6.1/10
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45 user 17 critic

Pirates (1986)

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

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

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

Photos

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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Tunisia

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

18 July 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Piratas See more »

Filming Locations:

Malta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,035,447, 20 July 1986

Gross USA:

$1,641,825
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was the Opening Night Film at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival (where it was screened out of competition). To promote the film, Roman Polanski had the ship "Neptune" sail into the Cannes harbor on the festival's opening day, with all the movie's stars on deck in their pirate costumes. But after Pirates (1986) died at the box office, the "Neptune" remained in Cannes for 16 years, anchored next to a stone jetty in the harbor, because no one was sure what to do with it. In 2002, it was finally moved to Genoa, Italy, where it is now a floating museum in the city's port, near the "Molo Veccio" ("Old Pier"). See more »

Quotes

Padre: Confess your sins, my son, and receive forgiveness before the Almighty.
Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red: Well, Padre. I once had a mind to eat the Frog.
Padre: God placed the beasts upon the Earth for man's sustenance, my son. Come now; what else besides?
Captain Thomas Bartholomew Red: Beggin' your pardon, but that's the Frog standing alongside.
[Nods toward his French shipmate]
Padre: Well, now. That is another matter entirely...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Il était un petit navire
(uncredited)
Traditional French song
Performed by Cris Campion and Walter Matthau
See more »

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User Reviews

Walter Matthau's Captain Red leaves a lasting impression
24 June 2003 | by Zack_HobsonSee all my reviews

Roman Polanski's Pirates, starring Walter Matthau as the avaricious Captain Red, is an absolutely hilarious comedy/adventure. The cast of characters is varied and interesting and the sets appear very authentic. The movie contains excellent dialogue, good swashbuckling choreography and plenty of physical humour which borders on the bawdy at times. The story is simple and dynamic and is completely driven by the characters.

I like this movie for its characters. Each one's desires become the focus of fanatical efforts. Throw in some fascinating (though often exaggerated) character quirks, and the cast makes this movie. The rough, oafish Captain Red desires gold. The handsome, quiet Frog desires Dolores. The stiff, foppish Don Alfonso desires power. In the end, who will get what he desires? Most assuredly not EVERYONE.

I only have ONE favorite movie and this is it. I know it is not for everyone (my wife hates it). However, for Matthau fans, or fans of the historical genre, this movie is a fun night out with plenty of laughs. I recommend it strongly.


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