Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing: Movie Pirates

19 Sep

Arr, mateys! The 10th annual International Talk Like A Pirate Day be here! Grab yer cutlass and WTF I am not going to keep doing this.

I kind of love pirates. A few years ago, you may recall, pirates got SUPER DUPER popular when this one movie came out and apparently made a lot of people really rich and famous? I’m not good with numbers. Anyway, for a long time you couldn’t turn around without bumping into some dude who was wearing an eyepatch and babbling about your booty. I had a minor fit of hipster pique and stopped doing the pirate thing for a while, but since Steampunk has pretty much replaced piracy as the Everpresent Pop Culture Item Of The Moment, I’ve come back to the fold. So. In a transparent quest for page views, let’s look at pictures of movie pirates!

Cutthroat Island

I would like to start with my favorite pirate movie of all time: Cutthroat Island. I first saw it when I was a wee lass of late elementary school age, and was immediately and forever thereafter captivated, and if you say anything bad about it I will end you. It stars the magnificent Geena Davis as Morgan Adams, pirate captain and general badass. Also appearing: Francis from Malcolm in the Middle (upon whom I had a HUGE crush) and that dude who was the jerky cop in The Dark Knight Rises.

Captain Morgan (hah! I just got that)

Geena Davis has a bunch of fun costumes:

Dressed in this, she blows up Port Royal.

Dressed in this, she kills a bunch of bad guys and blows up Spittlefield.

Dressed in this, she navigates a hurricane, survives a mutiny, and flicks a roach off a biscuit before eating it. Nothing is blown up except my awesome meter.

There are also Redcoats!

One of them is named Trotter! He becomes a pirate. That is not a spoiler because you cannot spoil a piece of media that’s 17 years old.

They’re not pirates, but Morgan’s crew are. Or should that be “arrrr!”? (…I’m sorry.)

Not pictured: Wall-Eyed Pike

This movie didn’t do super well, but I love the shit out of it. I mean. How can any right-thinking individual not love a movie that includes this scene?



I saw Hook in theatres, and I am not ashamed to admit that it scared the ever-living crap out of me. I was too young to appreciate Dustin Hoffman’s magnificent Captain Hook–

I know, I know, I’m sorry. I was eight.

You are creepy, sir.

Anyway, this movie is magnificent. It’s cheesy and campy and by the time Hoffman is done there are no sets left because he’s chewed them all to pieces, and the music is great and the colors are great and even Julia Roberts isn’t so bad, though she was miscast. The first time Peter goes flying, it’s like the whole world opening up. It’s got baseball, and Captain Hook’s BooBoo Box(TM), and that little tiny child sings a lullaby and everybody cries!

Unlike the rest of these movies, the pirates aren’t the best thing. Not by a long shot. Though they are no doubt awesome, that honor belongs to the Lost Boys:

They’re not pirates, OBVIOUSLY, and maybe shouldn’t be in a post about pirates I guess, but shut up this is my blog. Obviously they are all delightful, but the best Lost Boy BY far is Rufio.


Ok, so creepy leg tattoos I found on the internet aside, Rufio is pretty badass:

Also strangely attractive, especially to an 8-year-old.

Until he dies.


Captain Hook, though, doesn’t give a fuck.

Cursed be he who first cries “Hold, enough”!

Incidentally, there is a prequel novel called Captain Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth, in which young Jas Hook attends Eton and has yellow blood for some reason? I enjoy the shit out of it.

Pirates of the Caribbean

The first movie was great, the second was crap, the third went well over the Event Horizon of shittiness, and I have no interest in the fourth (fifth, sixth, tenth) because seriously Johnny Depp stop it. But. The costumes are pretty swank.

Best entrance ever. EVER.

Barbossa, winning the “Villians I Want to Win” contest


I’m not sure what’s going on here, but I want to wear everything in this picture, including/especially Orlando Bloom


Becoming pirate king magically causes Chow Yun Fat’s clothing to tailor itself to you.

I could post pictures of this all day, were it not for my rising irritation as I recall how much I hated the sequels. So let’s move on.

One more.

Pirates of the Great Salt Lake

Have you seen this movie? You ought to. It’s got an excellent mix of humor and poignancy, and it’s just. I can’t do it justice. Go rent it or stream it or whatever you kids do.


Other Piraty Personas

Pirates, because they are sneaky bastards, wind up in nearly every movie ever:

James Purefoy looking unbelievably badass in “Blackbead: Terror at Sea”

My childhood favorite “Swiss Family Robinson” has some potentially-racist, vaguely Easternish pirates who are defeated by said Family

The Pittsburgh Pirates!

The Eastern Carolina Pirates marching band (because really, who cares about football?)!

There’s also the Pirates Who Don’t do Anything:

And, of course, the Dread Pirate Roberts:

Who unimpressed by any of this.

Muppet Treasure Island

 Finally, stone biscuit productions are please to remind you of the greatest Muppet movie ever, the greatest pirate movie ever, and maybe even the greatest movie ever: Muppet Treasure Island.


 Among the cast are Kermit as Captain Smollett and Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn:

Oh Smolley! My love for you is deeper than the deep blue sea!

Fozzy as Young Squire Trelawney, Squire Trelawney’s rich half-wit son, and Gonzo as Gonzo:

Crazy as a loon

Sam the Eagle as Mr. Arrow, who used to get us out of bed before dawn every morning for a good flossing:

This does not look safe.

Billy Connolly stealing all the shows as Billy Bones:

It be nay jokin’ matter, hose nose!

And, of course, the incomparable Tim Curry as Long John Silver,  being so awesome everybody winds up going blind.

Click for awesome theme music

 The magnificent opening, Shiver my Timbers, which is one of the best uses of sea shanties in modern cinema:

Sailing for Adventure:

Pirate Roll Call:

Cabin Fever:

And Professional Pirate:

And Finally

The Gryffindor Pirate wishes all of you a happy Talk Like A Pirate Day. Don’t forget to go get your free donuts.

5 Responses to “Sailing for adventure on the big blue wet thing: Movie Pirates”

  1. Ann Coston Neff September 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    When I was a very little girl, there were pirate movies on TV, which must have dated from the 1940’s, and I learned that buccaneers were the good guys, and pirates were the bad guys (so I’ve always been a bit snobbish about pirates). Loved those films. Muppet Treasure Island is perfection, of course, and ooh, Hook! Saw it once, loved it, haven’t seen it since.

  2. cbelles September 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    well done – and good luck on gathering views!

  3. Lisa Gillen September 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Apparently there was some thing Dunkin Donuts was doing in Atlanta today where if you went in dressed like a pirate you got a free dozen.

  4. Melissa Crandall/ @seacat1 October 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    You forgot one of my very favorite movie pirates — Robert Shaw as “Red” Ned Lynch in “Swashbuckler.” If you haven’t seen this one, add it to your list. Great blog, btw. Your costumes are gorgeous. I did a bit of that back in the day, but never with your quality. Lovely.

    • stonebiscuit October 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

      Thank you so much for the suggestion and the compliment! I’ll add that movie to my list!

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