12 user 3 critic

Yankee Buccaneer (1952)

Captain David Porter of the fledgling American Navy receives orders to masquerade as a privateer in order to corral some Caribbean pirates.


Frederick De Cordova (as Frederick de Cordova)


Charles K. Peck Jr. (screenplay), Charles K. Peck Jr. (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Jeff Chandler ... Cmdr. David Porter
Scott Brady ... Lt. David Farragut
Suzan Ball ... Countess Margarita La Raguna
Joseph Calleia ... Count Domingo Del Prado
George Mathews ... Chief Petty Officer Link
Rodolfo Acosta ... Poulini
David Janssen ... Beckett
Joseph Vitale ... Scarjack
Michael Ansara ... Lt. Romero
James Parnell James Parnell ... Redell
Jay Silverheels ... Lead Warrior


A United States Navy ship in the first half of the 19th century, under the command of Captain David Porter, is expecting to put ashore after a year on the seas; but the arrival of one of Porter's ex-students, the willful and independent Lieutenant David Farragut, brings a new mission: to disguise the ship and crew as a pirate ship and help the Navy locate the criminals who have been robbing America's merchant fleet. But as Farragut's disobedience threatens the safety of the crew, they stumble upon an international conspiracy. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Stand-by to Board! Terror Cry of the Spanish Main! See more »


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Release Date:

17 April 1953 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Bucaneros del Caribe See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


David Farragut was born James Farragut, the son of a Spanish merchant captain and Revolutionary War veteran, but was adopted in 1808 by David Porter after the death of his mother and the death of Porter's father on the same day. Happy to have been adopted, the young Farragut changed his first name to David. He was captured at age 12 by the British during the War of 1812 and served during the actions against the Caribbean pirates in 1822. See more »


Canon were secured against rolling across the decks. The scene where Flint is pinioned by the loose cargo, barrels, and rolling canon would not have happened. See more »


Cmdr. David Porter: Well, Mr. Link, you're probably witnessing the end of a long and honorable naval career.
Chief Petty Officer Link: Yes, sir! But what away to go, sir!
See more »

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User Reviews

A bright as well as lively swashbuckler with effective and brilliant Technicolor photography
20 February 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An enjoyable swashbuckler about a ship captain who has another identity , disguising as a pirate during the first half of the 19th century. One of those colourful thrilling 90 minute adventure tales which Universal-International Pictures rolled out with such expertise and regularity in the Fifties . Agreeable Pirate movie dealing with Captain David Porter (Jeff Chandler) of the fledgling American Navy on the seas , versus powerful Count Domingo Del Prado (Joseph Callleia) , as well as other nasty pirates and finding romance with a beautiful girl (Suzan Ball) along the way . It deals with an United States Navy ship , under the command of Captain David Porter (Jeff Chandler) , is expecting to put ashore after a year overseas ; but the arrival of one of Porter's ex-students, now as a second-in-command : David Farragut (Scott Brady) , brings a dangerous assignment : to pose the ship and crew as a pirate ship and help the Navy locate the thieves who have been robbing America's merchant fleet. Meanwhile, they stumble upon an international conspiracy formed by various countries : Spain , Portugal , Brazil . Universal-International's Fiery Swashbuckling Adventure! .Stand-by to Board! Terror Cry of the Spanish Main!

Conventional and standard sea adventure movie from Universal International Studios . Amusing pirate movie , plenty of action-packed , land rescues , thrills , sea battles , colorful cinematography , luxurious costumes and paced in lighthearted style . It is a blending of adventures , romance , action , exciting naval battle scenes , and swashbuckler . Although the story has been told before , tight filmmaking and nice acting win out . The flick takes parts of the plot developed in ¨Against all flags¨ by George Sherman and ¨Rifle springfield¨ by André De Toth . The picture moves along in stirring as well as agressive style , it is fast-moving , exciting and thrilling right up to the final climatic confrontation . Average-budgeted film by Universal Pictures , using appropriate ship shots and miniature sets when possible . Universal took advantage of the unused sets in ¨Against all flags¨ by George Sherman with Errorl Flynn , Anthony Quinn by scripting and shooting a hastily assembled B picture . ¨Yankee Buccaneer¨ belongs to Pirate or Swashbuckling sub-genre along with ¨Captain Blood¨, ¨The Sea Hawk¨ , ¨Long John Silver¨, ¨Anne of the Indians¨, ¨Buccaneer's girl¨, ¨Adventures of Captain Fabian¨ , ¨The Crimson pirate¨ and ¨Against all flags¨ . Stars Jeff Chandler who receives orders to masquerade as a privateer in order to corral some Caribbean pirates .It results to be one of Jeff Chandler's swashbuckling best though hasn't achieved the same classic status . Jeff Chandler provides stature to the role , delivering sincerity and bravura . Chandler was known , until his early death , for playing Indian chief Cochise , a dignified portrait well shown in : ¨Broken arrow¨ (50) by Delmer Daves , that was the first time the Red Indian was depicted as a human being rather than a brute savage merely to bite the dust at the hands of the US cavalry , as well as ¨Battle of Apache Pass¨ (1952) and ¨Taza , son of Cochise¨ (1954) by Douglas Sirk , this latter Jeff/Cochise is briefly glimpsed as a dying man at the beginning and handing over the reins of power to Rock Hudson as Taza . Although Chandler also played all kinds of genres , such as : ¨Return to Peyton Place¨(drama) , ¨Flame of Araby¨ (adventure) , ¨Merrill's marauders¨ (wartime , in his last film, he died while its shooting) , until his early death at 42-year-old . And gorgeous Suzan Ball as hot-tempered Countess Margarita La Raguna , she is given the opportunity to show both spirit and a handsome wardrobe . Suzan signed a contract with Universal and in 1952 she was proclaimed "The New Cinderella Girl of 1952". She had a fleeting romance with Scott Brady, who she met on the set of Denbow (1952), and they planned to marry. She then filmed City beneath water (1953) and fell for Anthony Quinn, who was still married , finally she married Richard Long . While rehearsing a scene for an episode of Climax! (1954), she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital , doctors found that the cancer had spread to her lungs. In 1955, Suzan died of cancer, only six months after her 21st birthday .There stands out a great support cast made up with familiar faces such as : Scott Brady , almost starring , as a willful and independent Lieutenant whose disobedience threatens the safety of the crew , Joseph Calleia , George Mathews , Rodolfo Acosta , Jay Silverheels , Michael Ansara , Joseph Vitale ,Rodolfo Acosta and you can spot the famous ¨Fugitive¨, a very young David Janssen.

This is a good-natured Technicolor romp with splendid cinematography from Russell Metty and Richard Metty that make the movie a constant pleasure to look at and being particularly effective in the spectacular naval battle set pieces . And evocative and atmospheric musical score by Joseph E. Gershenson and Milton Rosen , though uncredited . The motion picture was well directed by Frederick De Cordoba , a craftsman and action specialist who had already filmed other adventures .He spent much of his career at Universal Pictures, where he turned out medium-budget westerns, comedies and musicals. In the mid-'50s he turned his main focus to television, directing and producing The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show , The Jack Benny Program and December Bride . He shot decent films as Frankie and Johnny , I'll take Sweden , Here come the Nelsons , Bedtime for Bonzo , For the love of Mary . Rating : 6/10 , acceptable pirate movie , wonderful stuff . It will appeal to Jeff Chandler fans .

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