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Film / Anne of the Indies

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Anne of the Indies is a 1951 Technicolor adventure film made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by George Jessel. The film stars Jean Peters and Louis Jourdan, with Debra Paget, Herbert Marshall, Thomas Gomez and James Robertson Justice.

In order to recover his ship impounded by the British, former pirate captain LaRochelle agrees to spy on the notorious Caribbean Sea pirates Blackbeard and Anne Providence. Anne Providence, an especially fierce and passionate pirate captain, falls in love with LaRochelle, not knowing that he's already engaged to another woman and is mainly seducing her so that he can gain evidence for his superiors. Discovery of this treachery will only make Anne Providence unleash her fierce anger and great capacity for revenge.

Anne of the Indies contains examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Anne stomps on Blackbeard's foot during their friendly duel in the tavern.
  • Beardness Protection Program: Pierre grows a beard before going to Port Royale, so the British will not associate him with the clean shaven French naval officer turned privateer.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: One of the entertainments being offered in the tavern in Nassau is a man wrestling a bear.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Molly (played by Debra Paget) is abducted and held prisoner by pirates and suffers nothing more than some decorous damage to her dress. Later she is marooned on a cay with her husband. Despite the fact she should be suffering from exposure and dehydration, her hair and makeup remain perfect.
  • Blade Lock: Occurs when Anne and Blackbeard are fencing in the tavern. Blackbeard breaks the lock by twisting Anne's nose.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Blackbeard is portrayed this way.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Blackbeard, in a friendly sparring match with Anne, resolves a Blade Lock by grabbing and twisting Anne's nose.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Anne's first mate Dougal wears one.
  • Flynning: Especially the swordfight between Anne and Blackbeard.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Anne forces Molly to don a Gorgeous Period Dress before taking her to slave market. Molly remains in this outfit for most of the remainder of the movie.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Blackbeard smashes a bottle over the head of the man wrestling the bear so he does not lose his bet.
  • Historical Domain Character: Blackbeard.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Blackbeard is shown as a fierce, evil captain. The real Blackbeard is not recorded to have committed a single act of murder until his famous Last Stand.
  • I Have Your Wife: Anne kidnaps Pierre's wife Molly, and leaves a note pinned to the wall with a knife to emphasize the point.
  • Made a Slave: Anne attempts to sell Molly into slavery, and Molly is forced to endure a degrading slave market scene. However, Pierre's intervention forces Anne to abandon her plans, and she flees with Molly still her captive.
  • Never Learned to Read: Captain Providence can read charts by identifying coastlines, depth marks, etc., but is otherwise illiterate; relying on Dr. Jameson to read and write for her. (It's implied that Jameson might be the only member of her crew who can read.) Leads to situation where Jameson writes a very elegant and polite 'I Have Your Wife' note on Anne's behalf.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Captain Anne Providence is based on Anne Bonny, with also a bit of Mary Reade (Bonny's partner-in-crime) added in.
  • Of Corset Hurts: On trying on the tightly corseted gown Pierre had chosen as his prize, Anne remarks on how it is impossible for a woman to move or breathe in the thing.
  • Pirate Girl: Captain Anne Providence is the protege of Blackbeard himself.
  • Privateer: Pierre was a privateer before joining Anne's crew and becoming 'an honest buccaneer'. He is still a privateer and is undertaking a secret mission for the British in order to regain his captured ship.
  • Sex Slave: This is what Anne expects Molly to be bought as at the slave market.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: Blackbeard silences a noisy tavern full of pirates by firing a pair of pistols into the ceiling.
  • Slave Market: Anne takes the kidnapped Molly to a Caribbean slave market, intending to sell her. However, on learning Molly's true identity, the slavers force Anne to leave lest she bring the wrath of the Royal Navy down upon them.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Pierre is flogged as a spy when returns to the ship after disappearing in Nassau.
  • Treasure Map: Pierre has a half of a treasure map showing the location of Henry Morgan's treasure. It is a fake and part of a plan to lure Anne and the Sheba Queen into a trap.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: When Blackbeard overturns the table in the tavern, his wench starts stuffing silver coins down her cleavage until Dougal lands on top her.
  • Villain Protagonist: Anne is a pirate captain, and quite a ruthless one at times.
  • Walk the Plank: Anne makes the British crew she captures at the start of the film walk the plank.
  • Woman Scorned: Anne goes from fairly pragmatic piracy to being obsessed with revenge after she discovers that Pierre's romancing of her was all a con and that Pierre is married. Her crew even notes that she is passing up perfectly good targets to pursue Pierre, where there is no profit.