Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is our grandson Noel, aged 16, and behind him our son Kim, his dad. Don't you think Noel looks a bit like Orlando Bloom in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies? He caught the beard thing from his father.

Anyway... I'm surprised those movies haven't been followed by more pirate yarns on the big screen. I've complained about this and no one (meaning studios!) has taken any notice. Maybe they think the Caribbean trilogy is too hard an act to follow. Sure they were entertaining, but gosh, a scriptwriter with imagination can take a different tack, surely.

When I was a kid in the 1950s pirate movies were regular Saturday afternoon matinee (and Saturday night family) fare at the theatres. They were mostly light-hearted adventures. I remember Disney's "Treasure Island" of course, in which Robert Newton as Long John Silver set the standard for the "aarrrh", the parrot, and the wooden leg.

Then there was The Crimson Pirate with a young and agile Burt Lancaster. And "The Black Swan" with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara (gosh they stuck that girl in a lot of pirate/swordsman movies.) Even Bob Hope got in on the act with The Princess And The Pirate. More serious was Anne Of The Indies with that excellent actress Jean Peters. There was Yankee Buccaneer with Jeff Chandler of the iron-grey hair. And A High Wind In Jamaica, not exactly about pirates but kids captured by pirate Anthony Quinn.

Captain Kidd with Charles Laughton was more of a drama. And that rascal Sir Henry Morgan was played by several actors in various interpretations of the genre. Errol Flynn swashed and buckled in Against All Flags and as Captain Blood. Oh, there must be lots more but you get the picture (literally).

Then they went out of style until the Pirates of The Caribbean turned up. Again I ask, why hasn't anyone made any more pirate movies?

I have an ulterior motive here. My historical romance The Pirate And The Puritan would, my friends tell me, make a good movie! My friend Nelma, a book and movie enthusiast, has already suggested the cast. Aaron Eckhardt for Edmund Gramercy and either Reese Witherspoon or Kirsten Dunst (or any other great blonde actresses!) as the mute Mercy Penhall. (Note to said actresses - playing a mute is a good way to earn an Oscar. Look at Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda and Holly Hunter in The Piano.)

Hey, producers, are you listening?

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