“Remember: in a pirate ship, in pirate waters, in a pirate world, ask no questions.”
After seizing a ship full of arms from Baron Jose Gruda (Leslie Bradley), the “Crimson Pirate” (Burt Lancaster) and his trusty sidekick Ojo (Nick Cravat) try to win back the loyalty of their mutinous crew while rescuing a damsel-in-distress (Eva Bartok).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Burt Lancaster Films
- Christopher Lee Films
- Historical Drama
- Robert Siodmak Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary refers to this enjoyably innocuous Technicolor adventure as “perhaps the last first-rate pirate movie” — a statement which is no longer quite true, given the recent success of Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003, but was certainly accurate at the time Guide for the Film Fanatic was published in 1986. As Peary notes, “you won’t pay much attention to the plot”, which isn’t really all that important — the emphasis instead is on both “humor and the high-flying acrobatic stunts of [Burt] Lancaster and Nick Cravat, his former circus partner” — these two are the real reason to watch closely and enjoy. Surprisingly, this action-packed flick was directed by Robert Siodmak, much better known for his noir-ish thrillers; as Peary points out, it’s a “fine change of pace” for him.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Lancaster and Cravat’s phenomenal acrobatic feats together
- Plenty of colorful sets and costumes
- The humorous opening “scurvy” scene
Yes, as a jolly good pirate show, and one of Lancaster-and-Cravat’s best outings together.