoestring budget. "The Devil Ship Pirates" certainly doesn't show it. It is clear that every cent was squeezed from the budget and shifted on-screen. The visuals in this film are incredible and run to the inclusion of a 120 foot long Spanish Galleon (The story of this ill fated large scale prop is an interesting tale all it's own), designed by Bernard Robinson. The costuming is splendid and certainly does much to make the film a convincingly effective historical piece. A strong cast, headed by Mr. Lee and ably supported by the likes of Andrew Keir, Philip Latham, Michael Ripper and Suzan Farmer, gives their all to achieve what is clearly one of Hammer's best forays into the pirate movie sub-genre. Michael Ripper in particular is, as always, a joy to watch.

The film begins with the defeat of the Spanish Armada. The Spanish ship Diablo is badly damaged and her Captain, a rakish privateer by the name of Robeles, takes the ship into the English coast to make covert repairs. While there, a little plundering is in order and the crew of the ship occupy a small isolated village by duping the villagers into believing that the Spanish won and that they are there as representatives of Spain. A resistance movement is formed and the usual results: swordplay, flogging, and a good deal of running around.

The plot is fairly standard stuff, but very well told and demonstrates a bit more depth than typical swashbucklers. The staunch British defend their island from invading foreigners. Thematically, it has as much in common with "The Adventures of Robin Hood" as it does with "The Eagle has Landed". Normans, Germans or as in this case, Spanish privateers, the mentality is the same. As Winston Churchill put it: "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Devil Ship Pirates would have made a splendid WWII era morale booster with its rather blatant message. An interesting touch that adds depth and separates this film from the usual pirate fair. By including Barry Warren's sympathetic and honorable Spaniard character, the film narrowly avoids stereotyping the Spanish. A token effort, but one that raises the tone somewhat.

Christopher Lee excels in the role of the nasty Captain Robeles. He looks magnificent in the red uniform and moves with incredible authority at all times. There are a good number of fencing sequences that are carried off with remarkable skill and dexterity; a real showcase of Mr. Lee's ability. The final sequences aboard the Diablo are simply stunning. This is one pirate flick that shouldn't be missed...and that's an order, Mister!


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