The best pirate movies in cinema history tend to have many things in common: wooden legs, hidden treasure, vicious parrots, and rum, a lot of rum. Lots of rum.
This adventure film subgenre has left us with some great movies that began to shine during the Golden Age of Hollywood and experienced a renaissance at the turn of the century thanks to a man named Jack Sparrow . It is not an easy type of film, but these twenty titles that we recommend get it by far. To the boarding!
In this list we do not forget the pioneers such as ‘ The Black Pirate ‘ by Albert Parker , a silent film released in 1926 and starring the great Douglas Fairbanks , and which we can consider the first pirate film in the history of cinema. From there, they jumped to the best years of classic Hollywood, the studio system and the most brilliant ‘star-system’ we’ve ever seen, where they adopted this pirate cinema in all its grandeur. It will be common to find stars like Errol Flynn , who together with director Michael Curtiz signed some quite iconic films of the genre such as ‘ The Seahawk ‘ and ‘ Captain Blood ‘‘.
We are not losing sight either (although it is difficult, with so many jumps and acrobatics) the great Burt Lancaster , who also took to piracy with the applauded ‘ The fearsome mocker ‘. And let’s not forget Maureen O’Hara either , who will repeat several times on this list as a first-class pirate, with films like ‘ Pirateer’s Island ‘.
From stem to stern, we review the essential titles of buccaneer cinema in this list with the best pirate movies in history . If you do not want to go through the keel, you better take a look at this decalogue.
The Island of the Severed Heads (Renny Harlin, 1995)
Although it was a box office flop (we even had to wonder what happened to Geena Davis after it opened), there’s no doubt that Renny Harlin ‘s 90s film has become its own cult classic. With a cast that includes Geena Davis, Matthew Modine, Frank Langella, Maury Chaykin and Stan Shaw , it brought classic pirate adventures to life with lots of fun.
Synopsis: The young Morgan Adams (Geena Davis) inherited from her father a piece of the map of a large treasure, coveted by the sinister pirate Brown (Frank Langella). Morgan organizes an expedition to the Island of the Severed Heads to try to find the two missing parts of the map and, of course, the treasure. To achieve it will not be easy.
The Island of the Corsairs (George Sherman, 1952)
How classic Hollywood liked pirate movies. One of many examples is this film by George Sherman , starring Alice Kelley, Anthony Quinn, Errol Flynn, Maureen O’Hara, Mildred Natwick and Robert Warwick . It was the 50s and O’Hara gave us an overwhelming pirate with an incredible style. How was the protagonist going to resist his force?
Synopsis: A large pirate organization controls the port of Madagascar, on a major island in the Caribbean Sea. A brave captain of the British army heads there to infiltrate, with the intention of destroying the defenses of the fearsome buccaneers. But during the mission he will fall in love with a beautiful woman.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski, 2003)
The jewel in the crown is this triumphant return of the genre . It has it all: adventure, romance, rum, peg legs, curses, more rum, charismatic characters, hidden treasures, a little more rum, parrots on the shoulder, and a soundtrack that soccer fans say is the best. from that of ‘Total Recall’. Johnny Depp nailed the role of him as Jack Sparrow, and Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley , and Geoffrey Rush all complemented him to perfection. And let’s see what happens with the sixth installment of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
Synopsis: One day, somewhere in the Caribbean, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) steals his ship, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Add to that the beautiful daughter (Keira Knightley) of the governor of Port Royal (Jonathan Pryce), an idealistic young man (Orlando Bloom), a pirate-hating English navy commander (Jack Davenport), and a curse that turns the corsairs into living skeletons and adventure is served, courtesy of Michael Eisner and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Treasure Planet (John Musker and Ron Clements, 2002)
Among the most underrated Disney movies is this animated gem from John Musker and Ron Clements , which reimagines Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ story to adapt it to ships flying through space, pirates with robotic legs and plots full of magic And on top of that it’s a music movie!
Synopsis: Jim Hawkins, a fifteen-year-old adventurer, joins the crew of a space galleon as a cabin boy who faces a complex intergalactic expedition. Protected by John Silver, a cyborg cook with some secrets, Jim will prove his bravery by fighting against supernovae, black holes and space storms.