Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
Morgan's Rum Goings On
Having once been a pirate Sir Henry Morgan (Torin Thatcher) is now a respected official in Jamaica except Robert Maynard (Keith Andes) believes that Morgan is still involved in piracy and sets about trying to prove it in order to claim a reward. But Maynard ends up on Blackbeard's (Robert Newton) ship masquerading as a surgeon along with the attractive Edwina Mansfield (Linda Darnell) who Blackbeard takes as his prisoner. With Blackbeard currently at conflict with Morgan, Maynard must not only find proof of Morgan's piracy but save Edwina at the same time.
If you were to write a list of everything which you associate with pirates I bet everything you write will appear in "Blackbeard, the Pirate" a movie which is so cliche and over the top that it is entertaining but really for the wrong reasons. The main reason for that is the wonderful Robert Newton who is in full on pirate mode delivering one of the most entertaining over the top performances as a pirate you will come across; from the bows in his beard, the repeated use of the word "ARRRRRRRR" through to the rolling of the eyes like a mad man. It is such a dominant performance that almost everything else from story to other characters ends up fading beneath his shadow.
There is only one thing, in fact one person who manages to steal any of the limelight away from Newton and his over the top performance and that is Linda Darnell. Now Darnell's character isn't interesting, Edwina Mansfield is simply the damsel in distress/ love interest for hero of the movie Robert Maynard and there is nothing special about the character. But Darnell is simply drop dead gorgeous and in a sexy, low cut red dress which highlights her figure she grabs your attention. Yes that is shallow but it is also the truth and sadly was often the case when it came to actresses in these sorts of pirate movies.
But the trouble is that beyond Darnell's beauty, Newton's over the top performance and every single pirate cliche you can think off there is nothing else. Yes we have a storyline which serves up Maynard trying to get proof of Morgan's piracy, conflict between pirates as well as Blackbeard having to deal with some of his crew wanting him dead but it isn't interesting. Sadly Keith Andes is not very interesting as the hero of the movie either and if truth be told ends up one of the blandest heroes I have come across in pirate movies.
What this all boils down to is that "Blackbeard, the Pirate" is not a very good pirate movie and suffers from an uninteresting story and some bland acting. But then it is still entertaining because of Robert Newton giving us an entertaining over the top performance as Blackbeard and the attractive Linda Darnell who brightens up many a dull scene.
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