Pirate Movies to Watch

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The film subgenre of pirate movies can be considered part of the genus of adventure movies it developed from the first half of the 20th century and has seen a surge in popularity since the 1980s. These films are often set in the 17th or 18th century during the era of pirates and feature adventures, looting, sword fights and clashes with the Royal Navy. They usually center around a main character who acts as a privateer and seeks to amass wealth and power, but also to challenge authority and assert his freedom.


The pirate movies genre has its roots in 19th-century popular literature, with writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson and William Hope Hodgson writing tales of seafaring adventure that inspired many future cinematic portrayals. The earliest known pirate movie was 1903’s ‘Pirates of the Seas’, and since then the genre has seen a constant evolution, moving from romantic and idealized depictions to more realistic and often somber portrayals of this historical figure. Today, pirate movies continue to be hugely popular and include both classic adaptations of literature and original stories based on this iconic theme.

These movies often include fictional elements such as cursed treasures, exotic islands, and sea monsters. Some famous examples of this subgenre include ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ (2003), ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’ (2003), ‘Cutthroat Island’ (1995) and ‘The Mask of Zorro’ (1998). In general, movies about pirates are very popular and have a large fan audience. They offer a combination of action, adventure, suspense and romance that appeals to many people.


The Sea Hawk (1924)

It is a 1924 pirate movie directed by Frank Lloyd. It is an adventure film set during the Elizabethan period, which follows the story of a pirate who fights against the Spanish crown. The film was acclaimed for its direction, acting and screenplay, and is considered a silent film classic. The Sea Hawk also influenced many other later works in the seafaring adventure genre.

The Sea Hawk follows an English pirate named Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (played by Harold Lockwood) who fights against the Spanish crown. Thorpe is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to carry out a secret mission against the Spanish fleet, but is betrayed and sentenced to death. However, he manages to escape and form a pirate fleet to take revenge on his enemies and protect his country. The plot of the film features seafaring adventures, political intrigues and twists and turns that keep the viewer glued to the screen. The Sea Hawk is a film full of action, drama and romance, and its main character has become an icon of silent cinema.

Treasure Island (1934)

It is a 1934 US pirate movie based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel ‘Treasure Island’. The film was directed by Victor Fleming and stars Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper. It is considered one of the greatest classics of silent cinema and is still appreciated today for its gripping storyline and spectacular action scenes.

The 1934 “Treasure Island” storyline follows the story of young Jim Hawkins who sets out to search for hidden treasure on Treasure Island with a group of pirates, including the infamous Long John Silver. During the journey, Jim faces many challenges and dangers, but finally manages to find the treasure and defeat the evil pirates. The storyline is full of twists and exciting adventures, making it a captivating entertainment experience for audiences of all ages.


The Devil’s Brother (1933)

It’s a comedy movie about the pirates of 1933 directed by Hal Roach. The film starred Laurel and Hardy and features the duo as two highwaymen who meet the infamous Italian highwayman Fra Diavolo. The plot follows the duo’s adventures as they try to steal the bandit’s treasure, but are ultimately forced to join him in order to escape justice. The film was acclaimed for its comedy and its ability to use parody. “The Devil’s Brother” is a comedy classic and a must-see for fans of Laurel and Hardy.

Captain Blood (1935)

“Captain Blood” is a 1935 film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The plot of the film follows the character of Peter Blood, an English doctor who is falsely accused of rebellion and deported as a slave to the English colonies in America. After his escape, Blood becomes a famous pirate known as Captain Blood, who eventually redeems his reputation and returns to England as a hero. The film was acclaimed for its gripping storyline, spectacular action scenes and outstanding performance by Flynn. “Captain Blood” is considered one of the best adventure films of all time and a must-see for fans of the genre.

The Sea Hawk (1940)

“The Sea Hawk” is a 1940 pirate movie directed by Michael Curtiz. It is a seafaring adventure film set during the English regency of King James I. The protagonist is played by Errol Flynn and is an English privateer who fights against the Spanish fleet during the Anglo-Spanish war of the seventeenth century. The film was well received by critics and helped establish Errol Flynn’s reputation as an adventure star.

“The Sea Hawk” follows the adventures of English privateer Geoffrey Thorpe, played by Errol Flynn. Thorpe is commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I to carry out a secret mission against the Spanish fleet, which is invading the United Kingdom. During his mission, Thorpe faces many challenges and falls in love with a Spanish noblewoman, Doña Maria, played by Brenda Marshall. The film features many action-adventure scenes, such as naval battles and duels, but also a romantic storyline that develops between Thorpe and Doña Maria. “The Sea Hawk” is a classic of the nautical adventure genre and has captivated audiences for decades with its intense action, beautiful scenes and convincing performance by Errol Flynn in the title role.


The Sea Wolf (1941)

It’s a drama movie about the pirates of 1941 directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino and John Garfield. The film is based on the novel ‘The Sea Wolf’ by Jack London and follows the story of a man who joins the crew of a cargo ship and gets involved in a series of perilous adventures. With a talented cast and solid direction, The Sea Wolf is considered a classic of adventure cinema.

The plot of ‘The Sea Wolf’ follows the character of Humphrey Van Weyden, a man who is rescued from a shipwreck by a crew of the cargo ship ‘Ghost’. Aboard the ship, Van Weyden finds himself under the guidance of the cruel and ruthless Captain Wolf Larsen, who leads the ship through the perils of the sea and faces challenges of all kinds. As Van Weyden adjusts to life aboard ship, he realizes that Larsen is a dangerous man and that the crew are under his close obsession. Van Weyden must find a way to escape the ship and escape from Larsen’s tyranny. The story highlights themes such as friendship, survival and the fight for freedom in a dangerous sea.

The Black Swanna (1942)

It is a 1942 pirate movie directed by Henry King and starring Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara and Laird Cregar. The film tells the story of a pirate who poses as a Spanish governor in the Caribbean Islands in the 17th century. The plot revolves around a struggle for power and the discovery of the true character of the characters. “The Black Swan” is considered a classic of the adventure/romance genre.

The plot of ‘The Black Swan’ follows the character of Jamie Waring (played by Tyrone Power), a notorious pirate sailing the Caribbean Islands in the 17th century. Jamie decides to pose as a Spanish governor in order to better rob the ships that dock in the ports of the islands. However, this fiction brings him into conflict with the real governor, Don Jose (played by George Zucco), who tries to expose Jamie’s true identity. Meanwhile, Jamie falls in love with the governor’s daughter, Dona Maria (played by Maureen O’Hara), but their relationship is hampered by jealousy and mistrust. Also, another key character in the film, Captain Clement (played by Laird Cregar), joins the hunt for Jamie for personal reasons.

The storyline of “The Black Swan” is filled with intrigue, twists and turns and adventure as Jamie and the other characters confront the truth about their identity and intentions. The film explores themes such as loyalty, love and honor, and questions the nature of justice and morality.

The Spanish Main (1945)

It is a 1945 pirate movie directed by Frank Borzage and starring Paul Henreid and Maureen O’Hara. The film is a romantic adventure set in the 1700s during the war against the pirates. The plot follows Captain Laurent Van Horn, who is captured by a famous pirate and ends up falling in love with a Spanish noblewoman, torn between her love and her duty to her country. The film was very well received by critics and did well at the box office.

The story of “The Spanish Main” follows Captain Laurent Van Horn, a Dutch privateer who is captured by the fearsome pirate Jean Lafitte and forced to join his band of pirates. While on a mission to a Spanish city, Van Horn meets the noblewoman Maria de Estrada and the two begin to develop an attraction for each other. However, their love is tested when Maria is kidnapped by the Spanish governor and Van Horn must choose between his love for her and his duty to serve his country. The film follows the adventures of Van Horn as he fights against his enemies and tries to save Maria, while tensions rise between him and Lafitte and between the pirates and the Spanish authorities. The story ends with a twist and an exciting conclusion.


Captain Kidd (1945)

Captain Kidd is a 1945 pirate movie directed by Rowland V. Lee and starring Charles Laughton as the protagonist, the pirate Captain Kidd. The film, set in the seventeenth century, tells the adventures of Kidd and his crew as they search for treasure in the waters of the West Indies. The film is known for its dramatic portrayal and Laughton’s acting, which received positive reviews from critics.

Captain Kidd tells the story of famous pirate William Kidd, also known as Captain Kidd, who is hired by the British government to fight pirates in the West Indian seas. However, Kidd ends up becoming a pirate himself, drawn by the promise of hidden treasures and the life of adventure this trade offers. With his crew, Kidd faces challenges and obstacles to find the treasure he seeks, but at the same time he must evade government forces trying to capture him. The story follows Kidd as he confronts his morality and destiny as a pirate.

Sinbad the Sailor (1947)

It is a 1947 film directed by Richard Wallace and starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Maureen O’Hara. It is an adventure film that follows Sinbad, a skilled sailor who travels the sea in search of treasure and adventure. The film is full of special effects and spectacular sets, and represents an example of the “adventure film” genre of the 1940s. It was very well received by critics and audiences upon its release.

Sinbad is a daring sailor who travels across the sea in search of treasure and adventure. Throughout his journey, Sinbad encounters a variety of characters who present him with challenges and obstacles to overcome, including an evil wizard who tries to stop him from finding the treasure. With the help of a princess and a group of loyal friends, Sinbad faces many dangers and difficulties to achieve his goal. The film features a gripping storyline full of twists and turns, and its stage designs and special effects help create an exciting and immersive atmosphere.

Anne of the Indies (1951)

It is a 1951 pirate movie directed by Jacques Turner and starring Jean Peters and Louis Jourdan. The film tells the story of a fearsome privateer named Anne de Beaujeu who, despite her reputation, falls in love with a French gentleman and is faced with a difficult choice between love and her privateer way of life. The film was well received by critics for its adventure and romantic tension as well as the strong performances of its lead actors.

The plot follows the story of Anne de Beaujeu, a privateer who commands a fleet of ships and who is feared on all seas. Despite her reputation, Anne falls in love with a French gentleman, Philippe Dumond, who asks her to abandon her life as a privateer and live with him. However, Anne’s decision to leave her way of life is jeopardized when a band of French privateers capture her and try to extract information about the treasures she has amassed over the years. Anne is forced to decide whether to betray her fellow privateers and risk her life to save the man she loves, or stay true to her fellow privateers and her life as a privateer. The storyline offers a combination of adventure, romance and tension, with numerous sea combat scenes and struggles for survival.

Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951)

It is a 1951 pirate movie directed by Irving Pichel. It stars Errol Flynn as Captain Fabian, a privateer trying to defend his city from pirates. The film is a dramatic and romantic adventure set in 18th century New Orleans. The plot follows the adventures of Captain Fabian, a skilled privateer who defends the city of New Orleans from pirates. During his fight against pirates, he meets and falls in love with a young woman who is engaged in a legal battle to save her fortune. While working to protect the city and the woman he loves, Fabian must also face the evil pirate Bouchard, who is trying to take control of the city. The film combines action, adventure and romance in an exciting story set in 18th century New Orleans.


Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)

It is a 1952 film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Robert Newton as Blackbeard. The film chronicles the life of the famous pirate Blackbeard, who is known for his unkempt black beard and savage fighting style. The film follows Blackbeard’s adventures as he takes on the British colonial authorities and his pirate rivals in a race for power and treasure. The film is considered a classic of the golden era of pirate movies and created the iconic image of Blackbeard in popular culture.

The film follows the life of the famous pirate Blackbeard, played by Robert Newton, as he fights against the British colonial authorities and his pirate rivals in search of power and treasure. The film begins with Blackbeard trying to get hold of a hidden treasure, but must first face the English governor who tries to stop him. Meanwhile, Blackbeard also clashes with other rival pirates, including his former friend Israel Hands. The film is full of action and adventure, with ship fights, boat chases and gunfights. Robert Newton’s performance as Blackbeard has become iconic and his angry accent and stage acting influenced many subsequent portrayals of the famed pirate.

The Crimson Pirate (1952)

It is a 1952 pirate movie directed by Robert Siodmak and played by Burt Lancaster. It is a pirate-themed adventure film that follows the adventures of a sea bandit who tries to steal a treasure. The film was critically well received for its entertaining action, breathtaking stunts, and energetic acting by Lancaster. The film is considered a classic of the adventure genre and has influenced many other subsequent productions.

The plot of the film follows the adventures of sea bandit Burt Lancaster, who tries to steal treasure from a government ship. Along with his crewmates, he faces a variety of obstacles and challenges, including being captured by government forces, breaking out of prison, and battling other rival pirates. Along the way, Lancaster also meets a singer who becomes an important ally in his mission. Eventually, he manages to get the treasure and escape with it, becoming a fictional hero of the sea. The film is full of action, adventure, humor and twists.

Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954)

It is a 1954 pirate adventure film directed by Robert F. Hill. The film follows a famous 17th century pirate, Captain Kidd, who fights a common enemy with a slave girl named Amina, who is trying to buy her freedom. The film stars Charles Laughton in the title role and Felipe de Alba as Amina. The film was shot in Mexico and the United States of America and, despite mixed reviews, was a box office success.

The story follows Captain Kidd, a famous 17th century pirate who has been wrongfully accused of treason and sentenced to death. While he is on the run from the authorities, he meets Amina, a young slave girl who has been kidnapped from her homeland and who is trying to redeem her freedom. Together, the two embark on a journey to escape their pursuers and to find a secret treasure that could help them both achieve their goals. During their journey, Captain Kidd and Amina face many difficulties, such as the threat of their pursuers, storms at sea and the dangers of the jungle. However, thanks to their strength and courage, the two overcome all obstacles and finally reach the treasure. In a final twist, they discover the treasure has been hidden by the government to prevent pirates from using it for evil.

Long John Silver (1954)

It is a 1954 pirate movie directed by Byron Haskin and starring Robert Newton. The film is an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island and tells the story of a young sailor who joins a crew of pirates in search of hidden treasure. Robert Newton was particularly noted for his portrayal of Long John Silver, whose seafaring accent has become iconic. The film is considered a classic of seafaring adventure and has been influential for many subsequent depictions of Long John Silver in popular culture.

The plot follows a young sailor named Jim Hawkins, who joins a crew of pirates in search of hidden treasure on a remote island. The leader of the pirates is Long John Silver, a cunning and charismatic man with a wooden leg, who will prove to be a formidable opponent and busy in his search for treasure. As the crew is attacked by other pirates and faces many challenges on the island, Jim and the other crew members must fight to survive and protect the treasure. Throughout the story, Long John Silver proves to be a complex and ambiguous character, both wicked and charming.

The Buccaneer (1958)

It is a 1958 pirate movie directed by Anthony Quinn. The film is a retelling of the life of the famous pirate Jean Lafitte and follows his adventures as commander of a band of pirates working as double agents for the US Navy during the 1812 War of Independence. The story is set in Louisiana and is interpreted from a cast that includes Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom and Frank Schwab. The film was well-acclaimed by critics for its drama and the performance of the cast.

The Buccaneer follows the story of famous pirate Jean Lafitte, played by Charlton Heston, who is recruited by the US Navy to help defend the city of New Orleans against British invasion during the 1812 Revolutionary War. Lafitte and his gang of pirates agree to help, but they also have a secret plan to betray the Americans and take control of the city. However, during the course of the battle, Lafitte begins to develop a sense of loyalty to the Americans and must choose whether to continue with his original plan or fight alongside them to protect the city. The story follows his inner struggle and adventures on his way to becoming a hero.


The Brigand of Kandahar (1965)

It is a 1965 film directed by John Gilling genre adventure that follows the story of the protagonist, a British officer who is sent to Afghanistan to capture a bandit who is causing problems for Queen Victoria. The film has some pirate genre scenes and features spectacular landscapes of the Afghan mountains. It was critically well received for its action and visual style, although it was criticized for its depiction of Afghan characters.

The story is set in Afghanistan in the late 19th century, during the reign of Queen Victoria. The protagonist is a British officer, Captain Gallagher, who is sent to Afghanistan to capture a dangerous bandit known as El Shaitan. Gallagher encounters many challenges along the way, including betrayals, ambushes, and encounters with hostile tribes. Eventually, Gallagher manages to capture El Shaitan and restore peace to the region. The story follows Gallagher’s adventures as he battles the forces of evil and the hardships of the Afghan landscape in an action-packed and thrilling journey.

Swashbuckler (1976)

Swashbuckler is an adventure film and american comedy directed by James Goldstone. The film stars well-known television and film actor Robert Shaw as a privateer trying to recover stolen treasure. The film is known for its spectacular production design and gripping action scenes, which made Swashbuckler a classic of the genre. The soundtrack, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, also helped make the film a success with audiences and critics. In general, Swashbuckler is considered an entertaining and spectacular film that offers an unforgettable adventure on the seas of the seventeenth century.

Swashbuckler is set in the 17th century and follows the adventures of a famous privateer named Claude Dubois (played by Robert Shaw), who seeks to recover treasure stolen by his former crewmate, the Comte de Rochefort (James Earl Jones). Dubois joins a group of rebels fighting against the French government and together, they go through many ups and downs and adventures, including naval battles, hand-to-hand combat and land pursuits. The story gets complicated when Dubois falls in love with a singer, who is also the daughter of the French governor. As Dubois struggles to recover the treasure and free the rebels, he also faces the difficult choice between his love for the singer and his loyalty to the rebels’ cause.

Pirates (1986)

It is a 1986 pirate movie directed by Roman Polanski. It is an adventure comedy that follows the story of a group of pirates who try to recover a hidden treasure. The cast of the film includes Walter Matthau, Damien Thomas, Cris Campion and Debralee Scott. ‘Pirates’ was critically acclaimed for its daring direction and entertaining and irreverent depiction of pirate life. However, the film has also been criticized for its inaccurate historical portrayal and its sexist portrayal of women.

The plot follows the old pirate Captain Red (played by Walter Matthau), who is kidnapped along with his crew by a group of rival pirates. With the help of a young thief (played by Cris Campion), Captain Red and his crew try to escape and recover a treasure that Red has hidden in the past. Meanwhile, the governor of a French colony (played by Damien Thomas) is trying to recover the treasure on his own and hires a group of mercenaries to pursue the pirates. The storyline of the film is full of twists and turns and features a mix ofaction movie, comedy and adventure.

Pirates of the Great Salt Lake (2004)

Pirates of the Great Salt Lake is an indie film about the pirates of 2004 directed by Kurt Cox. The story follows a group of friends who decide to become pirates on Utah’s Salt Lake. The film was acclaimed for its humor and tongue-in-cheek depiction of life in rural America, but also received negative reviews for its corny plot and perfunctory direction. In general, Pirates of the Great Salt Lake is considered a niche film with a cult following.

The plot follows a group of friends who are dissatisfied with their daily lives in small town America. So they decide to become pirates on the Salt Lake of Utah and to live as true outlaws of the sea. Their adventure takes them through challenges and obstacles, but they eventually learn the importance of friendship and loyalty. The film has a humorous and ironic tone that explores the dreams and aspirations of people living in a rural community.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

It is a 2012 animated film about pirates directed by Peter Lord e Jeff Newitt. It is based on the book series “The Pirates!” written by Gideon Defoe. The film tells the story of the Pirate Captain and his crew as they try to win the “Pirate of the Year” award against competition from other formidable opponents. With subtle British humor and lovable characters, the film is an entertaining comedy-adventure

The plot follows the Pirate Captain and his crew of daredevils in their adventures to become the “Pirate of the Year”. The Pirate Captain is determined to win the prize against the competition from other famous pirates, but things get complicated when he meets Queen Victoria who wants to take possession of her treasure and Darwin, an inventor who offers him to turn his dog into a man . The film follows the journey of the Pirate Captain and his crew through amusing ups and downs and daring adventures, as they try to protect their treasure.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2013)

It is a 2013 film about pirates in the genre of adventure/fantasy directed by Jonathan Newman. The story follows the adventures of Mariah Mundi, a young man who struggles to unravel the secrets behind his younger brother’s disappearance and recover a legendary treasure, the Box of Midas. The film stars actors like Sam Neill, Michael Sheen and Lena Headey in the lead roles.

The plot follows Mariah Mundi, a young orphan who lives in a hotel aboard a ship during the Victorian era. When her younger brother goes missing, Mariah sets out on an adventure to find out what happened to him and recover the Box of Midas, a legendary treasure said to grant its owner immense power. On her journey, Mariah meets various suspicious characters and faces dangers, including the threat of the Golden Key Society, a secret organization that is after the box of Midas. Mariah discovers that the box is linked to an ancient curse and that its discovery could have dangerous consequences for the entire world. Mariah must unlock the secrets of the Midas Box and save her brother before the curse takes effect and causes global disaster.

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