Prince of Pirates


1h 20m 1953

Brief Synopsis

A prince fights to free his people from his older brother's oppressive rule.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Historical
Release Date
Mar 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Esskay Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

In the mid-sixteenth century along the Pyrenees mountain range, Prince Roland of Haagen leads a small band of volunteers from The Netherlands to help the French repel invading Spanish forces. Upon the death of her father, Count Orde, the Countess Nita vows revenge and joins Roland's band. Roland is then recalled to Haagen due to the death of his father King Oswald, and the crowning of his older brother Stephan as king. Before departing, French general DuBois asks Roland to consider allowing France to use The Netherlands as a launching spot for an invasion of Spain. Roland agrees to present the idea to Stephan. In Haagen, however, Stephan is already well into negotiations with his prime minister, Treeg, and the Spanish ambassador. To assure that Spain will not renege on its promises, Stephan demands the hand of Princess Maria to cement the alliance. To keep Roland from learning about the proposed alliance, Stephan orders his guard to attack Roland and his troops at the border, disguise as French troops. After a skirmish between Roland's men and the guard, Roland discovers the orders for his death. In Haagen, Roland and his men meet at a tavern filled with sympathetic locals, who reveal that Stephan has raided all the farms of their crops and changed the volunteer army to mandatory enlistment, pressing all men into service. When Roland arrives at the palace, Stephan feigns ignorance of the attack and admits he has instigated changes to modernize and expand Haagen, using Spain as a role model. When Roland protests, Stephan places him under house arrest. Soon after, Treeg approaches Roland in secret to declare his concern for Stephan's increasingly fanatical plans. Treeg offers to help Roland escape to warn France of the Spanish alliance. Unknown to Roland, however, the offer is a ruse to discover the whereabouts of Roland's men. When the men are arrested, Roland's death, but Stephan orders that Roland, Nita and his men sent by ship to the infamous Fort Bleak prison. Frustrated, Treeg arranges with the ship's captain to fake an accident that will kill all the prisoners. During the voyage the captain goes below and sets a fire, but is trapped in the hold. The second in command quickly orders the ship abandoned. Roland and the men break out of the hold and save the ship, but the supplies are ruined by the salt water used to extinguish the flames. After several days without food or water, Roland sights a Spanish merchant ship and Nita is used as bait to bring them alongside, where they are quickly overcome. In the Spanish captain's quarters, Roland finds the contract agreeing to the marriage between Stephan and Princess Maria, who is scheduled to arrive at Fort Bleak's harbor. Roland and his men make for Fort Bleak and sneak ashore and into the fort, where they arrest the commandant and release all the political prisoners who join their forces. Masquerading as Stephan, Roland meets Princess Maria and her escort and cavalierly convinces her they must marry immediately, despite Nita's protests. After the hasty marriage service, Roland learns from Maria that Spain will be sending ten war supply ships at separate intervals over a month to avoid raising suspicions about the plan to attack France. Discovering that Roland has taken over Fort Bleak, Stephan sends an attack force, causing Roland to abandon the fort and Maria, who is dismayed to find out she has married Roland. Realizing his limited forces cannot stop Spain or Stephan, Roland decides to send six messengers on different routes to Paris to inform them of the invasion and to harass the Spanish as much as possible. Roland and his band manage to destroy four of the Spanish supply ships, but Roland worries about the continued loss of men. Two of his messengers are captured by Stephan and tortured to reveal Roland's whereabouts. When Roland sets out after another supply ship, a small contingent of palace guard stumble upon his headquarters and capture Nita and the wounded men and wait to ambush Roland. Nita warns Roland by setting off an explosion, sending him back to the village tavern near the palace to regroup. There one of Rowland's messengers who has escaped, relates seeing Nita and the others arrested and taken to the palace dungeons. Roland has his men disguise themselves as palace guard and enters the palace under their "arrest." Stephan informs Roland that five of his messengers have been captured and that the Spanish fleet is on its way to begin the French invasion. Roland and his disguised men then arrest Stephan and Maria and take them to their ship, where Stephan is forced to write orders halting the attack. Unknown to him, however, Maria has sent orders ahead demanding the invasion proceed. Meanwhile, French forces, advised by the last of Roland's messengers, head toward Haagen. Spotting the Spanish armada, Roland orders everyone put ashore, and sets course for the harbor entrance, where he sets fire to the ship before aiming it toward the Spanish lead ship. Trapped just outside the harbor, the Spanish bombard the beach, but the arriving French forces return fire and rout the attack. In the fighting, Stephan and Maria are killed, freeing Roland to become king of Haagen and marry Nita.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Historical
Release Date
Mar 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Esskay Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia