Avast ye hardies! September 19th be here once again and that can only mean one thing ye scallywag…. It be ‘International Talk Like A Pirate Day’. In honor of those dirty dogs of the deep blue sea, I be writing about my favorite pirate movies, pirates on the screen, games and just pirates in general.
Batten down the hatches and get ready to walk the plank…. Here be a list, in no particular order, of me favorite Pirates. Yarrrrrrrrr…
Sir Henry Morgan
He was an Admiral for the Royal Navy and came from a long line of British military men. He did his duty fighting the Spanish in the Caribbean eventually he turned into a Privateer. With the help of Sir Thomas Modyford, who was a high ranking muckity muck that got greedy and continued to write declarations to attack Spanish ships and settlements so as to plunder and pillage in the name of the crown. Quickly the privateering turned into outright Piracy.
In 1671 Morgan devised a plan to plunder Panama City, but most of Panama City’s famed wealth had been put on a ship and sailed off. So the city was set on fire. The sacking of Panama happened to violate the 1670 peace treaty between jolly old England and Spain Morgan was arrested and brought back to the Kingdom. He was tried but played dumb and said he knew nothing of the treaty so instead of being punished for the crime he was knighted. He then returned to Jamaica and took a post as Lieutenant Governor. He soon lost favor with King Charles II, was ousted from his post, he then got fat, drunk and rowdy. Speaking of drunk… Not only because Morgan was one of the most successful Privateers of all time but he is probably best known for being the name sake of Captain Morgan Rum. And what pirate, aspiring or salty, doesn’t enjoy a tankard or twelve of that sugarcane based potable.
Captain Jack Sparrow
This is probably the majority’s favorite pirate; real or fiction. He is the epitome of what we believe a pirate to be. With his swagger, rum swilling, cunning and deceptive nature Johnny Depp does a deft job at portraying this larger than life character. All the way around, this is one of the best characters in the history of film. Some of the sequels may be suspect (The line from Spaceballs comes to mind… “Spaceballs 2: The Quest for More Money’) but there is no denying Depp’s performance as the lovable scoundrel Captain Jack.
The editing isn’t the greatest on this, but it does have some of Captain Jacks best lines.
He, of course, is the original Goonie.
This is one of my favorite pirate themed board games. Pirates Cove is by the folks at Days of Wonder (Also the makers of ‘Ticket to Ride’) and its objective is simple; you battle for the rights to plunder and pillage to become the most famed pirate to ever sail the 7 seas.
The game has twelve turns. At the start of every turn, each pirate must decide, in secret, which of the 6 islands on the game board they will visit. All players reveal their choice simultaneously and then the turn is resolved. If two or more pirates end up at the same island, Combat ensues. You will gain fame by winning combat, burying treasure and gold, and bragging about your exploits at the tavern. In the end, the pirate with the most fame will be declared the winner and the most fearsome Pirate in all of the seas.
Someone made an excellent trailer for the game…
The Ice Pirates
This is one of my favorite B movies of all time. The screenplay was co-written by the same man, Stanford Sherman, who wrote Krull. So right there you know what you are getting yourself into. The film is set in a future where water is the most valuable substance in the known universe. There is a mythical ‘Lost Planet’ where, it is said, to harbor massive amounts of water. The planet can only be reached by a very specific course and if you stray from said course you will be lost in time FOREVER…
The film is cheese-balls to the max but… The cast is mind boggling… Here is a list of the main actors: Robert Urich, Mary Crosby, Michael D. Roberts, Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman, Bruce Vilanch, John Carradiner, John Matuszak, Ian Abercrombie, and Max von Sydow! And it has Kung Fu robots! I mean come on, KUNG FU ROBOTS!!!
The Sea Hawk
This has to get included on any pirate movie list if for only one reason; it stars Errol Flynn. He was the swashbucliest of swashbucklers. Be it on land as Robin Hood or on the high seas as a rapscallion in a few different pirate films, for most older folks, his is the image that is recalled when movie buccaneers are mentioned. The man just oozed machismo on the screen. Off camera he more emulated real pirates with his drinking, fighting and sexual escapades. He is the genesis of the phrase ‘In like Flynn’ as well as the nickname ‘Satan’s Angel’ given to him by famous screen siren Marlene Dietrich. Despite all his antics, lawsuits and IRS issues, he still remains the undisputed King of the Swashbucklers.
Muppet Treasure Island
Because every list should have Muppets on it!
Dread Pirate Roberts
This is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is endlessly quotable and entertaining. The Dread Pirate Roberts is one of the best ideas for a character; it ranks up there with the regeneration of the Doctor in Doctor Who, what a way to keep a legend going. I could talk/write about this movie for hours but I won’t, I will just tell you to go and watch the film!
Honorable mentions go to Bartholomew ‘Black Bart’ Roberts, Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach, William ‘Captain’ Kidd, Treasure Island, Blackbeard’s Ghost, Captain Hook, The Buccaneer, Pirates!, and Dread Pirate the board game.
There it is, for better or worse. That is my list of Pirates.
Let me know…