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Rivaling Pirates and Spanish gold are the ingredients for this story. Blackie the pirate is the one who first hears from this shipment of gold when he encounters "Don" Pedro. He thinks of a plan to find this ship and its gold. His counter player is the vice roy of the Spanish kolony. When they visit one of the pirate settlements, they find three other pirate captains over there. One of them sells goods and prisoners from his latest capture. Don Pedro recognizes the wife of the vice roy, and Blackie buys her. However, one of the pirate captains, Skull, knows also who she is, and tries to make a deal. Blackie refuses, and Skull makes a deal with the other two pirate captains to plot against Blackie. Written by
Living on an island situated so close to the Italian peninsula, it is small wonder that celebrities emanating from those parts would be a household word in Malta as well and, during my childhood days, no Italian film stars were as popular as Mario Girotti and Carlo Pedersoli er Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. These two actors who could roughly be described as the "Laurel & Hardy" of Italian genre movies have made 17 pictures together between 1968 and 1994 and the film under review is one of their earliest and least-known. They had just hit the big time with the Spaghetti Western spoof THEY CALL ME TRINITY (1970) and it was natural that, after three successive Westerns, producers wanted to try out something else so, here, they decided to not only change genre (to the swashbuckler) but also to have them as rivals instead of partners. Ironically, the new recipe failed to nourish the hungry masses and a sequel to TRINITY was hastily cooked up
Apart from the incongruity of seeing the two stars swapping their by-now familiar cowboy garb for the pirate's feathered-hat and sword, the film itself comes off as a plodding and uninvolving adventure without even the benefit of their usual, protracted cazzotti (fistfights) sequences save a few tired rehashes of people flying on top of cabinets with a single punch to the jaw! Terence Hill has the title role but is more morose than his usual self here and Bud Spencer is an opposing pirate leader who, true to the seaman's code, goes down with his ship in the end. Also in the cast are a trio of good-looking dames Silvia Monti (as the vengeful wife of the Viceroy whom Hill abducts and even gets to bed), Monica Randall (as her companion who eventually joins the pirates' cause) and Jess Franco regular Diana Lorys (who is criminally wasted as a sympathetic innkeeper); the film's screenwriter George Martin(!) as Hill's aristocratic partner; Pasquale Basile as the annoying dumb brute typical of such fare; Luciano Pigozzi (hamming it up as another antagonistic pirate leader); and the customary Hollywood has-been generally roped in for such productions for their dubious marquee value: in this case, Edmund Purdom (as the Viceroy). Unfortunately, contrary to all convention, instead of relishing the role of an eye-rolling villain, Purdom underplays the part almost to the point of absentia!
In spite of the film's title, it doesn't seem to have been inspired by the Emilio Salgari (creator of popular heroic figure Sandokan) novel "The Black Pirate" which, apart from two earlier European film versions, would again be brought to the screen (far more effectively) a mere five years after this one (with TV's Sandokan himself, Kabir Bedi, in the lead).
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