Captain Red runs a hardy pirate ship with the able assistance of Frog, a dashing young French sailor. One day Capt. Red is captured and taken aboard a Spanish galleon, but thanks to his inventiveness, he raises the crew to mutiny, takes over the ship, and kidnaps the niece of the governor of Maracaibo. The question is, can he keep this pace up? Written by
The full character name of Captain Red (Walter Matthau) was Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red. Charlotte Lewis's full character name is María-Dolores de la Jenya de la Calde. The nick-name of Jean-Baptiste (Cris Campion) is "The Frog," which is a disdainful term for French people often used by the English. See more »
Apparently savaged, for inexplicable reasons, by critics who should know better
This enjoyably foolish romp was apparently a flop, and mauled by the critics. Why? Good question. I speculate three reasons: lack of an obviously American lead and presence, an opening set-up that pays off in the long run but doesn't provide a beginning with a bang, and an anarchic, politically incorrect, almost amoral tone that was not digestible to Disneyfied mainstream audiences. These, and the length of the piece, would have been strengths if this had been released as a children's book, and I further speculate that it would have been well received in such a format, as a homage to old stories like Treasure Island. It could then have been adapted into a hit movie (with more explosions and an ethically impeccable American hero who does get the girl in the end).
As it is, there is much to admire, delight and entertain, with legitimate criticisms being some of the dodgy casting and (lack of)linguistics (especially as regards the Spanish characters) - Walther Matthau's gloriously over-the-top performance honourably excepted - some lapses of logic in the plot (why doesn't the Frog just swim after the rowboat and bring it back when they get stuck on the chain?), and the fact that it is slightly too long.
Ripe for a sequel, if, like me, you ever wondered what happened to Cap'n Red and his beloved throne, and The Frog and his beloved Dolores.
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