Newest Reviews
Quiet Place Part II, A
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
  Pirate Movie, The Exactly What Gilbert And Sullivan Would Have Wanted
Year: 1982
Director: Ken Annakin
Stars: Kristy McNichol, Christopher Atkins, Ted Hamilton, Bill Kerr, Maggie Kilpatrick, Garry McDonald, Chuck McKinney, Marc Colombani, Linda Nagle, Kate Ferguson, Rhonda Burchmore, Cathrine Lynch, John Alansu
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mabel (Kristy McNichol) is attending this demonstration for entertainment purposes all centred around the sort of business pirates used to get up to centuries before, but she's feeling selfconscious in her plaid shirt that she's not as glammed up as the other swimsuited and bikini'd girls admiring one of the entertainers (Christopher Atkins) who is dressed as a buccaneer. Nevertheless, he acts kindly towards her and invites her to help him show off his swordfighting skills, which doesn't go too well but he does invite her onto his boat later on...

Which was all very well, but not so good when the other girls push her off the boat as they embark, not that pirate boy was complicit, but it does set the plot in motion as the bulk of this did not take place in the present at all: it took place in her head as she almost drowns trying to follow, fearing her big chance has been blown, and is washed up on the beach unconscious. Thus begins the dream sequence which the rest of the film entails where Mabel imagines herself to be part of the classic operetta The Pirates of Penzance, except in the view of many of those who saw it, Gilbert and Sullivan got a jolly rogering from this production.

It's true that the writers revamped the songs and added their own, making this sound a hundred years more dated now than the originals ever did in 1982, and purists would balk at hearing, say, A Modern Major-General drop references to Bo Derek and Star Wars in his lyrics, but while the source was bastardised the results were oddly endearing to a proportion of the target audience. Hence the film's cult today among those who saw it way back when and found it appealed, and those who were not around at the time but are drawn to a prime slice of eighties cheese, all that in spite of the film's general reputation that it contained no redeeming features. But that's precisely what makes a following.

However small that following may be, it just has to be fervent, and if you were willing to give The Pirate Movie a chance you might - just might - find it amusing, even endearing in its cheery camp and outright poor artistic decisions. An Australian production, rumour had it this was rushed into completion in time to cash in on the popularity of a revival of the play on Broadway, as was another more faithful effort starring Kevin Kline which appeared a few short months after this sputtered and died at the box office thanks to bad reviews and public indifference. Whatever the reason, they seemed less interested in the material as getting a soundtrack album out of the rewritten songs, some better than others.

Of course, that was all relative to your threshhold for tinny but earnest pop from this decade, and both McNichol and Atkins got to try out their vocal abilities on those. As for the plot, it apparently got away from the filmmakers as it was vague to say the least, but essentially Mabel wished to get married to her new beau, escaped pirate Frederic (shirtless Atkins was that man), who wanted to settle down with her when the Pirate King (Ted Hamilton amusingly knowing in his only film, though he did a fair amount of TV work) demanded he rejoin his crew. Add in dancing policemen, a light saber, Inspector Clouseau (not authentic version), breaking the fourth wall gags and much winking silliness and mix to serve... a complete mess, to be honest. Really, although everyone seemed to be having a fine old time, The Pirate Movie was all over the place, undisciplined where its inspiration had been exacting and at best irreverent, at worst disrespectful. Naturally, that's why there are viewers who have so much fun with it, and even to outsiders you can sort of see that attraction, but my goodness what a stoopid movie.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1786 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: