The Crimson Pirate

Synopsis: Burt Lancaster plays a pirate with a taste for intrigue and acrobatics who involves himself in the goings on of a revolution in the Caribbean in the late 1700s. A light hearted adventure involving prison breaks, an oddball Scientist, sailing ships, naval fights, and tons of swordplay.
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Director(s): Robert Siodmak
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
105 min

Man the yards! Quick on all canvas!

Gather round, lads and lasses.

Gather round.

You've been shanghaied aboard

for the last cruise of the Crimson Pirate...

a long, long time ago

in the far, far Caribbean.

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.

Man the capstan! Up anchor!

Move, you lubbers!

Ship to starboard!


A scurvy ship, Your Excellency.

You can tell by the position of the limbs.

Scurvy's killed the whole crew.

A trim little ship, Captain Rodrguez.

We'll take her in tow.

She'll bring a tidy sum.

Put an officer and two men aboard her,

and have her in tow by nightfall.

Aye, aye, sir.

- Only evil can come from a death ship.

- Aye.

Sanctus, one of them touched me!

What happened to those two?

Follow me.

My humble apologies.


If only there was something

to break the monotony of this voyage.

Hands aloft, please.

You're the prisoners of Captain Vallo

and his scurvy crew.

You may be overconfident, Captain Vallo.

Two hundred of the King's marines

are aboard this vessel.

And only 20 pirates.

That puts the odds slightly in my favor.

- Better surrender the ship.

- I am merely a passenger.

- Who is he?

- Baron Gruda.

Special envoy to His Majesty.

Well, this is a pleasure.

- You hanged most of my friends.

- For murdering most of mine.

Seems you have

only 199 marines now, Baron.

to surrender.

The Captain is not the type to...

However, if you'll permit me

to speak to him...

Ojo, pass the word for the Captain.

Bring down the Captain!

Send down the Captain!

Save the Captain!

Send down the Captain!

Did you ask for the Captain, sir?

Aye. Pay him my compliments

and show him in.

Gather round, lads. Gather round.

We're in luck.

All hands will soon be digging into

a fat divvy.

We're heading for the biggest

and the best pirate days ever.

And here's the rich tally in round numbers.


"Powder kegs:

"Rounds of musket shot: 65,000.

- "Rounds of cannon shot..."

- Begging thy pardon for interrupting...

but when will thee get into the gold?

Listen, fellows, listen.

There are islands in these waters

steaming with rebellion against the King...

and kept from boiling over

only for lack of guns.

Islands where guns

are worth more than gold.

- More than diamonds.

- Gunrunning?

But that's not piracy, Skipper.

That's business.

- That means working ashore.

- We're doing poorly enough afloat.

If we're going to try this new caper,

let's make it a good one.

This cargo will bring 50,000 gold florin

from any rebels worth the name.

- 50,000 florin?

- That's a pretty good take.

Let's put it to the vote. All those in favor...

If you'll forgive my interrupting, Skipper...

I'd like to think before I vote.

Meantime, we got

regular pirate business to settle.

We got the plank, the culprit,

and the verdict.

All we need's a trial

and execution of a sentence.

He's guilty!

So much for the trial. Now for execution.

Come on. Kill me, you fools.

The King's Navy will scour the Seven Seas

till every one of you is hung high and dry.

- To the plank with him!

- Avast!

There'll be no plank-walking for him.

Forgive my slow-wittedness, Skipper...

but are thee asking us to spare

this sweet-smelling toad?

Begging Thy Excellency's pardon.

Your captain's got more brains

than all of you put together.

No doubt you intend

to hold me for ransom.

No, my fine-feathered friend.

I'm setting you free.

I say, if there's no profit in the monkey

we'll have our pleasure.

I say there is profit in him. Alive.

- How much profit?

- Now hear me out.

I said 50,000 gold florin

from the rebels for the guns...

and here, by special commission,

is the King's chief rebel-catcher.

So why not another 50,000

from him and his king...

for telling them which rebels

we sell all the guns to.

Eh, Baron?

A brilliant scheme, Captain.

My congratulations.

Thy congratulations.

If thou art for it,

it is not for the good of pirates.

Good? Gentlemen, it's magnificent.

I'm bound for the Island of Cobra to catch

a man, El Libre, and smash his rebellion.

If you'll take the guns there, lure him

out of his hole and into my hands...

I'll raise the purse another 50,000.

There it is, lads, in round figures:

What do you say now,

Mr. Humble Bellows?

Thy humble servant will believe it...

when thy humble servant sees it.

I take it we have a deal, Captain.

This change of ship, Captain,

most uncomfortable.

My men won't transfer cargo.

Too much like honest work.

Captain Vallo, your men have only left me

headsail and topsail.

They're enough to get you to Cobra

sooner or later.

My ship is faster than this barge.

I don't want you making port

before I've got El Libre ready for delivery...

or putting a shot in my backside.

I hope El Libre is not as careful

as you are, Captain.

Cast off helm!

Cast off stern!

- Mr. Bellows, make sail!

- Aye, aye, sir!

Haul up, full and by.

Nor' nor' east.

We're heading for the Isle of Cobra.

Come on, you lubbers, move!

Hear ye, hear ye!

The King's vessel is now at anchor...

in the port of Cobra

with Baron Gruda aboard.

Any demonstration

will be regarded as high treason.

The people seem very quiet, don't they?

I don't think they intend to demonstrate

against Baron Gruda after all.

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Roland Kibbee

Roland Kibbee (15 February 1914 in Monongahela, Pennsylvania – 5 August 1984 in Encino, California) was an American screenwriter and producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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