IMDb > Pirates (1986)
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Pirates (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 54% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
John Brownjohn (screenplay)
Gérard Brach (written by) ...
View company contact information for Pirates on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 1986 (USA) See more »
The adventures of pirate Captain Red and his first mate Frog. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination See more »
New Accuser Alleges Sexual Abuse by Roman Polanski
 (From 14 May 2010, 12:35 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The best pirate film of recent times See more (41 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Walter Matthau ... Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red
Cris Campion ... The Frog - Jean-Baptiste
Damien Thomas ... Don Alfonso de la Torré
Olu Jacobs ... Boomako

Ferdy Mayne ... Captain Linares

David Kelly ... Surgeon
Tony Peck ... Spanish Officer (as Anthony Peck)

Anthony Dawson ... Spanish Officer
Richard Dieux ... Spanish Officer
Jacques Maury ... Spanish Officer
José Santamaría ... Master at Arms (as Jose Santamaría)
Robert Dorning ... Commander of Marines
Luc Jamati ... Pepito Gonzalez
Emilio Fernandez ... Angelito (as Emilio Fernandez)
Wladyslaw Komar ... Jesus (also as Wladislaw Komar)
Georges Trillat ... Pockmarked Sailor
Richard Pearson ... Padre

Charlotte Lewis ... María-Dolores de la Jenya de la Calde
Georges Montillier ... Duenna
John Gill ... Carpenter
David Foxxe ... Cook
Brian Maxine ... Boatswain
Raouf Ben Amor ... Armoury Guard
Eugeniusz Priwieziencew ... Hunchback

Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... Moonhead
Ian Dury ... Meat Hook
Bill Stewart ... Ginge
Sydney Bromley ... Diddler
Cardew Robinson ... Lawyer

Roy Kinnear ... Dutch
Daniel Emilfork ... Hendrik
Carole Fredericks ... Surprise
Allen Hoist ... Fiddler
Denis Fontayne ... Sailor

Michael Elphick ... Sentry
Angelo Casadei ... Sentry
Bill Fraser ... Governor
Antonio Spoletini ... Palace Guard
Bill MacCabe ... Jailer
Smilja Mihailovitch ... New Duenna
Bernard Musson ... Passenger
Josine Comellas ... Passengers Wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gina Calabrese ... (uncredited)
James Start ... Fisherman (uncredited)

Directed by
Roman Polanski 
Writing credits
John Brownjohn (screenplay collaboration)

Gérard Brach (written by) (as Gerard Brach) and
Roman Polanski (written by)

Produced by
Tarak Ben Ammar .... producer
Mark Lombardo .... co-executive producer
Thom Mount .... executive producer
Umberto Sambuco .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
Philippe Sarde 
Cinematography by
Witold Sobocinski (photographer)
Film Editing by
Hervé de Luze 
William Reynolds 
Casting by
Dominique Besnehard 
Mary Selway 
Maude Spector 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
Set Decoration by
Bruno Cesari (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Anthony Powell 
Makeup Department
Jean-Pierre Eychenne .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Pino Butti .... production manager (uncredited)
Carlo Lastricati .... production supervisor (uncredited)
Vittorio Noia .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Lvoff .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Taieb Jallouli .... set dresser: Tunisia (uncredited)
Roberto Magagnini .... dressing foreman (uncredited)
Domenico Mancino .... blacksmith (uncredited)
Miki Zachar .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jean-Pierre Ruh .... sound
Ray Gillon .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (uncredited)
Dean Humphreys .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Laurent Quaglio .... sound editor (uncredited)
Laurent Quaglio .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Antonio Corridori .... special effects (uncredited)
Franco Ragusa .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Frederic Moreau .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Ryszard Janikowski .... stunts
Richard Graydon .... stunts (uncredited)
Zbigniew Modej .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jürgen Vollmer .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
John Cowell .... costume painter (uncredited)
Music Department
Billy Byers .... conductor (as Bill Byers)
William Flageollet .... music recording mixer
Orchestre de Paris .... orchestra
Other crew
Tarak Ben Ammar .... presenter
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter
William Hobbs .... fight stager
Albert Galea .... location manager: Malta (uncredited)
Franco Penna .... production accountant (uncredited)
Roberto Penna .... production accountant (uncredited)
Lonnie Ramati .... production business affairs (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Roman Polanski's Pirates" - International (English title) (long title)
See more »
121 min | Argentina:116 min | Sweden:118 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby (35 mm prints)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Roman Polanski first wrote the screenplay for this picture in 1974 with the final film taking about a dozen years to get made and first released in 1986.See more »
Padre:Confess your sins, my son, and receive forgiveness before the Almighty.
Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red:Well, Padre. I once had a mind to eat the Frog.
Padre:God placed the beasts upon the Earth for man's sustenance, my son. Come now; what else besides?
Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red:Beggin' your pardon, but that's the Frog standing alongside.
[Nods toward his French shipmate]
Padre:Well, now. That is another matter entirely...
See more »


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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
The best pirate film of recent times, 17 January 2003
Author: Robin King (mrtricks) from London, England

I agree with many of the comments here, but most have opted to concentrate on Walter Matthau's (forgive the spelling if it's wrong) delicious performance as Captain Red. While it is undeniably brilliant - a few dodgy accent moments aside - especially when you consider how few risks many actors take with their casting, I would like to draw attention to a fine performance by Cris Campion as The Frog. When I was watching this again the other day and getting my girlfriend to watch it, she at first despaired when I told her the frog was the romantic lead. I told her to have patience, and at the end she could, after all, see why he was the object of Dolores' love. Head and shoulders above nearly all young actors around at the moment, Campion exudes passion, swashbuckling- derring-do and smouldering charm as well as being an excellent foil for Matthau's comic exertions. This makes his love story with Dolores all the more heightened and genuinely affecting. In many modern "buddy" films, the onscreen duo have no chemistry and are simply put together to maximise box office interest, but Matthau and Campion are a perfectly matched pair, the frog's unfaltering loyalty to his captain matching Red's utterly selfish backstabbing. You get the feeling that if there is one person in the world that Red would not betray, it might be the frog - even if he might eat him!

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