Movie Mirrors Index

The Crimson Pirate

(1952 c 105')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A pirate captain falls in love with the daughter of a rebel, changes his plans, and has to overcome a mutiny and government stooges to help the rebels.

         In the 18th-century Caribbean a crew pretends to be dead with scurvy and then attacks those from another ship. Captain Vallo (Burt Lancaster) tells Baron Jose Gruda (Leslie Bradley) to surrender, and the captain is captured. Vallo plans to sell the arms to rebels and frees Gruda to get more money.

         Vallo goes after the rebel leader El Libre with Ojo (Nick Cravat). They challenge a garrison and lead them on an acrobatic chase. Rebels help them escape. Pablo Murphy (Noel Purcell) asks them who they are. Vallo wants to sell guns, but he and Ojo are knocked out and tied up. Pablo plans to take the guns, but Consuelo suggests they rescue El Libre from prison. She releases Vallo and Ojo for their help. They row a boat to the ship while cannons shoot at them. Humble Bellows (Torin Thatcher) fires back at the shore.

         They sail to the island where El Libre is held. Consuelo tells Vallo that El Libre is her father. Vallo goes to a dinner as Baron Gruda with Consuelo and Ojo. The Colonel turns El Libre and Professor Prudence (James Hayter) over to Vallo. A dancer recognizes Vallo as they are leaving. Vallo orders the soldiers, and they depart.

         On the ship Vallo protects Consuelo from the men. She learns from Bellows they are being sold to Gruda. Vallo tells the three he is letting them go. Bellows sends a man ashore, and Gruda orders the money made ready. At night Vallo kisses Consuelo, who asks him to join them and fight for what is decent. Vallo wants her to stay with him, but she says no.

         El Libre and Consuelo leave in a boat, but soldiers capture them. Bellows takes over and sets Vallo adrift with Prudence and Ojo. Gruda invites Bellows to his ship for rum. Prudence capsizes the boat so they can walk ashore underwater. Soldiers go out in boats and capture the sleeping pirates, who are hoisted in a net. On shore Pablo won’t unchain the three from the boat. Soldiers take over the fishing boats and knock out resisting Pablo. Gruda shows El Libre being whipped to Consuelo, who is to marry the Governor.

         Pablo is released. Prudence tells Vallo they should use inventions to free the people. They prepare, and Prudence invents nitroglycerin.

         At the wedding Vallo and Ojo approach in dresses. Pablo tries to kill Gruda and is killed. A battle begins. Vallo and Ojo rise in a balloon. Consuelo is taken to the ship. Vallo and Ojo descend on the ship and free the pirates. Vallo and the pirates swim, but Bellows stays on the ship. The pirates board the other ship while their ship is destroyed with cannons. In the fight the pirates win. In the rigging Vallo defeats Gruda to rescue and kiss Consuelo.

         This spoof of pirates carries their daring exploits to absurdity by making aristocrats and soldiers look ridiculous. The fantastic hero rises above pirate immorality for a woman and even goes against his cynicism to help the rebels.

Copyright © 2012 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index