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The Buccaneer (1938)

Semi-fictional account of pirate Jean Lafitte's involvement in the War of 1812.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Edwin Justus Mayer (screenplay), Harold Lamb (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Fredric March ... Jean Lafitte
Franciska Gaal ... Gretchen
Akim Tamiroff ... Dominique You
Margot Grahame ... Annette de Remy
Walter Brennan ... Ezra Peavey
Ian Keith ... Senator Crawford
Anthony Quinn ... Beluche
Douglass Dumbrille ... Governor William C.C. Claiborne
Beulah Bondi ... Aunt Charlotte
Robert Barrat ... Captain Brown
Fred Kohler ... Gramby (as Fred Hohler Sr.)
Hugh Sothern ... General Andrew Jackson
John Rogers John Rogers ... Mouse
Hans Steinke Hans Steinke ... Tarsus
Stanley Andrews ... Collector of the Port
Edit

Storyline

In the War of 1812, the British have sacked Washington and hope to capture New Orleans, where pirate Jean Lafitte romances blueblooded Annette de Remy and openly sells his loot in a pirates' market. But he never attacks American ships. Can the British bribe Lafitte to help them? Can Lafitte persuade American authorities of his loyalty? Will a love triangle between Annette and pretty Dutch girl Gretchen (survivor of a pirates' prize) bring about Lafitte's undoing? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To the world he was a ruthless adventurer!.. To her the most romantic man that ever lived! Yet she unwittingly destroyed the hero she loved! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

4 February 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les flibustiers See more »

Filming Locations:

Baldwin Oaks, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount's shop facility made 63 functional cannons used in the battle sequences. See more »

Connections

Remade as The Buccaneer (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by the pirates
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pirate's life without a home country
26 August 2001 | by lora64See all my reviews

Plenty of action! Not a movie anyone will ever sleep through! The highs and lows of pirate life well depicted, even a "walking the plank" episode.

When Lafitte the notorious pirate (Fredric March) comes a-courtin' to the home of his lady-love, Annette (Margot Grahame), a matron cries out in alarm to hide the silver as he might steal it. Here was an instant recall of similar words uttered in the film "Les Miserables," an earlier role March played so well, where as Jean Valjean he was looked on with suspicion by the housekeeper after seeking shelter in a priest's home. But as the pirate Lafitte he has plenty of stolen goods to pass on.

Gretchen (Franciska Gaal) as a young Dutchwoman has a little terrier in tow at the beginning, and both are spunky! She soon encounters and falls in love with Lafitte and lets him know about it but sadly, his heart is elsewhere.

I really enjoyed seeing Akim Tamiroff portray Dominique with such flair. As a supporting actor his fine style has always been colorful and convincing in serious or lighter roles. He's fun to watch in this one.

Andrew Jackson (Hugh Sothern) gives us a glimpse of what war and fighting was really like in those early frontier days when militiamen were more often local recruits ill-prepared and ill-equipped.

One can only wonder what would have been the course of American history if Lafitte had lived elsewhere.


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