5.8/10
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17 user 3 critic

Morgan, the Pirate (1960)

Morgan il pirata (original title)
A Welsh pirate raids up and down the Caribbean, battling the Spanish, the English and other pirates.

Writers:

Filippo Sanjust, André De Toth (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Steve Reeves ... Henry Morgan
Valérie Lagrange ... Dona Inez
Ivo Garrani ... Governor Don José Guzman
Lidia Alfonsi ... Dona Maria (as Lydia Alfonsi)
Giulio Bosetti Giulio Bosetti ... Sir Thomas Modyford
Angelo Zanolli Angelo Zanolli ... David
George Ardisson ... Walter (as Giorgio Ardisson)
Dino Malacrida Dino Malacrida ... Duke
Anita Todesco Anita Todesco ... Woman in Tortuga tavern
Armand Mestral ... Francois L'Olonnais
Chelo Alonso ... Concepción
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claudio Biava Claudio Biava ... Spanish Captain
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Storyline

Purchased as a slave in the Panama market by the Dona Inez, daughter of the Spanish Governor, Welshman Sir Henry Morgan soon finds himself in love with the young woman. Soon after however he commandeers the ship transporting him and other slaves and soon they are the scourge of Caribbean looting and attacking the mighty Spanish Empire. The pirates soon find themselves acting under the authority of the English and Morgan has only one goal: to attack and take control of Panama. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HIS NAME AND FAME RAGE OVER THE SEAS OF THE WORLD! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the scene where the Governor of Panama pardons 5 of the 6 prisoners during the festival, watch how one of the prisoners gives no reaction upon hearing his name called until one of the other prisoners congratulates him. Apparently the actor had such a small part that he didn't even know his character's name. See more »

User Reviews

Morgan the comedian
25 February 2003 | by Danimal-7See all my reviews

I can't claim I wasn't entertained. MORGAN THE PIRATE is great fun, just not the way that I expected. I was looking for thrills, and got laughs instead.

I was psyched up to enjoy this movie right through the opening credits. I was saturated with those glorious Technicolor shots full of blue water and white sails, and I loved Franco Mannino's score. Unfortunately, it's all downhill from there. Andre de Toth's direction is ludicrous from beginning to end.

Shall we start with the hamfistedness? A Panamanian is buying a cow, inspects her teeth, and the seller declares it to be in prime condition. Pan to a slave girl, whose teeth are also being inspected. Okay, we get the idea, but just in case we miss the parallel, the slave's seller says the SAME WORDS, TO THE LETTER, as the cow's owner does!

That was my first hint that the movie was going to be bad, but not until the `action' scenes start did I realize just how funny it was going to be. Steve Reeves, enslaved aboard a Spanish vessel, leads a mutiny below decks. Instead of shooting the slaves from the hatchway, the Spanish marines obligingly climb right down the ladder and fall directly into the slaves' hands without even putting up a fight! Having thus gained some idea of the quality of his opposition, Steve Reeves just blows off the rest of the action sequence; it's obvious he isn't even trying. He swordfights like a septuagenarian English country gentleman pointing out landmarks with a cane. When he has to knock a man overboard, he just half-heartedly waves the stock of his musket at the victim, who promptly goes flying.

Then there's the dialogue. Of course there is nothing easier than to poke fun at badly dubbed Italian movies. But in this case, to blame the translators and dubbers would be unfair, since the original Italian dialogue obviously never made sense to begin with. For example: Dona Inez, seeing a dying sailor, slaps Captain Morgan and says, `You're nothing but a murderer!' His answer: `And you are beautiful!' Wow, what a splendid rebuttal! (It sounds even lamer if you remember THE SEA HAWK, where Errol Flynn answers a similar accusation from a beautiful prisoner by gently pointing out that his actions are no different from those of Spanish military `heroes').

The best laugh of all is when Morgan gives the order to abandon ship, which his sailors proceed to do not by taking to the dories, but by just diving overboard en masse! But the amazingly incompetent editing is humorous too; sometimes it looks like an early attempt to pioneer MTV-style jump cutting. At another point, a major patch of the movie simply goes missing in action. At one point, Morgan and his pirates have been abandoned, without ships (Morgan having burned them), on the beaches of Jamaica: they then proceed to march overland to Panama! The entire portion of the movie that explains how they got off the island of Jamaica to the Central American isthmus is just GONE!

I won't bother criticizing the movie for lack of historical accuracy. It's perfectly excusable to sacrifice historical accuracy in the name of a good story, like in BRAVEHEART or in almost any Shakespeare play. What I find more annoying is when the good stories in history are not exploited to their full potential. This movie, for instance is the second I know of (THE BLACK SWAN is the other) that wastes the dramatic possibilities of Henry Morgan. The historical Captain Morgan had all the qualities of a classic Hollywood villain: diabolic charisma, a penchant for treachery, absolute ruthlessness, a cunning genius for strategy, insatiable greed and lechery. He even had sinister, bushy eyebrows and a Basil Rathbone mustache! And film-makers can't think of anything better to do with him than make him a hero?

One parting shot: if I'd been in Morgan's shoes, I'd have told Dona Inez to go fly a kite. Consuela for me!

Rating: *½ out of ****.

Recommendation: If you want to see a good movie, skip it. If you want to laugh at a bad one, then by all means, see it.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

6 July 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Morgan, the Pirate See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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