Monday, February 19, 2018

The Buccaneer (1958)

Director: Anthony Quinn, Cecil B. DeMille

Writers: Harold Lamb, Jesse Lasky Jr., Jeanie Macpherson, Edwin Justus Mayer, Bernice Mosk, Lyle Saxon, C. Gardner Sullivan

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Starring: Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer, Inger Stevens, Henry Hull, E.G. Marshall, Charlton Heston, Lorne Greene, Ted de Corsia, Robert F. Simon, Woody Stode

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The Mighty Movie Screen Brings You La FITTE...Man or Devil?

Plot: During the war of 1812, Louisiana buccaneer Jean Lafitte assists the Americans in defending New Orleans against the attacking British war fleet.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

It's funny that in the first few minutes of watching this I couldn't help but think that I'd seen this before until I realized that I saw THE BUCCANEER (1938) a few years ago (also directed by DeMille).  I like this remake for different reasons but the '38 picture is better and more fun.  The word around the campfire is that DeMille (who directed the previous one) took ill while shooting this and let his son in law, Quinn (who had a small role in the previous one), take over.  It's a good film with some fine performances and it looks great in color and in widescreen.  Brynner is fun but it's hard getting past that toupee.  And what's with that big white hair on Heston's noggin'?

(That's Heston on the right - har har)

Two performances bugged me and that's the guy seen right after the nearly 3 minutes of opening credits.  He's the sentry Jackson (Heston) confronts for not doing his job.  He's annoying (and that accent...geesh).  The other is Ezra Peavey (Hull).  He's also annoying, so much so that I'm surprised Jackson didn't have him drowned.  Walter Brennan, who played him in the '38 film, was much more enjoyable.  There are some good action scenes and intrigue.  It's not a home run by any means but it is enjoyable.  It helps to be fond of some of the cast going into it.  I expect I'll watch the '38 picture a couple of times before coming back to this one. 

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