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The Boy and the Pirates

The Boy and the Pirates(1960)


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In coastal Massachusetts, young Jimmy Warren is very knowledgeable about the history of pirates and often plays pirate games with his friend, Kathy Mannering, on a wreck on the shore. One day, Jimmy, whose parents nag him to pay more attention to schoolwork, finds a strange bottle on the beach and wishes that he could be far away on a pirate ship. The bottle grants his wish and Jimmy finds himself on the deck of Captain Blackbeard's ship the Queen's Revenge . Abu, a miniature genie, emerges from the bottle and explains to Jimmy that he has been imprisoned therein for two thousand years. Abu tells Jimmy that unless the bottle is returned to exactly where it was found within three days, Jimmy will have to take his place. Unfortunately, Blackbeard is bound for Nova Scotia to bury treasure. Jimmy meets Blackbeard and his first mate, Snipe, and tries to explain about Abu and how he came on board, but Abu is visible only to Jimmy. Blackbeard decides to keep Jimmy as ship's boy, and after a session of swabbing the deck, Jimmy is ordered to assist Scoggins, the ship's cook. When Jimmy tells Blackbeard about jet planes, the pirate concludes that the boy has been taking some of his rum. Meanwhile, using his magic, Abu plays tricks on Blackbeard, turning rum into milk. Later, when a British warship approaches and fires on them, Abu creates a fogbank, enabling Blackbeard to escape. Blackbeard then changes course toward the Carolinas, and Jimmy sees little hope of returning to his parents. However, after Blackbeard attacks a Dutch ship and it catches fire, Jimmy is able to rescue a young Dutch girl, Katrina Van Kaif, who is attempting to reach New Amsterdam, and together they plot their escape. When Jimmy and Katrina are preparing vegetables in the kitchen, some bubble gum from Jimmy's pocket finds its way into a stew Scoggins is preparing for Blackbeard, and the resultant bubbles pop and get stuck in the captain's beard. Later, Jimmy decides to create a fake map indicating that another pirate's treasure is buried near where Jimmy lives in Massachusetts. He tells Katrina, much to her bewilderment, that if they can get there and escape, his father will take her by car to New York. After Jimmy and Katrina "accidentally" find the map in a treasure chest, Blackbeard is ecstatic and immediately sets sail for Massachusetts. Scoggins insists on a large share of the treasure, and although Blackbeard swears him to secrecy, both worry about the children knowing about the map. When the ship's crew asks why they are changing course, Blackbeard tells them that they are running short of food. However, Snipe checks on the supplies and finds a full storeroom. Alarmed that Jimmy might be able to return the bottle in time, Abu changes the letters on the map to read "Madagascar." Meanwhile, the crew orders Jimmy and Katrina to explain why they are headed for Massachusetts, but they refuse. When one of the pirates threatens to burn Jimmy's tongue, Katrina tells them about the treasure, and Snipe decides that they should take over the ship. However, another attack by a British warship scuttles Snipe's plan. Snipe, who has befriended the children, helps them into a small boat, lowers it and rows away. Abu creates an underwater volcano that rises in the ocean and hinders the attacking ship. Blackbeard, unwilling to share the treasure, pushes Scoggins overboard, then tells some of the crew that Snipe has the map and pursues him in another rowboat. When they reach the shore, Snipe tells the children to escape while he holds off Blackbeard. However, when Blackbeard and Snipe engage in a swordfight on the beach, Blackbeard kills Snipe, then chases after the children and is about to kill Jimmy when the boy throws the bottle at him. The bottle hits Blackbeard and he fades from sight. Katrina also vanishes, leaving Jimmy with only a locket to remember her by. After Jimmy sees the bottle in the spot where he found it, he decides to leave it there. Then Kathy comes along and they walk off together.