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.
During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In his autobiography, Sir Christopher Lee claimed that Director Robert Siodmak changed the original screenplay: "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 (1946) and The Spiral Staircase (1946), took stock of the material in forty-eight hours and turned it into a comedy." See more »
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 »
You are a fighter. Fight with us. Fight for something decent.
Not I. All my life I've watched injustice and dishonesty fly the flag of decency. I don't trust it.
See more »
In the late 18th century Caribbean a group of pirates led by Capt.Vallo become embroiled in the revolutionary activities of some islanders against the King.
That's about all the plot that you need to know, for this film doesn't concern itself with historical accuracy or the like. What it does is to place it's tongue firmly in it's cheek and take the audience on a thrilling romp in the best swashbuckling style.
Burt Lancaster plays Vallo with real gusto and exuberance, ideally suited to the all action role. He did all his own stunts, being paired on screen with his one time trapeze partner Nick Cravat as his mute sidekick. In these days of CGI overkill it's refreshing to see smartly choreographed action set pieces with real people performing breathtaking feats of agility. The support cast is filled with familiar faces from the period all giving good value in their respective roles.
The whole enterprise is lavishly mounted and shot in glorious vivid Technicolor. This was possibly one of the last of this type before Cinemascope and widescreen in general became the norm. As mentioned previously, accuracy isn't an issue here. In the finale we encounter prototypes of Gatlin guns, tanks and flamethrowers among other things!
I hadn't seen this since childhood, so I took the opportunity of catching it on the BBC at the weekend. With 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' still relatively fresh in my mind, it seemed appropriate to revisit this old classic. I'm happy to say that it's lost none of its appeal, quite the opposite in fact. Rollicking good fun - recommended.
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