Remember, in a pirate ship, in pirate waters, in a pirate world, ask no questions. Believe only what you see. No, believe half of what you see.The Crimson Pirate
Captain Vallo, aka The Crimson Pirate
is a 1952 adventure film directed by Robert Siodmak and starring Burt Lancaster.
Captain Vallo, a pirate
captain known as the Crimson Pirate
, is the scourge of the Caribbean seas in the late 18th century. He and his men end up capturing Baron Jose Gruda (Leslie Bradley), a British lord who's come to the islands to crush a rebellion led by a figure known as El Libre (Frederick Leister). Vallo gets the idea of selling the guns and gun powder on the ship to El Libre, and then sell him out for twice the price to the Baron. Except things don't quite go as planned, not least of which because Vallo ends up falling in love with El Libre's daughter Consuelo (Eva Bartok).
One of the best adventure movies, and Swashbuckler
movies, ever made - and one that runs almost entirely on Rule of Cool
and Rule of Funny
- the film also marked the third and final collaboration between Lancaster and Siodmak, who had a falling out during the film, but it marks a high point in both of their careers.
This film contains examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: Most of the inventions Professor Prudence comes up with, particularly nitroglycerin, hadn't even been invented yet. Doesn't matter, because the movie runs on Rule of Cool.
- Arranged Marriage: Consuelo near the end to the corrupt governor, until Vallo shows up to save the day.
- Badass Beard: Ojo.
- The Captain: Vallo.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Humble Bellows. He even lampshades it at one point, saying it's a pirate's duty.
- Cool Boat: Vallo's ship.
- Disguised in Drag: Vallo, Ojo and Professor Prudence when they're sneaking into the wedding; except Vallo has to remind Ojo to cover his beard with flowers.
- Hard Work Montage: Vallo helping the rebels make Professor Prudence's inventions.
- Heel-Face Turn: Vallo, thanks to The Power of Love.
- Heroic Sacrifice / Redemption Equals Death: Humble Bellows stays on Vallo's boat to make a diversion. He likely dies when Gruda's ship fires a broadside, which destroys Vallo's ship.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Christopher Lee has a small role as a military attache.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Throughout the movie (but, then again, Rule of Funny).
- Meaningful Name: Pr. Prudence. "Prudence" means "caution" in French. He is afraid when Vallo and Ojo manipulate the nitroglycerin.
- Mr. Fanservice: Burt Lancaster, of course.
- No Stunt Double: Lancaster and Nick Cravat (who plays Ojo, Vallo's mute sidekick) were former circus acrobats and so did all of their own stunts. And it is awesome to watch.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: El Libre.
- Rebel Leader: El Libre.
- Slipping a Mickey: Baron Gruda does this to the crew so he can double-cross them.
- The Speechless: Ojo, in order to disguise Nick Cravat's thick Bronx accent.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Douglas Fairbanks movie The Black Pirate.
- Talk Like a Pirate: Humble Bellows especially.
- Undying Loyalty: Ojo, to Vallo.
- Walk the Plank: Humble Bellows wants to make whoever they take prisoner do this.