52 user 22 critic

Pirates (1986)

The adventures of pirate Captain Red and his first mate Frog.


Roman Polanski


John Brownjohn (screenplay collaboration), Gérard Brach (as Gerard Brach) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Matthau ... Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red
Cris Campion ... The Frog - Jean-Baptiste
Damien Thomas ... Don Alfonso de la Torré
Olu Jacobs Olu Jacobs ... Boomako
Ferdy Mayne ... Captain Linares
David Kelly ... Surgeon
Tony Peck ... Spanish Officer (as Anthony Peck)
Anthony Dawson ... Spanish Officer
Richard Dieux Richard Dieux ... Spanish Officer
Jacques Maury Jacques Maury ... Spanish Officer
José Santamaría José Santamaría ... Master at Arms (as Jose Santamaría)
Robert Dorning Robert Dorning ... Commander of Marines
Luc Jamati Luc Jamati ... Pepito Gonzalez
Emilio Fernandez Emilio Fernandez ... Angelito (as Emilio Fernandez)
Wladyslaw Komar ... Jesus (as Wladislaw Komar)


Captain Red runs a hardy pirate ship with the able assistance of Frog, a dashing young French sailor. One day Capt. Red is captured and taken aboard a Spanish galleon, but thanks to his inventiveness, he raises the crew to mutiny, takes over the ship, and kidnaps the niece of the governor of Maracaibo. The question is, can he keep this pace up? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Over a quarter of the picture's $30 million budget was spent on the construction of the pirate ship "Neptune." According to the DVD extras, the "Neptune" was "a full scale, functioning replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon, with intricate wood carving and working cannons. It still holds the record for the largest single prop ever constructed for motion pictures." The "Neptune" was constructed in Malta, and took about 12 months to build, utilizing the craft skills of over two-thousand Italian sculptors and Maltese shipbuilders. Although it is a replica of a Spanish Galleon above the waterline, it has a steel hull and a 400 HP engine underneath. In 2011, the "Neptune" made a brief return to show business, serving as the "Jolly Roger," Captain Hook's ship, in the TV mini-series, Neverland (2011). See more »


Captain Linares: Why was I born a Spaniard and not an Aztec? Why, Padre, are there never answers to the questions that truly matter? Why?
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Alternate Versions

For unknown reasons the German version was cut by ca. 20 min. See more »


Featured in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 1986 (1987) See more »


The Maid of Amsterdam (A-Rovin')
Traditional sea shanty
Performed by Walter Matthau and crew
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User Reviews

Do not miss this film if you like Walter Matthau.
29 June 2004 | by MIKECNBCSee all my reviews

Oh dear me,How can any one say this is a awful film.

Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red played by Walter Matthau,is just great, Walter Matthau plays this roll with great easy it is not so much as what lines he says but the way he plays the roll.

Just look out for the the looks that Walter Matthau gives to camera,it will have you laughing out loud & if you like me will be on the side of Captain Thomas Batholomew Red.

I only wish is that this film will be available on DVD, I look each week hoping to see that it is now available.

I will be the first to add this Film "Pirates" to my collation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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France | Tunisia


English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

18 July 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pirates See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,035,447, 20 July 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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