Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl can be found here.

Notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) team up to rescue Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) and the love of Will's life, when she is kidnapped by the villainous pirate Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), captain of the cursed pirate ship, the Black Pearl.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is based on a screenplay by writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who based their screenplay on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride at the Disneyland theme park. It is the first movie in a series of five Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It is followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is announced with no release date set.

Jack Sparrow is an infamous pirate, and his description has been passed around to all the naval captains (like a wanted poster that would read "You can recognize Jack Sparrow by the tattoo of a bird on his right forearm"). We know that he's been arrested in the past because of the "P" branded on his wrist right below the tattoo—the Navy or the East India Company probably made a thorough description of all of his distinguishing features while they had him in custody.

It is explained in the next film, but the compass points to what you want most. In this film, Jack wanted the Black Pearl the most, so it was pointing to the Pearl or the Isle De Muerta.

When Sparrow says "For instance, after you killed Norrington's men. Every. Last. One of them." he picks up some coins from the chest and then throws them back in. He keeps one.

He did, but it is easy to miss. Before he throws his coin to Will, he quickly cuts his hand with his own sword and smears his blood on the coin. Watch it frame-by-frame if you continue to have difficulty. Many people have.

To get cursed you have to remove the coins from the chest itself. Bootstrap Bill (Will's father) was the one who originally took the coin, thus it was he who had the curse—not Will (to whom he sent the coin) and not Elizabeth (who took it from Will after they found him floating at sea). When Elizabeth retrieved the coin back directly on the Isla de Muerta, it was Barbossa who removed it from the chest first, but he was cursed already.

Barbossa is shot by Jack after the curse is lifted, The blood repaid had already occurred off screen, Jack tosses the coin to Will who, like Jack slices his hand and bleeds on the medallion repaying Bootstraps blood owed. Pintel is alive cause he was shot before the curse was lifted. Hence the dialogue of:

(Jack fires his pistol at Barbossa.)

Barbossa: (looks at Jack.) "Ten years, you been carrying that pistol and you waste your shot?"

Will: "He didn't waste it." (holds a bloody knife and drops Jack's coin and his dad's medallion into the chest, both smeared with blood.)

There are several possible reasons: (1) Barbossa is a gentleman and it was beneath his sense of "honor" to kill an innocent and brave woman, (2) he took a liking to Elisabeth and did not want to hurt her, and (3) the pirates intended to use her to satisfy their "lust" since they had not been able to do so since the curse was forced upon them. Hence his line "Waste not." (4) Barbossa simply didn't feel it was necessary to cut someone's throat to complete the ritual. Once Elisabeth's blood didn't work, Koehler suggests cutting her throat and spilling all her blood, just to make sure. But Elisabeth had already admitted that William Turner wasn't her father, so Barbossa knew it was pointless.

As they read off the list of Jack's crimes piracy, smuggling, impersonating an officer of the Spanish Royal Navy, impersonating a cleric of the Church of England, sailing under false colours, arson, kidnapping, looting, poaching, brigandage, pilfering, depravity, depredation, and general lawlessness Will makes his way toward the gallows. When the hangman releases the trap door, Will tosses his sword into the hanging post just under Jack's feet, giving him a foothold until Will can get close enough to cut him down. A general riot breaks out as Jack and Will defend themselves against the British Navy. Governor Swann and Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) confront Will, who stands between them and Jack. When Elizabeth also joins Will in an attempt to protect Jack, the Governor orders the Army to stand down. Meanwhile, Jack has been slowly backing up until he falls off the rampart and into the water below just as the Black Pearl rounds the rocks. Norrington realizes that it is Will whom Elizabeth loves and admits his defeat by admiring the quality of Will's sword and assuring himself that "...the man who made it would show the same care and devotion in every aspect of his life." When asked what to do about Jack Sparrow, Norrington replies, "I think we can afford to give him one day's head start." Jack swims out to the ship and is pulled aboard by his crew. They sail off toward the horizon. In the final scene, the little capuchin monkey back in the cave takes a medallion from the box of gold and is instantly skeletonized in the moonlight, reawakening the curse.

This is never explained in any of the movies but several theories exist. The first is that Gibbs was disgraced from the Royal Navy for one reason or another such as his constant drinking even when on Duty. The second: Gibbs yearned for a free life and quit the Navy after a few years seeing how tyrannical they were, which inspired him to become a pirate. The third: Gibbs was always secretly a pirate or sympathetic to their cause and simply acted as if against them in order to not be discovered. The fourth: Gibbs had let a pirate go free (likely Jack) from his custody, making him no longer welcome in the Navy and perhaps law-abiding society altogether. This theory is fairly likely, since likewise occurs to James Norrington in the sequel, Dead Man's Chest. Norrington therein says, "My story is exactly the same as your story, except one chapter behind." As we know, Norrington let Jack get a head start on his escape, which eventually lead to Norrington being ejected from the Navy and a warrant issued for his arrest, forcing him to join a pirate crew.


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