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The Pirate and the Slave Girl (1959)

La scimitarra del saraceno (original title)
When a ship carrying the daughter of Rhodes' governor and secret documents is captured by Mediterranean pirate Dragut, the governor tasks captain Diego with their recovery before they can be sold to Sultan Selim.


Piero Pierotti


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lex Barker ... Dragon Drakut
Chelo Alonso ... Princess Miriam
Massimo Serato ... Roberto Diego
Graziella Granata Graziella Granata ... Bianca (as Graziella Granada)
Daniele Vargas ... Gamal
Gianni Rizzo Gianni Rizzo ... Nikopoulos
Luigi Tosi Luigi Tosi ... Francisco the Castillian Painter
Michele Malaspina Michele Malaspina ... Governor of Rhodes
Enzo Maggio Enzo Maggio ... Candela
Anna Arena Anna Arena ... Zaira
Bruno Corelli Bruno Corelli ... Selim the Sultan
Franco Fantasia Franco Fantasia ... Captain Volan
Giulio Battiferri Giulio Battiferri ... Drunkard at the Tavern
Clara Bindi Clara Bindi ... Prostitute at the Tavern
Ignazio Balsamo Ignazio Balsamo


Bianca, the beautiful daughter of Rhodes military governor, travels in the San Luca from the Venice Republic to her home in Rhodes, and without her knowledge, the ship also brings secret orders for her father to attack the Mediterranean ports dominated by the Sultan Selim. Dragut, the terrific Mediterranean pirate, attacks and conquers the Sun Luca. The sad knews reach the Governor of Rhodes when he was expelling Diego, an unscrupulous captain, who immediately offers his services to retake the ship, and free the girl. Without alternatives, the Governor accepts, and Diogo enlists as a pirate under the service of Dragut. In his devious mind, once he gets his hands on the plans, he will sell them for good price to Suliman, whom he knows to pay in gold, rather than a polite thank you, as the Governor would do... Indeed, he is able to rob the secret plans from Dragut, but he was so much under the spell of Miriam's beauty, that he decides to take risks, and follow her through the desert to ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He Took By Force... what he could have had for love!


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Italy | France



Release Date:

September 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pirate and the Slave Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

In. Ci.R. de Paolis, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Ferraniacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 30481 delivered on 17-10-1959. See more »


The Dragon Drakut: [speaking of Roberto Diego] Let his punishment be a warning to all. Gamal, give him 30 lashes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Portuguese censors approved the film for adult audiences without cuts, and it was the distributor who asked for a few cuts, so the film would be passed for 12-year-olds, maximizing the box-office. The same seems to be the case with the German versions, both theatrical, video, and TV broadcasts. See more »


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User Reviews

Every Man for Himself
2 April 2015 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

Strange historical drama, mixing adventure, political intrigue and lustful subplots, "The Scimitar of the Saracen" is too convoluted and overlong, not helped much by the lack of characters to "root for" or "identify with". Each man has a nasty plan of his own, the women are either bland or wicked, and our only option is to follow them in ships and through the desert to the final act. Massimo Serato is in reality the leading character, and not a likable one: Roberto de Diego is a chic thug, a womanizer and an opportunistic adventurer who goes after a Saracen pirate to help the Governor of Rhodes. The pirate has assaulted a ship and robbed a document addressed to the Governor, concerning a pact between Venice, Rhodes and Pisa. He has also kidnapped the women travelling aboard the ship to be sold as slaves, without knowing that one of them is the Governor's daughter Bianca. So Diego, who has been convicted in Rhodes, goes to rescue document and daughter for his freedom, but in the way he changes his mind and decides to sell the document to a sultan somewhere in Africa. Things get more complicated when he finally meets Drakut, the Saracen (Lex Barker, in an impressive entrance), who takes him aboard his ship; he finds Bianca (poor Graziella Granata, who spends most of the film crying), who falls for him, and finally he is helped by wicked Miriam (Chelo Alonso, who has a previous introduction in a beautiful flashback). Drakut desires Miriam, Miriam lusts after Diego, Diego feels redemption in Bianca's sudden love for him, and so on… There are other characters that come and go through desert and sea: a Catalan guitar-playing painter called Francisco; servant Candela who provides some comic relief, girls in sexy clothes, pirates, sailors, slaves, dervishes, eunuchs, whipping, sword fights, battles, and of course a dance performed by Chelo in the middle of the desert. Be assured that you will be entertained. But a little trimming would have helped.

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