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The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Comedy | 27 September 1952 (USA)
During the 1700s, pirate Captain Vallo seizes a British warship and gets involved in various money-making schemes involving Caribbean rebels led by El Libre, British envoy Baron Jose Gruda, and a beautiful courtesan named Consuelo.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writer:

Roland Kibbee
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Capt. Vallo (The Crimson Pirate)
Nick Cravat ... Ojo
Eva Bartok ... Consuelo
Torin Thatcher ... Humble Bellows
James Hayter ... Prof. Elihu Prudence
Leslie Bradley ... Baron José Gruda
Margot Grahame ... Bianca
Noel Purcell ... Pablo Murphy
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Sebastian
Eliot Makeham ... Governor
Frank Pettingell ... Colonel
Dana Wynter ... La Signorita (as Dagmar Wynter)
Christopher Lee ... Joseph - Military Attaché
Ewan Roberts ... Claw Paw
John Chandos John Chandos ... Stub Ear
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Storyline

Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings on of a revolution in the Caribbean in the late 1700s. A light hearted adventure involving prison breaks, an oddball Scientist, sailing ships, naval fights, and tons of swordplay. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ask me no questions: believe only what you see! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der rote Korsar See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,850,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the 500 movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

When Vallo is giving orders to fire "port side battery" while in his guise as an "unmarried girl of the island" you can clearly see that he is wearing a bra. Later, when he and Ojo "strip for action" they're only wearing blouses. See more »

Quotes

Vallo: You've sold me Humble Bellows - and to a king's flunky!
Humble Bellows: Aye. 'Tis my modest opinion that no man can fly pirate colors who's not willing to sell his friend, his sweetheart, or his mother.
Baron Jose Gruda: Well spoken, Mr. Bellows.
Vallo: Foul spoken it is, Humble Bellows. You've turned your hand against your captain's back. Yellow was never a pirate's colour.
Slimy: Nor rescuing a fair maiden a pirate caper.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Meaning of Life (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?
(uncredited)
Traditional sea shanty
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amusing and funny adventure story deemed to be one of the best swashbucklers
22 May 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Burt Lancaster plays a 18th-century buccaneer called Capt. Vallo with a taste for action and acrobatics and pits his wits and brawn against the might of a villain nobleman ; as Vallo pretending to be a baron to infiltrate into a strongly-armed island and finding romance along the way . It starts when a ship of the king's Navy armed with thirty guns on a mission in the Caribbean late in the Eighteenth Century . There appears a famous pirate (Burt Lancaster who starred various swashbucklers and classic adventures) supported by bearded and short Ojo (Nick Cravat is mute because he had a thick East Coast accent and in actual life his previous circus partner) leading a band who involves himself in the goings on of a Caribbean revolution . As he saves the damsel (Eva Bartok as a hot-tempered woman who swoons over Vallo) in distress and , of course , seduces her ; furthermore he confronts a ruthless baron (Bradley) at an island . As Vallo poses as a Baron in order to penetrate a well-defended enemy stronghold .

Agreeable pirate movie , plenty of action , thrills , bright cinematography and luxurious costumes . Although the story has been told before , tight filmmaking and nice acting win out . The picture is fast-moving , exciting and thrilling right up to the almost balletic climatic final confrontation between Burt Lancaster and Leslie Bradley . ¨The Crimson Pirate¨ results to be one of Lancaster's swashbuckling best and has achieved a classic status . This entertaining pirate movie is packed with noisy action , burlesque , poking fun , loads of ship battles , humor with tongue-in-cheek and impressive acrobatics adds interest to the ordinary swashbuckling . Considered by many to be one of the best pirate movies laced with comedy and enthusiastically paced . Interesting and enjoyable screenplay by Roland Kibbee ; however , the script started life as serious, nay solemn, but Robert Siodmak, the director, with all the sure touch of real tension behind him in "The Killers" and "The Spiral Staircase," took stock of the material in forty-eight hours and turned it into a comedy . Hight budgeted film , including expensive battles at sea , as it overruns ballooned the original $1.1 million dollar budget to $1.85 million . Burt Lancaster is a complete show including spectacular acrobatic in which Burt performing his own stunts . Lancaster played this pirate movie in the wake of his man-of-action epoch when he performed three magnificent adventure movies that included ¨His majesty O'Keefe¨ and ¨The Flame and the Arrow¨ . Because of cost overruns on "The Crimson Pirate" and "His Majesty O'Keefe," Warner Brothers insisted that future films from Hecht and Lancaster be limited to $900,000. Lancaster and Hecht's response was to strike a new deal with United Artists . Good support cast such as Torin Thatcher playing an astute pirate called Humble Bellows , James Hayter as Prof. Elihu Prudence and brief appearance of Christopher Lee who has a small character and gets to struggle with the main star .

Colorful cinematography in Technicolor by Otto Heller , being filmed on location in Bay of Naples, Naples, Campania, and Ischia Island, Naples, Campania, Italy . Lively and jolly musical score composed by William Alwyn , well conducted by usual Muir Mathieson . The motion picture was splendidly directed by Robert Siodmak who realizes a skillful filmmaking . Robert had previously directed Burt Lancaster in two classic Noir films titled ¨The Killers¨ and ¨Criss Cross¨. The picture will appeal to Burt Lancaster fans . Burt plays at his best and he provides a lot of fun as his own acrobatic ability , ably assisted by little Nick Cravat . This is a real showcase for Lancaster and Cravat's acrobatic skills . Raing : Above average , 8 , very good good pirate movie , wonderful stuff . Essential and indispensable watching for swashbuckling enthusiasts .


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