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Against All Flags (1952)

2:26 | Trailer
Brian Hawke of the Royal Navy versus the pirates of Madagascar.


George Sherman


Æneas MacKenzie (screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie), Joseph Hoffman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Complete credited cast:
Errol Flynn ... Brian Hawke
Maureen O'Hara ... Prudence 'Spitfire' Stevens
Anthony Quinn ... Capt. Roc Brasiliano
Alice Kelley Alice Kelley ... Princess Patma
Mildred Natwick ... Molvina MacGregor
Robert Warwick ... Capt. Kidd
Harry Cording ... Gow
John Alderson John Alderson ... Jonathan Harris
Phil Tully Phil Tully ... Jones
Lester Matthews ... Sir Cloudsley
Tudor Owen ... Williams
Maurice Marsac ... Capt. Moisson
James Craven James Craven ... Capt. Hornsby
James Fairfax James Fairfax ... Krukshank - Barber


In 1700, the pirates of Madagascar menace the India trade; British officer Brian Hawke has himself cashiered, flogged, and set adrift to infiltrate the pirate "republic." There, Hawke meets lovely Spitfire Stevens, a pirate captain in her own right, and the sparks begin to fly; but wooing a pirate poses unique problems. Especially after he rescues adoring young Princess Patma from a captured ship. Meanwhile, Hawke's secret mission proceeds to an action-packed climax. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ruby | gold coin | sapphire | pirate | ship | See All (75) »


He Ravished The Pirate Port Of Madagascar To Steal The Love Of Its Corsair Queen! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 February 1953 (Croatia) See more »

Also Known As:

Gegen alle Flaggen See more »

Filming Locations:

Palos Verdes, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although George Sherman is the credited director, most of the direction was done by Douglas Sirk. See more »


Throughout the movie the pirate ships are shown as major warships, including two-deck ships-of-the-line; though most pirate ships were smaller vessels; usually converted from merchant ships. While pirates often increased their strength by capturing better ships; none ever had ships as powerful as many of those shown in the movie. See more »


Captain Moisson: I deeply regret the necessity for this flogging.
Brian Hawke: Thank you, sir. I don't think the flogger needed to have carried it out with such gusto.
Captain Moisson: You requested the customary lashing.
Brian Hawke: I know, sir. Of course, you could have done me the favor of denying it. I swear he took a particular pleasure in having an officer under his cat.
Captain Moisson: Should you fail, you'll look back on flogger Flower's lashing as a pleasant afternoon's pastime.
See more »


Featured in The King's Pirate (1967) See more »


Haul on the Bowline
Traditional sea shanty
Performed by Errol Flynn
See more »

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User Reviews

Rot my guts! The cannons are blowing up!
16 April 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Against All flags is directed by George Sherman and written by Joseph Hoffman and Aeneas MacKenzie. It stars Errol Flynn, Maureen O'Hara, Anthony Quinn, Alice Kelley and Mildred Natwick. A Technicolor production out of Universal with cinematography by Russell Metty and music scored by Hans J. Salter.

In 1700 A.D. the Pirate Rebublic of Libertatia on the Island of Madagascar was in constant menace to the rich trade routes to India. Several days sail from this pirate fortress is the British merchant ship, Monsoon...

Plot, in simple terms, sees Flynn as a British officer who goes under cover to smash the pirate ring operating on the coast of Madagascar. Swooning, jealousy, heroics, moustache twirling villainy and big hoorays do follow. It's a lesser Flynn swashbuckler that came at a time when he was fighting some personal issues as well as the onset of age. Filmed mostly on the Universal stages in California, with a small amount of location work shot at Palos Verdes, picture is far better than it probably had right to be.

Duel with landing pikes!

OK! This is hardly a rip snorter akin to Flynn's triumphs of the past, nor is it a particularly potent story, but it's a picture full of lovely optical delights whilst the lead performers have an ebullience that's utterly beguiling. Colour photography and costuming lead the way, both of which off set some of the cheapo corner cutting by producer Howard Christie. Direction is steady, with the actors comfortable with the jovial material to hand, and the finale doesn't lack in the crash, bang, wallop & hooray department. Flynn oozes laid back charisma, his unassuming kisses stealing the ladies hearts, Quinn enjoys being the dandy dastardo, O'Hara wields a good blade and broods a sexuality to knock the boys off of their feet, while Mildred Natwick is as always worthy of observation since her visual acting is most enjoyable.

The flaws are evident from the off, making it an easy film to kick and dismiss if in a particularly demanding mood. Therefore, as pirate adventures go, or as Flynn swashers go in fact, it's very much a minor work. But that doesn't mean it isn't colourful or fun, for it happens to be both. Universal's Region 1 Pirates of the Golden Age release of Against All Flags comes in full frame and is a rather good transfer to disc. 7/10

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