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The Crimson Pirate

The Crimson Pirate(1952)

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Burt Lancaster appears as "Capt. Vallo" before the credits, and tells the audience to "gather round, you've been shanghaied for the last cruise of the Crimson Pirate." After the credits, a title card reads: "A ship of the King's Navy-armed with thirty guns-on a mission in the Caribbean late in the Eighteenth Century." At the end of the film as Vallo and "Consuelo" kiss, Nick Cravat as "Ojo" mimes that the two get married.
       Although her appearance in the film has not been confirmed, November 1951 Hollywood Reporter and September 1951 Daily Variety news items add Margaret Rowland to the cast. In the New York Times review, the name of actor Frederick Leister, who played "El Libre," is spelled "Leicester." Norma Productions, named for Lancaster's wife, was organized by Hecht and Lancaster. Burt Lancaster and Cravat were boyhood friends who became an acrobatic team in circuses and vaudeville, before going into films. The Crimson Pirate marked the second cinematic teaming of Cravat and Lancaster.
       According to an October 1951 Hollywood Reporter news item, the film was shot in London and on location in Italy. According to Warner Bros. production notes, two ships were built for the film at Villefranche, France, and as many as 800 extras were used in the rebellion scenes. A September 1951 Daily Variety news item reported that the bit players staged a sit-down strike over the quality of food available on the remote island of Ischia, where they were shooting, and when no changes were made, many left the island. The Crimson Pirate marked Eva Bartok's American film debut. Although, in modern interviews, Lancaster often lamented the fact that the film got poor reviews, in fact, most reviews were positive.