Saturday, February 27, 2021

Wrapping Up We Love Pirates Week

Arrrrr, it be the end of We Love Pirates Week, me hearties.  I be sad to see it end, and that ye may lay to.  But we've had ourselves a lively voyage, and if you're like me, you've lots of posts to read yet.  So that be some comfort, anyway.

To make catching up on the posts easier, here be the complete list of them again.  That way, ye don't have to be scrolling down to the kick-off post to find them.

I've announced the winners to the Pirate Loot giveaway, and I've posted the answers to the "Which Pirate is Which" game, and that be all I have by way of wrapping things up.  I hope ye've had as much fun this week as I have!

Now, bring me that horizon. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!

Winners of the Pirate Loot Giveaway

 'Tis the day you've been waiting for with baited breath, mateys.  Time to draw and announce winners for the Pirate Loot Giveaway!  

Prize One: The Black Swan (1942) on DVD -- Skye
Prize Two: The Princess and the Pirate (1944) on DVD -- Sally Silverscreen
Prize Three:  A USED paperback copy of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini -- Cordy
Prize Four:  One set of four piratical bookmarks -- Rachel
Prize Five:  One treasure map bookmark -- Ivy Miranda
Prize Six:  One sheet of piratical stickers -- Constance Metzinger
Prize Seven:  One booklet of pirate stickers -- Eva
Prize Eight:  Two "Pirates of the Caribbean"-scented tealights -- Annie

I'll be emailing all the winners at the email address provided to the widget, to get your mailing info, so please check for that!

Answers to Which Pirate is Which?

Here be the answers to the game I posted earlier this week, and everyone's scores at the bottom.  

In the comments on the game, I agreed to award an extra half point for every actor's name you got correct, even if you didn't know the character's name or the movie, so now you understand the half points some people are getting here.  So the scoring was 1 point for every correct character name, 1 point for every correct movie title, and 1/2 point for every correct actor name.

1. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)
from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

2. Jamie Waring (Tyrone Power)
from The Black Swan (1942)

3. Peter Blood (Errol Flynn)
from Captain Blood (1935)

4. Roberts (Cary Elwes)
from The Princess Bride (1987)

5. Blackbeard (Peter Ustinov)
from Blackbeard's Ghost (1968)

6. Henry Morgan (Laird Cregar)
from The Black Swan (1942)

7. Macoco (Gene Kelly)
from The Pirate (1948)

8. Long John Silver (Robert Newton)
from Treasure Island (1950

9. Vallo (Burt Lancaster)
from The Crimson Pirate (1952)

10. Davey Crandall (Donald O'Connor)
from Double Crossbones (1951)

11. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush)
from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

12. Hook (Dustin Hoffman)
from Hook (1991)


Andrea -- 29
Caftan Woman -- 23
MovieCritic -- 18
Cordy -- 10
Heidi -- 7.5
Skye -- 5

Friday, February 26, 2021

"Against All Flags" (1952) -- Initial Thoughts

I'm really going to have to see Against All Flags (1952) a second time before I make up my mind as to whether I kinda like it or really like it.  I definitely liked a lot of aspects of it, and disliked a few things, and it's going to take that second viewing for me to settle just what I think of it.  However!  I really want to review it for We Love Pirates Week, so you're getting my initial thoughts today.

First, the things I loved:  Errol Flynn and Maureen O'Hara.  They are both perfectly enjoyable here.  Worth every penny of the price of admission, for sure. 

I've only seen older Flynn once before, in The Sun Also Rises (1957), but he's just a side character there, and my eyes were meant for Tyrone Power in that one.  Here, he's in his early '40s and just at the age I tend to find most men to be their most attractive; I have to say, Errol Flynn is no exception.  Sure, I love him as Robin Hood, and I enjoy his performances as young and cheeky pirates, or as young and cheeky cowboys, but the only other time I've found him this interesting was in Cry Wolf (1947), where he also had a more mature gravitas going on behind the charming suavity.  

In Against All Flags, Errol Flynn plays Brian Hawke, a British naval officer who is pretending to have deserted after being flogged.  Really, he's spying out the pirate stronghold on Madagascar so the Royal Navy can swoop in and drive out the pirates who are disrupting their trade with India.  

He's got to convince the pirates there that he's really turning pirate himself, along with two sailors who supposedly met him in the brig and agreed to escape with him.

As for Maureen O'Hara, she is breathtakingly lovely and insistently fiery.  She's playing another of her trademark roles as a woman who can stand toe-to-toe with any man and give better than she gets.  She is more than a match for Flynn when it comes to commanding the screen -- this was released the same year as The Quiet Man, and you know how magnificent she is in that, holding her own against John Wayne.  There was no question in my mind going in that she would be capable of holding her own against Errol Flynn here.

One disappointment for me was the fact that we never get to see her character commanding a ship.  I knew that this is "the movie where Maureen O'Hara plays a pirate captain," and I was really hoping to see her on deck giving orders and making daring battle plans.  Which doesn't happen.  This is why I need a second viewing -- I did have some Expectations that I needed the first viewing to clear away.  Now that I know what really does happen in here, I'll like it better, I'm pretty sure.

Maureen O'Hara plays Captain "Spitfire" Stevens here, the daughter of a pirate captain who bequeathed his ship, his gunsmithing business, and his rank as Pirate Captain to his daughter when he died.  

He also left her a map of where all the secret gun emplacements are on the island, which she framed and hung in her bedroom so that any spies would totally be able to see it with no problem whatsoever, because that's what the script demanded.

Although we don't get to see Spitfire Stevens command a ship, she does get to do battle!  She proves herself a crack shot with a pistol, and also gets to take part in the giant sword fight at the end of the film.  And, of course, she also trades sharp words with just about every character in the film, which is always fun.  

Spitfire Stevens does not initially believe that Brian Hawke has really run off from the Royal Navy, and she remains suspicious of him longer than any of the other pirates except Roc Brasiliano (Anthony Quinn), the villain of the picture.

Now, before you lambast this film for naming the villain a ridiculously made-up name like Roc Brasiliano, let me inform you that he was a real person!  Although the real Brasiliano stuck to the Caribbean and didn't hang out over between Africa and India basically ever, and he was already dead by the time this is supposed to take place (1700), it's obviously such a great pirate name that it's not surprising they decided to use it here.

Brasiliano has designs on Spitfire Stevens, as we learn in her first scene in the film when she berates him for his behavior "last night" and insists he needs to leave her alone.  Which he obviously never does, being the villain of the picture.  This adds some credibility to her repeated rebuffing of the heroic and charming Brian Hawke, for me.  She's tired of men trying to seduce her and assumes he's going to be the same, which is a pretty safe assumption since he's played by Errol Flynn, to be brutally honest.  Except for the fact that his character is a British Officer and Gentleman, so of course he's just going to be roguish, not rapacious.

Hawke is definitely attracted to Stevens, but he really is supposed to be here spying on those gun emplacements, so in theory, his attempts to get inside her bedroom are all about seeing that map she's got framed there.  

He starts out only half-heartedly wooing her, but the more she turns him away, the more interested he gets... until she turns the tables on him and pursues him, whereupon he turns her down cold.  

That's one of the things I like best about this, that there's a message of "both parties have to be willing and in the mood before any sort of kissing or canoodling can occur."  

It's only when they've both acknowledged their attraction and are both ready for it that they can make with the smooching, and I dig that.

Now, by far my least-favorite thing about this movie is a little wisp of a girl called Princess Patma (Alice Kelley).  She provides a big chunk of our plot, as she's a sultan's daughter but gets kidnapped by pirates, and woe be unto the whole British Empire if she gets molested by pirates and the sultan finds out that the British Empire failed to protect her.  So Brian Hawke has to stop everyone from finding out who she really is, save her from getting auctioned off as a "lawfully wedded bride" to any pirates, and generally safeguard her whenever possible.  And that's all good stuff, it really is.  Much conflict.  Very good.


She's the stupidest sheep of a girl ever and, after forcing a kiss on Brian Hawke when he rescues her initially, she pursues him relentlessly, insisting he kiss her "Again?" every chance she gets.  Which does provide some nice humor, as Hawke tries to find chaste and boring ways to kiss her as he gets more and more fed up with her stupidity.  

But my word, she was so ANNOYING that I got very tired of her after her first scene and had to roll my eyes every time she showed up after that.  She's a great example of how NOT to write innocent girls with crushes on pirates, I guess, but that's the best I can say for her.

Anyway.  On a whole, it's a very jolly hour and twenty-four minutes with some good set pieces and exciting fights, and the chemistry between O'Hara and Flynn is everything you'd want it to be, so I'm calling it a win, over all.  And you know what else is a win?  You can watch it for free on Amazon Prime right now!

Also, belay me, but Anthony Quinn pulls off the pirate look extremely well.  If he wasn't the villain of the piece, I could find him rather fascinating.

This is my final contribution to We Love Pirates Week, which I've had so much fun hosting.  Thank you to everyone who has participated, whether by contributing a post or just playing the games and commenting on other people's posts.  Don't forget that the giveaway ends at midnight tonight, so get your entries in while you still can!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Me Own Answers to the Pirate Tag

It be high time I was answering me own tag questions, and no mistake.  If ye have not answered them yet and want to be copying them for your own use, they be listed on the kick-off post right here.

All right, blow me down and pick me up -- let's be getting on with it.

1.  What are your favorite pirate movies or books?

The Black Swan (1942) is by far my favorite pirate movie, thanks almost entirely to Tyrone Power looking like this all through it: 

I mean, it's almost criminal to be that attractive, don't you think?  I like a lot of other pirate movies, but none of them do it for me quite the way Jamie Boy here does.  Also, Maureen O'Hara is completely delightful in it, and she's my favorite actress, so it's just a big win all around for me.

I must confess I haven't read many pirate books, but my favorite is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  By the way, it is extremely fun to read that book aloud to your kids and do the Long John Silver lines in your best imitation of the Disney movie's Long John Silver.  Wonderful stuff.

I'm really looking forward to Vanessa Rasanen's upcoming pirate fantasy On These Black Sands, later this year!  And I just bought a couple of Rafael Sabatini's classic pirate novels, so I'm looking forward to trying those out.

2.  Who are your favorite fictional pirates?

You really can't beat the Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes) from The Princess Bride (1987).  But I also dearly love Jamie Boy from The Black Swan, as mentioned above.  And it's pretty impossible not to love Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.  So they're my top three.  Which is why they all got to grace buttons for this party ;-)

3.  What do you like best about pirate stories? (Themes, tropes, costumes, aesthetic, etc.)

How cheerful they tend to be.  Nobody takes a pirate movie particularly seriously.  Like, ever.  They're always rowdy, rollicky jaunts.  Lots of sword fights, lots of derring-do, lots of witty repartee.  I'm definitely very much there for the overall tone of jolly lawlessness.

4.  If you were going to play a pirate in a movie or a play, what would your costume look like?

I was a swooshy-sleeved black silk shirt, a bright red sash, and black pants with plenty stretch and give so I can get on with the swashbuckling.  Also, I want a magnificent one-shoulder cape, bright red and big enough to be a tent if I need one.  Plus, a snappy black pirate hat with one side of the brim folded way up high.  And tall boots!  I must have the tall boots.

So, actually, I just want Tyrone Power's costume from this part of The Black Swan, but in my size:

5.  What pirate ship would you like to serve on?

Well, so, it might be a little bit weird if I dressed exactly like Jamie Boy and the sailed on his ship with him, so I'm going with the Revenge because I have a feeling that Inigo Montoya is going to make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts, and I bet we could have some fun adventures.

6.  Any favorite sea shanties or pirate songs?

When I was like six, I once scandalized some friends of my parents by swaggering around singing "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?" at the top of my tiny lungs, and I've been immensely fond of it ever since.

7.  Have you ever participated in International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Arrrr, that I have!  I've been talking like a pirate on September 19 since... 2003, according to this post of mine from 2005.  Check out the official site, if ye've a mind to.  I once carried it off for like two whole hours while working 3rd shift at Walmart, much to the amusement of my co-workers.  It was the dead of night, so not a lot of customers around, so my managers didn't even scowl at me, much less threaten to make me walk the plank.

8.  Would you like to go sailing on a real tall ship?

I would!  I LOVE tall ships, and they actually offer tall ship cruises, and I think that would be amazing.  As long as I don't actually have to climb up in the rigging, because I'm disgustingly clumsy and would fall to my death.  I'm reeeeally hoping to actually get to take a short river cruise on a tall ship for my birthday this year, actually.  I've gotten to step aboard a few tall ships in places like Jamestown (see below), but sailing on one will be a dream come true!

9.  Have you ever learned anything about real pirates, or do you tend to stick to the fictional kind?

I've learned enough about real pirates to know I infinitely prefer the fictional ones ;-)

10.  Why is the rum gone? 

Because I don't like rum, but my brother does, so I gave it to him.

That's all for me, folks!  Hope you've been having fun with the party so far.  I know I have!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Which Pirate is Which?

This be a harder game, and I'll be putting me comments on moderation so ye can't cheat off each other's answers.  

Here be the pictures of twelve (fairly) famous pirate characters from various pirate movies.  Ye be charged with matching a name to each of them.  To make this a wee bit less difficult, I've put name options at the bottom for ye to choose from.

Note that there be a couple instances of multiple pirates from the same film.

Ye get one point for each correct match, and if ye can name the movie they're appearing in, ye'll get a bonus point as well!  So there be twelve pirates, and twenty-four possible points.

Have at it!













Name Options:
  • Barbossa
  • Blackbeard
  • Davey Crandall
  • Henry Morgan
  • Hook
  • Jack Sparrow
  • Jamie Waring
  • Long John Silver
  • Macoco
  • Peter Blood
  • Roberts
  • Vallo

I'll post the answers at the end of the week, with your scores.  Don't forget to drop anchor at the main post for links to everyone's entries, and go enter the giveaway!