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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 »
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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:

....The thundering drama of the beloved rogue who saved a nation that swore to hang him! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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

Set and costume designer Dan Sayre Groesback made over 170 sketches for the sets and costumes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
surprisingly terrific
12 April 2008 | by asinyneSee all my reviews

I caught this movie on TCM today and found myself throughly entertained. To my knowledge this was my first ever viewing. The cast was simply superb.....practically everyone. Fredric March was so dashing and effective, I had never realized what a talent this guy was. He even pulled off a French accent flawlessly....whoa! This version of The Buccaneer is simply far superior to the 1958 film which I've seen a couple of times. There was real magic in Hollywood during the 1930s, I'm not sure that town has ever totally recaptured what they had back then. This movie definitely belongs in there with the A list that includes Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Captain Blood, Beau Geste, Tarzan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gunga Din, King Kong and all the rest. The script was by a GREAT historical novelist named Harold Lamb. This was a huge bonus for this movie. The story sticks fairly close to history and has a terrific pace. My only complaints are relatively minor....the battle at the end didn't quite live up to my expectations(though it probably did realistically portray the excitement and confusion of the participants) and Lafitte could have simply told the truth about the ship Corinthian which was sunk on the orders of another Pirate, not Lafitte. This was the reason Lafitte got chased away from New Orleans (according to the movie at least) Great movie, great leading man, great writing, great cast, great direction, great sets.....a classic. Oh yes, the actor portraying Andrew Jackson was dead on.....not that I have actually met Old Hickory mind you!


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