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You don't watch movies like this for acting . Come on its just silly fun and yes a bit bubbleheaded. Sometimes the big stars do something silly . I saw this at a drivein theater when it came out as part of a double feature . Was a fun movie and i liked the score.Robert Shaw never looked better except for Jaws . A shame he passed away just two years later . Try and spot all the big names ,like Peter Boyle ,Genivieve Bujold ,Geoffery Holder ,Beau Bridges ,Angelica Houston and James Earl Jones.Some may say a tacky mess but it was all in fun . To me a silly spoof of all those grand pirate movies of the past. Enjoy and blow off that Leonard Maltin review .He usually is off the mark.
First off, you've got to remember - This is NOT "The Life & Times Of
Blackbeard"! It's a fun seventies romp - The Four Musketeers on the
high seas! Now that you have that in mind, read on.
How can one NOT like this movie?! It's the ONLY example of a "pirate movie" in my entire DVD collection - but it's the only one anyone needs. Robert Shaw turns in a commanding and amused performance as Red Ned Lynch - the captain of a scurvy band of pirates including James Earl Jones as Nick and Geoffrey Holder (The UNcola guy... you remember!) as Nick's knife wielding friend, Cujo. Throw in Genevieve Bujold as the damsel in distress/female interest, add Peter Boyle as the classic slimy Governor who abuses his subjects and you've got a recipe for an entertaining hour and forty minutes! Pay attention to some of the supporting character actors and you'll see quite a few you recognize from movies and TV of the time period - Avery Schrieber, Alfie Wise and Sid Haig just to name a few. And of course, we can't forget Beau Bridges as a perfectly stiff soldier and Angelica Huston as she known only as "Woman Of Dark Visage".
Plotwise, this movie has it all - a British Governor who likes to spend his days in the bath playing with ships... a twisted little DeSade in training at his beck and call... the obligatory wronged member of the British aristocracy and his family-in-need... and of course, the moronic civil servant, Major Folly, who only wants to capture Red Ned Lynch and please The Governor.
Do yourself a favor and go rent this one for the weekend - or even better, pick up the DVD. It's relatively cheap as an older catalog title and definitely a keeper. Because EVERYbody needs a good pirate flick now and again.
I LOVE this movie. I don't care how terrible critics might think it is. It's fun, romantic, entertaining, an old fashioned yarn. It came out right after Robert Shaw made a "splash" in Jaws, and he's fabulous as usual. Don't let them make you feel guilty about loving this movie. It's great.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yeah, yeah it was blasted by the critics (eunichs in a harem). But to
heck with them! Does anyone remember the term "popcorn movie?" That's
what this is; a movie to just sit back and enjoy. No complicated plot,
not trying to guess whodunit, no social message... And why not? Why
does every film need to make a "statement?" Well, here's MY statement:
This is one of the most fun films I have ever seen. Robert Shaw was one of my favorite actors and he shines as Red Ned Lynch, using his REAL accent here. James Earl Jones is a hottie in this as is his knife throwing buddy Cujo. Beau Bridges shows a real flair for comedy, too bad he doesn't do more. Peter Boyle may not have been the perfect casting but he chews the scenery as well as he can. This is Angelica Houston's FIRST film, hence no dialogue and enigmatic casting nomenclature. In the book adaptation (yes, there is one) it's hinted that she's the Gov.'s sister & they have an incestuous relationship. I agree that Bujold is kind of out of place here but, she manages. The duel between her and Shaw is classic. "Never fight fair when yer fighting for yer life." I love that they got the Golden Hind to "play" the Blarney Cock. A forerunner to the Lady Washington's role in "Pirates of the Caribbean." The small roles are played by character actors of high caliber. The stunts... good lord! Do you EVER think they'd do that wagon stunt again? Great stunt team!
And the soundtrack is awesome! I used to listen to it over and over. (My poor puzzled Mother.. she never got why I would listen to soundtracks.) John Addison should have been honored for this one. Like the chase music from "Jaws", it evokes a feel of the sea; wild and open and flowing. Gorgeous. The cinematography is beautiful. Jamaica is a beautiful place to shoot so how could they go wrong?
I'm a pirate lover. Have been all my life. To me, this feels more true to the spirit of the real pirate than the Errol Flynn and older ones (Not knocking them - they're great, too). One thing I always point out is that the "head" is at the front of the ship, over the water. A tiny detail, yet adding to the realism. The movie is full of these little details.
So, you say you like pirate movies? Have a couple hours, a bowl of popcorn, a beer (or soft drink) and want to laugh and have some fun? You could do a lot worse than watch this film. Be sure to try to get the Widescreen version. And never forget, "I'm not a gentleman... I'm an Irishman!"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Elliott Kastner, the Executive Producer of this movie, was unfairly disliked by many people in his day, which I believe is what led to many of the critics panning this film (who cares what they say? I like to think for myself). Elliott was a great producer and an amazing entrepeneur, and he was just doing his thing like many others in Hollywood during his heyday. He was one of the most successful independent producers of all time so he must have been doing something right, and perhaps many of the people who disliked him did so out of jealousy. I saw this film for the first time recently and just have to say well done! Robert Shaw is the best pirate ever and James Earl Jones is incredible as his equal, and best friend. It's wonderful to see him so young and full of vitality! Peter Boyle is perfectly over-the-top and what can anyone say about Beau Bridges except Bravo! The film is a rollicking good time with some of the best sword fighting and stunts ever seen in a movie -- the stagecoach off the cliff beats any CGI any day of the week. I think Cutthroat Island (which is not bad in itself) is a ripoff of this film, and even Zorro with the incomparable Tony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones borrowed a little from the scene where Robert Shaw starts cutting off Genevieve Bujold's clothing in a sword fight. Watch the making of featurette on the DVD and you'll see James Earl Jones come close to serious harm while doing one of the stagecoach stunts. It's incredible. All in all, the critics should leave this movie, and Elliott, alone! Bravo!
... then and now.
Alright, I saw this flick as the opener for a circus in Radio City Music Hall on my first trip to NYC in 1976. I thought it grand then, and I haven't much changed my mind.
I do agree with those who think that a better villain and ingenue could have been found than Peter Boyle and Genevieve Bujold (one of the most overrated actresses of the time), but the Shaw-Jones pairing sparkles. I loved the score so much I bought the soundtrack on vinyl -- dare I hope that it may be out on CD somewhere? The flick isn't long on plot, really, but the cinematography and action are spiffy, the characterizations work, and man, is Geoffrey Holder a bad ass! It's a sprightly movie and you'll spend a fun time watching it. Who knows, you might even have limerick contests with your mates the next time you're escaping from the local militia.
Pirate Ned Lynch (Robert Shaw) and his gang (including James Earl
Jones) help Jane Barnet (Genevieve Bujold) fight evil Lord Durant
This film has a very bad reputation. Critics hated it and it was a financial disaster at the box office. I can't figure out why. It's not perfect but it's not horrible. The bad things in it: Shaws' Irish accent makes some of his dialogue unintelligible; the scripts dialogue is aimed at kids; the character of Cudjo (Geoffrey Holder) is introduced--and then disappears for an hour!; ditto with Major Folly (Beau Bridges); the treatment of Bujold is horrible (and she acts very lost in this movie); there are some really strange kinky touches such as Bridges almost being tortured, Bujold's pointless nude swimming scene and Durant's bath with a young boy and having Anjelica Huston in the film...and giving her NO dialogue!
The good: With the exception of Bujold the cast is having a whale of a time (Bridges especially is enjoying himself); it's fun to see Jones so young and full of life; there's plenty of action (with some great sword fights); it's very lavishly produced and there's a rousing music score by John Addison.
Basically it's a fun way to kill of 100 minutes--I was never bored.
This is one of Hollywoods many failed attempts to revive the pirate movie. Through the 1980s and 90s they gave us --"The Island", Polanski's "Pirates", "The Pirate Movie" and "Cutthroat Island". All big budget bombs. Maybe Hollywood should give up (I'm not counting "Pirates of the Caribbean"--that was not a movie-it was an ad for a Disney theme park.)
If one can simply recall that movies are to take us away, whether from
or to is personally specific, then it would take a profoundly negative
person to think poorly of any well made and well acted movie. This is
such a flick, decently focused relative to plot, well chosen costuming
and locations, great cinematography . . . what more can you ask? If you
want a 'film', with all its highbrow silliness, it's true you might not
wanna go there with this one, but jeez, does anyone who only goes to
'films' even tell anyone else they know that they're painfully
pretentious? This one has no pretensions, and since when is Genevieve
in any state of undress a minus? Good entertainment, which is what I
want when i spend money on a movie, and Swashbuckler delivers with
The reviewer of this film in Leonard Maltin's Guide called this a bomb. While it is not the greatest movie of all time, there are definitely enough moments that make the movie worth watching. It's probably Beau Bridges' best work, Avery Schrieber is wonderful, Geoffrey Holder is stupendous and to top it off, James Earl Jones is in the movie! That alone makes it not a bomb in my book. It's a fun, mindless movie that I found delightful.
I'm tired of Leonard Maltin and anyone else who panned this movie! I agree with 85-95% of what he usually reviews. HOWEVER, there are some movies you just gotta accept as fun, and disregard bad parts (like the whole Peter Boyle role--geez, they coulda gotten a better bad guy). Robert Shaw is a perfect pirate, and he and James Earl Jones made a great duo. The acrobatics / fencing / cannons is just a whole lot of action packed fun, with the HAHAHHAHA guy from the soda commercials and James Bond "Live and Let Die" movie. Beau Bridges' part is the perfect MASH / Frank Burns type; great for the other characters to make fun of. But, being a musician, what stood out to me is the music. Too bad they didn't use more Sound studio effects like reverb or chorusing, because the score is awesome. The cinematograpy is awesome, too; beautiful wide / panned shots of Jamaica and its mountains / coastline. Not the best movie to have your kids watch with you, as it gets suggestively racy in some parts, but, I'd put this in the same category of "almosts" like Remo Williams, Punisher, King Solomon's Mines (Richard Chamberlain / Sharon Stone). So, lighten up, get yer popcorn and Diet Coke, and have fun! Aye, Cap'n!!
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