1950s

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Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1953). While working as waiters at a tavern, Rocky (Bud Abbott) and Puddin’ Head (Lou Costello) get mixed up in the exploits of their pirate patrons — the infamous Capt. Kidd (Charles Laughton) and his adversary, Capt. Bonney (Hillary Brooke). Joining the two buccaneers on a hunt for buried treasure, Rocky and Puddin’ Head wind up in dangerous waters when Kidd decides that he wants the interlopers dead. When the hapless duo uncover Kidd’s devious plan, they try to turn the tables on him.

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Against All Flags (1952). Hollywood legends Errol Flynn and Maureen O’Hara team for a swashbuckling adventure in Against All Flags. Onboard a 1700s merchant ship, determined British naval officer Lieutenant Brian Hawke (Flynn) bravely endures twenty lashes with the intent of using the wounds to help him go undercover on the pirate island of Libertania. Once there, however, Hawke is brought before the colony’s head pirates, the Captains of the Coast, and forced to prove himself in a fight to the death. As he endures the various trials of a pirate, he finds himself drawn to the beautiful buccaneer Spitfire (O’Hara) and torn between her and his mission to disarm the renegade settlement. Co-starring Anthony Quinn, it’s a Technicolor epic filled with buxom maidens, breathtaking swordplay and dazzling spectacle.

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All The Brothers Were Valiant (1953). Swashbuckling screen legends Stewart Granger (“King Solomon’s Mines”) and Robert Taylor (“Ivanhoe”) star as feuding New England whaling brothers. Their fraternal loyalties are tested when Granger leads Taylor’s crew to mutiny in an effort to steal sacred pearls from island natives. Oscar-nominee Ann Blyth (“Mildred Pierce”) costars. With Kurt Kasznar (TV’s “Land of the Giants,” “Lili”). Produced by Academy Award-recipient Pandro S. Berman (“Ivanhoe,” “Top Hat,” “Father of the Bride”).

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In this swashbuckling pirate movie with a twist (the pirate captain is a beautiful woman!), the action abounds with floggings, peg legs, and eye patches galore. When a married French naval officer, Pierre LaRochelle, decides to bring pirate Captain Anne Providence to justice, he finds he has bitten off more than he can chew. Things start out smoothly as he woos her and she falls in love with him, but soon the clever Anne figures out his scheme and kidnaps both he and his wife. After leaving them to die on a deserted island, she relents and saves them. Captain Anne then has the opportunity to redeem herself in a battle with her arch enemy, Blackbeard, which provides plenty of action and adventure.

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The Black Pirates is a 1954 film made by Salvador Films Corp. about a band of pirates scouring a small Central American town for a buried treasure. It was directed by Allen H. Minerand produced from a screenplay by Fred Freiberger and Al C. Ward based on the story by Johnston McCulley. The film stars Anthony Dexter and Martha Roth with Robert Clarke, Toni Gerry and Lon Chaney Jr.

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There was a time when buccaneers terrorized the Caribbean, double-dealing, swashbuckling and pillaging across the high seas. And the most feared of them all was Blackbeard the Pirate. Early 1700s. The King of England sends Sir Henry Morgan (Torin Thatcher) to kill or capture the dreaded pirate Blackbeard (Robert Newton). He assigns a dashing young officer, Edward Maynard (Keith Andes), to be captured. Now working as the pirate ship’s surgeon, Maynard befriends a fellow captive Edwina Mansfield (Linda Darnell). But little does he realize that Sir Morgan is secretly working with the pirates–or that the beautiful Mansfield is neither helpless nor innocent and has an agenda of her own.

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Botany Bay (1953). In 1787, American medical student Hugh Tallant and British convicts are sent from London to New South Wales on a ship commanded by the evil Captain Gilbert.

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The Buccaneer (1958). General Andrew Jackson’s dependence on the help of pirate Jean Lafitte to repel the British is complicated by the Governor’s daughter. Set in New Orleans during the War of 1812.

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Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951). Screen legend GREGORY PECK brings to life C.S. Forester’s classic nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower. In 1807, unflappable Capt. Hornblower of the British Navy is sent on a secret mission to divert Napoleon’s Spanish allies by sponsoring a megalomaniac’s Central American revolution. After a hard voyage, unexpected complications force Hornblower to revise his plans…and play reluctant host to the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wellington. Sea-battles, remarkable adventures, and a star-crossed romantic interlude follow.

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Captain Pirate (1952). After a series of pirate raids in the West Indies, physician and former pirate Peter Blood (Louis Hayward), who’s living a quiet life with his fiancée, Doña Isabela (Patricia Medina), is arrested. When Isabela’s pleas to the governor on Peter’s behalf go unheeded, she turns to Peter’s former first mate, Angus (Charles Irwin), for assistance. Once freed, Peter and his comrades return to the seas to track down and stop the real pirates while evading British Capt. Hilary Evans (John Sutton).

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The Crimson Pirate (1952). Captain Vallo, a.k.a. The Crimson Pirate, and his band of buccaneers overtake a Spanish galleon filled with guns and ammunition.

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Fair Wind to Java (1953). The Dutch East Indies, at the end of the nineteenth century. An adventurous captain of an American merchant vessel is looking for a sunken Dutch vessel containing 10,000 precious diamonds. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one and then there’s also that volcano on the nearby island of Krakatau, waiting to explode in its historical, disastrous eruption.

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 Long John Silver (1954). Sulking in a Panama tavern after the events of “Treasure Island,” Long John Silver (Robert Newton) learns that a rival pirate has kidnapped the governor’s daughter and Jim Hawkins (Kit Taylor). After convincing the governor that only a pirate can catch a pirate, Silver sets out to rescue Jim, who has a medallion showing the location of hidden treasure. Silver tries to return to Treasure Island but is marooned with Jim on Socorro Island, where the foiled and angry kidnapper is hiding.

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Moby Dick (1956). John Huston’s 1956 Moby Dick remains admirably faithful to its source. Though slightly intimidated by the sermon delivered by Father Mapple (Orson Welles in a brilliant one-take cameo), who warns that those who challenge the sea are in danger of losing their souls, Ishmael nonetheless signs on to the Pequod, a whaling ship captained by the brooding, one-legged Ahab (Gregory Peck). In an obsessive pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale to whom he lost his leg, Ahab’s dementia spreads throughout the crew members, who maniacally join their captain in his final, fatal attack upon the elusive, enigmatic Moby Dick.

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Plymouth Adventure (1952). In 1620, a group of religious outcasts boarded the Mayflower in England and set sail for the New World, where they founded a tiny wilderness outpost that was the genesis for what would become the United States of America. This is their thrilling story, a tale of hardship and devotion, of storms, hunger and disease faced and defied. Screen great Spencer Tracy portrays the Mayflower’s skipper, whose clenched heart is opened by his love for a gentle passenger (Gene Tierney) and the unfaltering courage of the pilgrims. Clarence Brown’s forthright direction, Miklos Rozsa’s hymn-tinged score and Academy Award®-winning* special effects that thrust the viewer into twisting, towering seas await all who experience this memorable Plymouth Adventure.

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Sea Devils (1953). When a smuggler (Rock Hudson) takes to the high seas in the historical era of Napoleon’s threatened invasion of England, he meets a beautiful mystery woman (Yvonne De Carlo) and is induced to sail her to the French coast, unaware that she is actually a spy…but for which side? “Good color photography enhances the striking sea scenes and lavish interior settings” (Harrison’s Reports) in this suspenseful costume adventure from action directing great Raoul Walsh.

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Twilight for the Gods (1958). Loved…Hated…Feared…Envied…but only this woman wanted him enough to break the laws of Gods and men. The great best seller by the author of ‘The High and the Mighty’ storms across the motion picture screen! An alcoholic captain (Rock Hudson) sails a two-master through danger with a call girl (Cyd Charisse) and others on board.

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Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich (1958). Come onboard the magnificent Norwegian square-rigger as it sails its spectacular 17,000 mile journey, manned by a crew of young sailors-in-training, all photographed in the widescreen splendor of Cinemiracle. Now digitally remastered in the unique SmileBox curved screen simulation, the color, the music, and the true artistry of this classic are reborn.

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The World in His Arms (1952). Frustrated by illegal competition from Russians in the seal fur trade, Capt. Jonathan Clark (Gregory Peck) struggles to raise funds to purchase Alaska from Russia. Another competitor, unscrupulous trader Portugee (Anthony Quinn), is hired to transport Russian Countess Mariana Selanova (Ann Blyth) to marry the callous Prince Semyon (Carl Esmond). After Jonathan falls in love with Mariana, he squares off against Portugee, the prince and the Russians to rescue her and restore the trading business.

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