Pirates of Tortuga
|Pirates of Tortuga|
|Directed by||Robert D. Webb|
|Produced by||Sam Katzman|
|Written by||Jesse Lasky Jr.(as Jesse L. Lasky Jr.)|
Melvin Levy (and story)
|Music by||Paul Sawtell|
|Cinematography||Ellis W. Carter|
|Edited by||Hugh S. Fowler|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (USA)|
|October 1961 (USA)|
Pirates of Tortuga is a 1961 DeLuxe Color American swashbuckler film which invented an alternate history for the actual Welsh privateer Henry Morgan. It was released in October 1961 in the United States in CinemaScope.
A Welsh captain (Ken Scott) and his crew are dispatched to the Spanish-controlled island of Tortuga, where famed privateer Henry Morgan (Robert Stephens) has defected from his support of the English empire and is running a strictly piratical venture, stopping any and all vessels, including British carriers. Since the captain cannot attack the island without incurring the wrath of the Spanish government, he must go one-on-one with Morgan himself.
A comely female (Leticia Roman) inadvertently stows away on the captain's vessel and becomes the de facto central focus of the story (Morgan doesn't appear until the latter half of the film). She is initially deposited on the nearby island of Jamaica, where she makes a halfhearted play for the colonial governor, but eventually readjusts her sights on the captain himself. In the meantime, the captain fully engages in pursuing the pirate Morgan.
- Ken Scott as Bart (captain)
- Letícia Román as Meg
- Dave King as Pee Wee
- John Richardson as Percy
- Rafer Johnson as John Gammel
- Robert Stephens as Henry Morgan
- Rachel Stephens as Phoebe
- Stanley Adams as Captain Montbars
- Edgar Barrier as Sir Thomas Mollyford
- James Forrest as Reggie
- Maxwell Reed as Major Fielding
- Patrick Sexton as Randolph
- Arthur Gould-Porter as Bonnett
- Hortense Petra as Lola
- Malcolm Cassell as Kipper
Twentieth Century Fox produced a run-of-the-mill B-movie pirate adventure using actors little-known in the United States (the female lead was an Italian starlet whose English accent hovered between Cockney and Sicilian, and whose screen presence was compared to a sexy turnip), and inserting footage from other more notable seafaring-adventure films. The storyline was fictional; thus, using a real historical figure (Morgan) and endowing him with imaginary traits and actions left viewers feeling disoriented. The movie was not presented as a first-run release and soon began appearing on late-night television reruns.
Rafter Johnson had just been put under contract with Fox.
It was the first lead for Ken Scott who had been under contract to Fox for five years.
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p253
- PIRATES OF TORTUGA Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 24.
- VOTE JOHNSON BEST FOR 1960: Rafer Thrilled by Olympic Victory Johnson Is World's Top '60 Athlete Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963); Chicago, Ill. [Chicago, Ill]28 Jan 1961: 1.
- Heavies Hang Heavy, So He Turns Hero Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 2 Apr 1961: m9.