The Crimson Pirate (1952)

The Crimson Pirate (1952)

Run time: Approved | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Robert Siodmak
Writers: Roland Kibbee
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Nick Cravat, Eva Bartok
Adventure on the high seas with Lancaster buckling every swash in sight. He and Cravat also execute some terrific gymnastics in their efforts to overthrow tyranny. Thrills and laughter galore!

4 responses to “The Crimson Pirate (1952)”

  1. IMDBReviewer says:

    It’s doubtful whether any pirate ever looked like Lancaster, rigged out in a succession of exaggeratedly modish outfits and bleached-blond hair… He is the 18th-century pirate swashbuckler to end all swashbucklers!

    With his mute, but athletic side-kick friend Nick Cravat, Lancaster leads an island’s people in rebellion against the tyrant Baron Gruda… His damsel is Eva Bartok, the freewheeling European beauty…

    I don’t know how many times I have seen this buccaneer saga, and still I love it… The film provides lots of thrills and laughs, lots of adventures and excitement …

    Great fun all the time…

    Lancaster’s sense of comedy was evident enough for critic Alton Cook to call him "one of our most amiable and strenuous comedians."

    For me, Lancaster will be always remembered as the actor who has given the modern cinema more "pure enjoyment" than almost any other major star…

  2. IMDBReviewer says:

    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.

  3. IMDBReviewer says:

    This is probably one of the best films I have ever seen. It had a perfect mix of adventure and comedy due to the fact that it pokes fun at all the pirate cliches. Also, it really gave the legendary Burt Lancaster a chance to show of his acrobatic talents. Too bad they don’t show this on television anymore. This film would probably appeal not only to older fans but to children as well.

  4. IMDBReviewer says:

    Movies do not come any more swashbuckling than this one. Hey, we have pirates, the Caribbean, villains, heroes, damsels in distress, sword fights, sea battles, inventions, acrobatics aplenty. And all delivered with Burt’s legendary smile. It is not a genre spoof, but it does not take itself seriously either.

    Watching this film one can perhaps understand why some people took a while to accept Burt Lancaster as a real actor. Not that his acting in this film is bad, but the excellent acrobatic skills we come to admire betray a different background.

    Enormous fun.

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