The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)

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Reviews: 15 user | 14 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 overview, first billed only:
Captain Robeles
Andrew Keir ...
Tom, Harry's father
John Cairney ...
Duncan Lamont ...
The Bosun
Michael Ripper ...
Pepe, a pirate
Ernest Clark ...
Sir Basil Smeeton
Barry Warren ...
Don Manuel Rodriguez de Savilla
Angela Smeeton
Natasha Pyne ...
Jane, Harry's sister
Annette Whiteley ...
Charles Houston ...
Philip Latham ...
Harry Locke ...
Leonard Fenton ...
Jack Rodney ...


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


A Hot-Blooded Crew of Cut-Throats!


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Release Date:

May 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De piraten van Diablo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Cairney's flogging, which occurs at about the 69 minute mark, ranks 82nd in the book, "Lash! The 100 Great Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies." Curiously, Johnny Briggs, who plays the pirate nearly sucked under by quicksand, suffered a memorable flogging in Damn the Defiant! (1962). See more »


The film states that the defeat of the Spanish Armada occurred in July 1588. In actuality, it took place on August 8, 1588. See more »


The Bosun: [Referring to the Spanish attache] He's still alive!
Captain Robeles: Throw him overboard!
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User Reviews

What it lacks in historical accuracy, it makes up in entertainment value.
8 January 2001 | by (Isle of Man) – See all my reviews

One of Hammer Studios forays away from the horror genre, the film still has the unmistakable Hammer stamp much in evidence.

Story concerns a fighting ship from the Spanish Armada, which after the defeat takes refuge on a remote stretch of English coastline for repairs. The crew, headed by Christopher Lee, convince the locals that the Spanish were victorious and blockade their village.

Many aspects of Hammers historical horror films are present - the nervous, subdued villagers, the local landowner who gives in to the outside forces, the buxom village wench to be plundered, the young headstrong villager who organises resistance etc. With Lee playing the evil force, the films middle is similar in tone to many a Hammer Dracula film - the pirate ship taking the place of the usual castle, but the effect and implications it has are the same.

As a swashbuckler, 'The Devil-Ship Pirates' doesn't really offer anything of lasting interest - for Hammer fans though there is much to enjoy, with production values above average, and a storyline which satisfies all requirements.

Nice to see Michael Ripper in a surprisingly large role - he must have as many lines in this as every other Hammer film he was in put together.

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