The Boy and the Pirates

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The Boy and the Pirates
DVD Cover for The Boy and the Pirates
Directed byBert I. Gordon
Produced byBert I. Gordon
Written byBert I. Gordon
Lillie Hayward
Jerry Sackheim
StarringCharles Herbert
Susan Gordon
Murvyn Vye
Paul Guilfoyle
Joe Turkel
Music byAlbert Glasser
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byJerome Thoms
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • 1960 (1960)
Running time
82 min.

The Boy and the Pirates is a 1960 film from Bert I. Gordon ("Mr. B.I.G."), the master of giant monster films. It stars a very popular child star of the day in 12-year-old Charles Herbert and Gordon's own daughter, Susan. The story line, that of a little boy and girl trapped on the pirate ship of Blackbeard, ranges from comical at times to downright gruesome. There is a good deal of killing during the course of the film. The cook forces Jimmy at one point to take a fish and "gut and clean it, and save his entrails". There is another moment when Morgan the pirate tries to get Jimmy to reveal his coveted information by threatening to scald his mouth with a red-hot poker.

Nonetheless, it has been described as "an engaging and innovative fantasy so perfect in its service to and embellishment of genre formula, it comes across as both completely familiar, yet breathtakingly original."[1]


A boy, Jimmy Warren, living along the coast in Massachusetts is upset with the unfairness of "modern" life in 1960 when his father scolds him about his school grades. He plays on a wrecked ship along the shore with Kathy. He picks up an odd jar, and wishes he were back in the olden days, on a pirate ship. When Jimmy utters "Where am I?", the magic jar pops open, and a strange little man pops out. He introduces himself as Abu the Genie, and states that he has granted Jimmy his fondest wish: to be on a real pirate ship. Jimmy scoffs at the notion, but Abu insists that they are at that very moment passengers on Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the notorious Blackbeard.



"Timothy Carey on this movie, probably scared me more than The Colossus of New York!", says Charles Herbert. "But he was a nice man, and he always tried to make you feel, 'I’m not really crazy,' and you would say, 'Okay.' And then he would walk away and you’d go, 'He’s CRAZY!' He was a scary man. He’d look at me and I would run behind my mother. And I had to catch up to her, because she was tryin’ to find somebody else to hide behind!"[2]

Home media[edit]

The Walt Disney Company's theatrical release of Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on July 7, 2006, spiked interest in pirate films in general. To take advantage of this, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released a Midnite Movies double DVD set with the rarely seen The Boy and the Pirates, and the more recent Crystalstone (1987) on June 27, 2006.

Comic book adaption[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Article / The Boy and the Pirate Archived 2005-12-18 at the Wayback Machine.",, 2006
  2. ^ "Charles Herbert Interview / So You Wanna Be a Kid Actor...? Archived 2006-04-17 at the Wayback Machine.", Classic Images, 2006
  3. ^ "Dell Four Color #1117". Grand Comics Database.
  4. ^ Dell Four Color #1117 at the Comic Book DB

External links[edit]