The Crimson Pirate (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Crimson Pirate (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Crimson Pirate Photos

Movie Info

Half affectionate parody and half enthusiastic tribute to the swashbuckling pirate epics of the 1930's and 40's, The Crimson Pirate stars Burt Lancaster as Captain Vallo, the smiling leader of a pack of unscrupulous pirates. While on the high seas, Vallo and his men spy a well-stocked merchant ship, and waste no time in relieving it of its contents. One of the passengers on the cargo vessel, Baron Gruda (Leslie E. Bradley), informs Vallo that a political revolt is shaking a island nation in the Caribbean to its foundations. The pirates set their course to the island, hoping to sell the arms they've just stolen to rebel leader Sebastian (Frederick Leister), while planning to later double their profit by turning him in to the Government leaders who are offering a reward for his capture. Vallo's plans change when he meets Sebastian's daughter Consuelo (Eva Bartok) and falls in love, while she teaches the pirate the wisdom of her father's philosophies. Vallo and his faithful sidekick Ojo (Nick Cravat) soon join Sebastian's men, and fight with them in a valiant struggle for freedom. Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat were once partners in their early days as circus acrobats, and they got to put their skills to good use in this picture; keep an eye peeled for an early performance by future horror movie great Christopher Lee.
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Burt Lancaster
as Capt. Vallo
Torin Thatcher
as Humble Bellows
Eva Bartok
as Consuelo
James Hayter
as Prudence
Leslie E. Bradley
as Baron Jose Gruda
Noel Purcell
as Pablo Murphy
Eliot Makeham
as Governor
Dana Wynter
as La Signorita
Ewan Roberts
as Claw Paw
John Chandos
as Stub Ear
Derek Tansley
as Patch Eye
Harry Lane
as Uncredited
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Critic Reviews for The Crimson Pirate

All Critics (10)

Carnival-like 1950s pirate yarn is fun for all.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Common Sense Media

Light-hearted pirate spoof, with brilliant color and unusual science fiction elements.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Classic Film and Television

Schlocky but fun.

April 18, 2004
Chico Enterprise-Record works both as a movie parody and as a rollicking good adventure at the same time.

Full Review… | July 17, 2003
Movie Metropolis

Terrific self-spoofing swashbuckler. Hard to beat

August 21, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Crimson Pirate

The Crimson Pirate (1952) This is my favorite Burt Lancaster movie and one of the best pirate movies you'll ever see. This is definitely what the series the Pirates of the Caribbean was going for, adding comedy and amazing stunts to the standard pirate story. This also has a foreign flavor being filmed mostly with British actors (is that a young Christopher Lee?) in the Bay of Naples, Italy. Ironically the Brits are the foils of this movie. Captain Vallo (Lancaster) is the Crimson Pirate, and with the help of his trusty mute side-kick, Ojo (Nick Cravat) and his men, are taking on what ships may come. They've just taken over a British ship of the line and are thinking of selling the guns to some Caribbean revolutionaries and then turning them in to Baron José Gruda (Leslie Bradley) for the reward, doubling their profit. Antagonistic seaman, Humble Bellows (Torin Thatcher) is disagreeable to the Captains plans and has his eyes set as the next Captain apparent. When Vallo meets beautiful Consuelo (Eva Bartok), the daughter of the revolutionary leader, all bets are off.

Rick Rudge
Rick Rudge

The Crimson Pirate is a fine swashbuckler, with plenty of charm, action and lighthearted humour. Lancaster, a circus acrobat before turning to movies in the '40s, gives what may be his most physical performance as sword-for-hire Captain Vallo, a.k.a. the Crimson Pirate. Knowing that Lancaster was doing his own stunts elevated his charismatic performance, as most of them were spectacular and daring. Overall, well worth looking out for.

Jonny Crumley
Jonny Crumley

Super Reviewer


Big, splashy entertainment but it goes on too long.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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