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Film: Pirates

Pirates is a 1986 Franco-Tunisian adventure film directed by Roman Polanski. It stars Walter Matthau, Cris Campion, Damien Thomas, Olu Jacobs and Charlotte Lewis. It was screened out of competition at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

The pirate captain Thomas Bartholomew Red is stranded aboard a raft at sea with Jean-Baptiste, his first mate ("Frog"). After Red, cracking under the starvation, tries to kill and eat Frog, the duo is picked up by a Spanish galleon and are forced into slavery before instigating a mutiny with the other prisoners and taking control of the vessel. Frog falls in love with Marķa-Dolores de la Jenya de la Calde, the niece of the governor of a Spanish colony. Red covets the golden throne that the Spanish have taken from an Aztec king. The two undertake an Indy Ploy to get what they want: one of them succeeds. Sort of.


Pirates provides examples of :

  • Book Ends: An Ironic Echo version. Our two heroes start the movie aboard a raft at sea with a treasure chest. By the end of the movie, they're once again aboard a raft at sea, this time with a golden Aztec throne.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The movie is about pirates.
  • Gold Fever: In Captain Red's case, it's almost cartoonish.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Played for laughs. At the beginning of the movie, the two leads are stranded on a lugger with no food in sight. Captain Red snaps.
  • Large Ham: Captain Red, like so many pirates.
  • Meaningful Name: Captain Red wears garments of a certain primary color.
  • Nice Guy: The Frog is a decent guy. For, you know, a professional robber.


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