The Love Story Of A Bold Buccaneer

The Love Story Of A Bold Buccaneer

Static Mass Rating: 3/5
Park Circus 

Release date: April 18th 2011
Certificate (UK): U
Running time: 91 minutes

Year of production: 1926

Director: Albert Parker

Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Anders Randolph, Donald Crisp, Fred Becker, Sam De Grasse, Tempe Piggott

Mention a swashbuckling adventure with pirates and most people today will think you’re talking about Captain Jack Sparrow and those dastardly Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

But before Johnny Depp, there have been a long list of screen pirates, including the swashbuckling silent screen legend, Douglas Fairbanks, who also appeared in classics such as The Thief of Baghdad (1924), Robin Hood (1922) and The Mark of Zorro (1920).

The Doors

The Black Pirate, dating back to 1926, features Fairbanks in one of his signature roles. He plays an aristocrat, Michel, the Duke of Arnoldo, who joins a pirate crew to avenge his father’s death. To prove he’s one of them, he assumes the name “The Black Pirate” and sets about to single-handedly capture a merchant ship. Being careful not to damage it or harm its crew, he discovers a beautiful woman, Isobel (Billie Dove), on board.

While the other pirates want to have their wicked way with her, Michel comes up with a plan to stall them from “ravaging” her, but he knows it’s only a matter of time before they realise he’s not really one of them.

The Doors

This new transfer is from the restored 35mm two colour Technicolor negatives and reinstates the original inter-title cards which had been replaced in the 1980s.

Also featured on the disc is the black and white ‘Talkie Version’ narrated by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Added later on, it reflects the trend at the time to rework popular silent films with the newly available sound technology.

I prefer the two tone colour version because it’s just fascinating to watch something from this early period in filmmaking in such bold colours but they both have their draws if you’re interested in cinema history.

The Doors

Littered with daredevil stunts and special effects and filmed on the ocean, The Black Pirate takes us back to boyhood days when we wanted to sail the high seas, search for treasure and save distraught damsels in distress.

Keep an eye out for the film’s most famous scene where Michel sticks a knife into the top of a sail and slides down as he rips though it!


  • Alternative Score
  • Rudy Behlmer Audio Commentary
  • Alternative B&W ‘Talkie Version’ (72 mins)
  • Image Gallery

It’s a classic tale of romance and adventure with Fairbanks in fine form as the charismatic, quick thinking showman, setting the stage for Errol Flynn a decade later, who has to outsmart such a motley crew.

Leave Your Reply

Required fields are marked *. Your details will never be shared.