The Black Pirate

Produced by Elton Corporation and released 1926 by United Artists, budget of $1.3 million, gross of $4 million, 2-strip Technicolor 35mm negative, 1.33:1 screen ratio, silent, 88 mins., Laserdisc released 1996, DVD released 1999.
Fairbank's film
Fairbank's film




"Douglas Fairbanks wrote the story under his usual pseudonym Elton Thomas (his middle names) and he used elements from Treasure Island, Peter Pan and other pirate stories. As in all Fairbanks' films, the pirate world of the film was thoroughly researched. Costuming is comparatively easy but he insisted on extensive background information about the habits of pirates, their caste system, the technicalities of rigging 17th century ships, the dress and customs of non-pirate seafarers. The Black Pirate is notable for its impressive production values, its point-of-view editing, and its unusually frequent use of intertitles to convey dialogue rather than plot exposition. The Film Daily commented that "some of the shots are like the paintings of old masters in the beauty and splendor of their composition"čan observation that Fairbanks no doubt felt justified his considerable expenditure of time, energy and money. Other reviews weren't so favorably impressed by the color. Variety was glad the film wasn't too long, "so that the eystrain doesn't become too trying," and Motion Picture Magazine said that color "leaves too little for the imagination." Since then, critics have grown to appreciate the film as some of Fairbanks' best work and one of his most purely enjoyable adventures." (quote from Films on the Hill)


revised 2/4/03 by Schoenherr | Filmnotes