Errol Flynn is an Irish physician condemned to slavery in Jamaica, where he hooks up with a crew of Spanish pirates and falls in love with Olivia de Havilland. The definitive pirate movie. Features Basil Rathbone, the best fencing actor to appear on the silver screen.
The Black Swan -- 1942
Tyrone Power is handier with a cutlass than Errol Flynn, and he looks better without a shirt. Maureen O'Hara is a gorgeous spitfire who is kidnapped and immoderately bound. George Sanders (the voice of Disney's Shere Khan) is wonderfully oily as Redbeard. Anthony Quinn swaggers around with an eye patch.
The Sea Hawk -- 1924
This silent 12-reel follows Rafael Sabatini's novel more closely than the later Errol Flynn adaptation. In it, a betrothed baronet is shanghaied at the behest of his envious half-brother. Spanish opportunists attack the ship, and the young nobleman escapes, becoming the leader of Moorish pirate crew. In spite of his criminal career, he is reunited with his fiancé.
Morgan il Pirata -- 1960
Steve Reeves trades in his toga for a frock coat in this unbelievable account of the real-life Sir Henry Morgan, who is sold into slavery in Panama and then condemned to a Spanish galley for an illicit love affair. Of course, he takes control of the ship and transforms himself into a pillaging pirate captain before getting the babe.
Pirates of Capri -- 1949
Self-appointed B-movie champion Edgar Ulmer made this low-budget swashbuckling caper just a few short years after his film-noir masterpiece, Detour. In Capri, Captain Sirocco, played by Louis Hayward, is a fop by day and by night a revolutionary bent on unseating Queen Caroline, a sinister despot incongruously portrayed by Binnie Barnes, better known as the leading lady to British comic Stanley Lupino. Nino Rota scores.
Road Warrior -- 1981
The coast is the goal. The sand is the sea. And oil is gold. Sound familiar? A modern-day pirate story set in the very near future.
The Island -- 1980
Michael Caine is a reporter who crash-lands on an island in the Bermuda Triangle controlled by pirates. Slow, bloody, and ridiculous. Written by Jaws' Peter Benchley. Scored by Ennio Morricone.
Haakon Haakonsen -- 1990
One of very few recent pirate movies worth mentioning, this Norwegian family fare pits a clever young cabin boy against a sinister cutthroat played by Gabriel Byrne. South Seas islands, buried treasure, and gorillas.
Walt Disney's Peter Pan -- 1953
While the faeries get short order in this animation classic, Capt. Hook and Mr. Smee are irresistible.
Virus -- 1999
Okay, there aren't actually any pirates, but an alien force does board a ship and kill the crew in the middle of international waters, where Donald Sutherland, Jamie Lee Curtis, and William Baldwin discover her, seemingly abandoned. Excellent seafaring cyborgs and some mention of Maritime law.