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The parents of children living in Jamaica, afraid that the kids are growing up uncivilized, decide to send them to England. But during the voyage, the childrens' ship is boarded by pirates and in the confusion the children wind up trapped on the pirate ship. The children view it as a lark, and one of them, a girl named Emily, develops an unusual bond with Chavez, the pirate captain. The superstitious pirates can't wait to unload the kids at the first port, but a tragedy prevents it, and Emily's relationship with Chavez takes a fateful twist.Written by
This film had a long and troubled history. Richard Hughes's original novel, published in 1929, is a dark and disturbing story, and James Mason, who greatly admired it, wanted to make a film of it in the 1950s, producing it for Twentieth Century-Fox as well as playing one of the leads. However, the studio saw it as a light-hearted Disney-style pirate adventure aimed at a family audience; several years after Mason's plans had come to nothing, they revived the project along these lines with Nunnally Johnson assigned as writer and producer. When Alexander Mackendrick was approached to direct, he was appalled by the travestying of Hughes's novel, and was able to persuade leading man Anthony Quinn that a more faithful and disturbing version of the book was a better idea. Johnson's script was rejected. Quinn used his (considerable) influence to help Mackendrick and the ensuing film was highly praised; it was, however, cut by the studio by about 25 minutes, which Mackendrick claimed had ruined it. He always insisted subsequently that he should never have attempted the film, which was a box-office failure. See more »
The hurricane at the beginning of the film is rather clearly created with a combination of wind machines and water sprayed onto the set. Despite the torrential downpour there is sun-dappling beneath the tree where Emily is looking for her cat, and blue sky and puffy white clouds are visible in the distance behind her and her father. See more »
Bucaneering adventure with children aboard a pirate galleon captained by Anthony Quinn
Very good adventure , a pure entertainment movie based on a novel written by Richard Hughes , shot in Jamaica and Pinewood studios. In the late XIX , during Victorian time , a hurricane destroys the house of family Thorton and the children are sent England . But their ship is attacked by a pirate galleon captained by Chavez (Anthony Quinn) and the second in command (James Coburn) and they are taken aboard . But the children reveal their basic natures aboard of the vessel and the problems emerge , discovering the innocent savageries of childhood.
This enjoyable pirate movie contains sensible moments , wonderful seafare exteriors and thought-provoking theme with psychological studio of childhood . It packs comedy, adventure, drama and tragedy , all of them are ironically balanced by an intelligent screenplay written by Stanley Mann and Ronald Harwood . Excellent main cast as an exceptional Anthony Quinn and James Coburn as good pirates . Good supporting cast as Nigel Davenport , Lila Kedrova , Dennis Price , and brief role for Gert Frobe . Nice musical score directed by Philip Martell and composed by virtuoso harmonica Larry Adler, including some catching songs. Colorful cinematography by Douglas Slocombe in widescreen who reflects splendidly the Caribbean outdoors. The motion picture is stunningly directed by Alexander Mackendrick who directed ¨Sammy going South¨ also about childhood issue . Rating : Well worth watching , better than average . The picture will appeal to Anthony Quinn and James Coburn fans.
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