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Film / The Princess and the Pirate

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The Princess and the Pirate is a 1944 farce comedy directed by David Butler and starring Bob Hope.

The Princess Margaret (played by the absurdly gorgeous Virginia Mayo) is on a ship bound for America, traveling incognito. She is fleeing from her father the King, who is forcing her into an Arranged Marriage instead of letting her marry the commoner she loves. Also on board is Sylvester the Great (Hope), a bumbling Large Ham actor. The ship is raided by pirates, and both Margaret and Sylvester are captured, but they escape with the help of Featherhead (Walter Brennan), the ship's Butt-Monkey, who also provides them with a map to the treasure that Featherhead wants to steal.

One of Hope's best starring vehicles.

This film contains examples of:

  • Attempted Rape: Sylvester rescues Margaret from The Hook.
  • Blood Oath: Featherhead the weirdo tattoo artist makes Sylvester swear one.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: See Sylvester's rant below under The Cameo.
  • The Cameo: Bing Crosby, Hope's co-star in the Road to ... pictures, shows up at the end as the commoner that Princess Margaret is in love with. This was a gag taken from the Road movies, when it was always Bing and never Bob that wound up with Dorothy Lamour.
    Sylvester: I work my brains out for nine reels, and some bit player from Paramount comes over and steals my girl. That's the last picture I'll ever make for Goldwyn!
  • Chekhov's Skill: Featherhead tells Sylvester that he's the resident tattoo artist aboard the pirate ship. Later he tattoos the treasure map on Sylvester's chest.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: See The Cameo above.
  • Disguised in Drag: Sylvester changes into one of his costumes, an old gypsy woman, which saves his life after The Hook starts throwing all the men overboard.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Capt. Barrett is far better known as "The Hook".
  • I Need A Drink: Two of the sailors aboard the pirate ship as The Hook and Sylvester-disguised-as-Hook continually countermand each other's orders.
  • Large Ham: Sylvester onstage (as Bob Hope was in real life).
  • Lovable Coward: Sylvester is a self-admitted coward, but in the end he does go to great lengths to save Margaret.
  • MacGuffin: The treasure, and the treasure map. They never even look for it. The film ends with the King rescuing Margaret and Sylvester and offhandedly mentioning that one of the bad guys told him where to find the treasure.
  • Produce Pelting: Sylvester receives this after the performs at a Bad-Guy Bar.
  • Rebellious Princess: Margaret is fleeing an Arranged Marriage.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Scary pirate "The Hook" buring his treasure on a deserted island somewhere.