ARRR! Since Talk Like a Pirate Day is the best day of the year and since plenty of silent films had piratical themes, I decided that I would combine these important interests and make a list of pirate films that I think are the bee’s knees.
The Black Pirate
I mean, this is obvious. It’s a classic, it contains a lot of pirate action AND pirate title cards and it’s in Technicolor. What more could a silent film fan or a lover of Douglas Fairbanks ask for. This is basically the pirate film prototype.
Captain Kidd’s Kids
This comedy features Harold Lloyd and an all-flapper pirate crew. I mean, is there any possible way to resist this? Didn’t think so.
The Sea Hawk
These would be Barbary Pirates and the film is my very most favoritest pirate-themed silent. It asks questions about vengeance, religion and all kinds of deep topics whilst also delivering on the action and adventure and full-size sailing ships. Yes, please!
The Cruise of the Jasper B
The pirate connection is tenuous (the hero is a descendant of pirates and he owns a pirate ship) but oh brother do I love this wacky, weird film. I am not sure what the crew was smoking when they made it but I am fairly sure that it is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
So I’m biased. But I did work on releasing this thing for about a year and it does contain some really solid piratical action on a real, full-size sailing ship.
What about you? What are your silent pirate picks? Shiver me timbers if you won’t have a stack of good suggestions. ARRR and all that.
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Dashing heroes, snarling villains, sea battles … but for me, pirate films are all about the costumes! Those fluffy, ruffly 16th and 17th century outfits (both men’s and ladies’) get me every time. To pick one favorite of the silents, I’ll choose The Sea Hawk with handsome Milton Sills.
It really is something
Costumes? I’ll warrant Rod la Rocque set a few hearts a-flutter in The Cruise of the Jasper B.
Definitely The Black Pirate for me.
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