After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.
This swash-buckling tale follows the quest of Captain Jack Sparrow, a savvy pirate, and Will Turner, a resourceful blacksmith, as they search for Elizabeth Swann. Elizabeth, the daughter of the governor and the love of Will's life, has been kidnapped by the feared Captain Barbossa. Little do they know, but the fierce and clever Barbossa has been cursed. He, along with his large crew, are under an ancient curse, doomed for eternity to neither live, nor die. That is, unless a blood sacrifice is made.Written by
The film effectively ended the 'Pirate movie curse' that was believed to be in effect since the mid-1970s, when movies such as Swashbuckler (1976), The Pirate Movie (1982), Nate and Hayes (1983), Yellowbeard (1983) and Pirates (1986) had all severely underperformed at the box office. Later attempts to revive the genre with Waterworld (1995) and Cutthroat Island (1995) had also failed to make a profit. Media expectations for Pirates of the Caribbean were understandably low at first, but it became a world-wide artistic and commercial success. See more »
The ship in the opening sequence is equipped with a type of weapon called a carronade. These were not invented earlier than 1759 - roughly sixty years before the scene was set. See more »
Yo, ho, yo, ho/ a pirate's life for me/ Yo, ho, yo, ho/ it's a pirate's life for me/drink up me hearties, yo, ho...
[surprises her by coming up from behind her]
Quiet, missy! Cursed pirates sail these waters. You want to call them down on us?
Mr. Gibbs, that will do!
She was singing about pirates. Bad luck to sing about pirates, with us mired in this unnatural fog... mark my words!
Consider them marked.
[as he moves off]
Bad luck to have a woman on...
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Disk 2 of the DVD features 19 deleted/extended scenes:
The full version of the scene where Will accidentally "takes" a candle off the wall.
In the carriage on the way to Commodore Norrington's promotion, Governor Swann tells Elizabeth that he hopes she will demonstrate a little more decorum in front of Commodore Norrington, and that it's only through his efforts that Port Royal has become civilized.
Extended scene of Port Royal when the wind makes a sudden change when the Aztec Gold "calls".
Extended scene of when Will helps Jack escape from Jail. Will asks Jack why to bother with the pistol, and that he could've killed him before with the single shot the pistol had if he was willing to use it. Jack then tells Will that when you've only got one shot it's best to wait for the opportune moment to use it.
Before dining with Captain Barbossa, Elizabeth is putting on the purple dress and Pintel and Ragetti are spying on her through a hole in the wall. Elizabeth soon realizes this and knocks Ragetti's eye out with a poker.
Extra scene of Jack and Will walking through the streets of Tortuga where continuous fighting is taking place.
At Tortuga Tavern, Jack brings two drinks to Mr. Gibbs, he hesitates on which one to give him and tells him, "Just the one," and Gibbs responds, "Let's make it last then, huh?"
After Jack and Gibbs drink a toast, Will suddenly pulls out his sword, kicks over a table and the fighting in the Tavern stops. Gibbs asks Jack if Will is a bit of a stick and Jack tells him that he has no idea. The fighting in the Tavern continues, and Will inserts his sword back into its sheath.
At the Isla del Muerta, Jack scans the deck of the Black Pearl with his telescope. Realizing that Elizabeth is not on board, he tells Will, "It's begun," as the other pirates are running through the caves to where the hidden treasure is.
Alternate and extended scene of when Jack tells the pirates that the French thought of "Parley", and also invented Mayonnaise. Part of this extended scene is in the "Blooper Reel" on disk 2 of the DVD.
Extended scene of when Jack and Elizabeth are stranded on the island. Jack makes himself at home and Elizabeth tells Jack that he was going to tell Barbossa about Will in exchange for a ship, and Jack explains how in fact he wasn't going to tell Barbossa about Will in exchange for a ship. This conversation leads to Elizabeth asking Jack how he escaped the island.
Jack takes two bottles of rum onto the beach and Elizabeth asks him if there's any truth about the other stories, and Jack shows her the tattoo and the 'P' mark on his right arm, the large vein-shaped scars on his left arm and two bullet wounds on his chest, telling her that there's no truth at all. He then decides how they are going to escape the island, gives a bottle of the rum to Elizabeth and she teaches him the pirate song - after she has had a lot more to drink.
Extended scene on board the Dauntless where Commodore Norrington tells Governor Swann that he insists upon rescuing Will. Elizabeth tells Norrington that the proposal was meant and that his word would not change hers, and that he is a fine man. Norrington shows his appreciation on the conditional request.
On board the Dauntless, just off the shore from the Isla del Muerta, Elizabeth tells Jack that he didn't tell Will about the curse, and Jack says that he noticed she did the same, probably for the same reason. Elizabeth tells Jack that he's a smart man, but she doesn't trust him. Commodore Norrington appears, gives Jack his compass and says, "With me Sparrow."
Extended scene of when the pirates go underwater when Captain Barbossa gives the order, "Take a walk." The pirates submerge underwater, just as the Moon appears from behind a cloud.
Elizabeth boards the Pearl and Mallot and Grapple decide on what to eat first. Grapple says he was thinking cake, and Mallot sharply responds that he was thinking cake too. Grapple stabs the table with a knife and Elizabeth sees her chance to reach the deck. Mallot eyes Grapple carefully, and Grapple pushes the handle of the knife towards him, telling him to cut the cake.
Jack removes his own curse and the lid of the chest slides closed by itself when Will touches it. (This scene was deleted before any skeletal effects had begun so no skeletal effects are seen in this deleted scene.)
Extended scene just before Jack's hanging, Mr. Cotton's Parrot arrives and ejaculates on Mullroy. He tries to shake off the parrot but Murtogg stops him and says that it's good luck, then Mr. Cotton's parrot does it on him as well.
Extended scene when Commodore Norrington tells Will that the sword is beautiful. He offers Will his compliments and tells Elizabeth that he wishes them both the very best of luck. Gillette asks Norrington about Jack, and he says an extra line that was cut from the film, "Shall we prepare the Dauntless in pursuit?" before Norrington says, "Oh, I think we can afford to give him one day's head start."
Finally, a real swashbuckling film to make me laugh
"Even I love Johnny Depp, and I'm male," a previous reviewer declares, tongue in cheek. Well, I wouldn't go quite that far, but there's no doubt whatsoever that when I lost my heart to this film, Johnny Depp's outrageous Cap'n Jack Sparrow had almost everything to do with it. I don't normally review 'current' films, so the very fact that I'm writing this highlights an almost unprecedented event - after endless failures, Hollywood has finally rediscovered the spirit of the classic swashbuckler movie.
With hindsight, I think the one brilliant decision that was made at some point - given a modern production environment - was to *separate the roles* of hero and swashbuckler. You can then have your worthy Costner-type juvenile lead, as required, who has to Come To Terms with his Past (although his eventual fate is a trifle unexpected in conventional terms...) - *but* you can also have your essential and irrepressible swaggering rogue (of course, he totally steals the film from the moment he first appears, but *that's* no hardship!)
The moonlight special effects were overdone, in my opinion - not that they aren't believable, but that they would have been more effective if used more sparingly, for occasional flashes of nastiness rather than solid minutes of battle. However, that's a minor niggle. The stunts are energetic, highly satisfactory, *not* computerised, and on occasion even carried out by the stars :-)
The other saving grace of the production is its humour - not that there aren't a few over-arch knowing references, but on the whole it manages to send itself up without suspending disbelief in the process. Jack Sparrow's first arrival on the scene (with total aplomb aboard a steadily-sinking boat) is a prime example, as indeed are the vast majority of subsequent scenes involving this character...
The basic Romance and Rescue structure is satisfactory enough, with the addition of the requisite Feisty Female for the 21st century (though I felt the character would have been a little more historically plausible if she had been a little less liberated - she clearly possesses a stronger character than her young man, she doesn't have to strive to be his physical equal as well...) However, it is the pirates themselves who really make the film, simply by being a pack of unreconstructed and uninhibited villains (from the Jeffrey Farnol School of Historical Dialect) who are far larger than life and totally unselfconscious about it. To quote the opening words of the 'Guardian' review: "we have been waiting [50 years] for a modern pirate film featuring someone who, in all seriousness, actually says the words, or perhaps the two-syllable single word: 'Ah-harrrrr!'"
Jack Sparrow, as swashbuckler extraordinaire and consummate rogue (of course, totally honest in his own way... ahem) is the main attraction of the entire film. Not so much loopy as totally round the bend - outrageous and unpredictable (there is a running gag throughout the first part of the film where he is repeatedly described as "the worst pirate I've ever seen", as in "the worst at it", only for the preposterous tactics in question to prove spectacularly successful).
This character saves the hero in more ways than one - without him, the film would be another "Mask of Zorro", a rather stodgy attempt to update an old favourite for modern-day sensibilities and compensate with more and flashier sword-fighting (swashbuckling is not *about* fighting! It comes into it, yes, but it's not the point.) But together, the pair work off one another beautifully - reliability and inspired lunacy, self-doubt and cocky flamboyance, dogged devotion and shameless self-interest. The only question is which, precisely, is the sidekick...
There are two beginnings to this film, neither of them bearing any relation to the wooden costume-drama-by-numbers prologue that actually opens the movie. The moment when events start to move (it could scarcely be less subtle) is signalled by the swell of the theme music for the first time at Sparrow's initial appearance. But for me the moment when the film really took off was in that instant during his first escape, when he seizes the rope and swings up, up, and out, in a classic swashbuckler move from the past that brought it all flooding back... and my heart flew up after him into my throat, and remained enjoyably in that position until the end of the movie, when the audience began spontaneously to applaud.
The film is far from perfect - characters like Captain Norrington (*please* - 'Commodore', like 'Prime Minister', is a job description, not a form of address!) and the Governor are little more than pantomime stereotypes, with only frustrating hints of humanity to indicate that they do after all have potential denied them by the script. Annoying anachronisms slip in - "it's okay", "I was rooting for you" - most of the nautical jargon comes out with about as much sign of comprehension as a phonetic rendition of a foreign language, and Sparrow's one precious charge of powder gets soaked through often enough in the course of the plot to be utterly useless by the end. Both hero and heroine come across as wooden and thankless roles. Orlando Bloom may be costumed to look increasingly like Errol Flynn during the course of the film (was it my imagination, or does he spend it gradually cultivating a duplicate of that famous moustache?), but, alas, any resemblance ends there.
But then it doesn't really matter. It is Depp, not Bloom, who has inherited the mantle of Flynn and Fairbanks in this film. Jack Sparrow was the character who caught my imagination - and, since I'm extremely impressionable, also had a distinctly peculiar effect on the way I stood and walked for several hours later. And there's not many films can say *that*..! ÿ
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