Monday, February 22, 2021


Ahoy, avast, and all that stuff! It is We 💖 Pirates Week at Hamlette's Soliloquy! Let's get the week-long party (Feb 22-26) started with this tag.

1. What are your favorite pirate movies or books?

The Classics Illustrated comic of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island was the first big pirate story in my life. I recall it simultaneously with the Walt Disney serial The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure in 1960s syndication. 

Beyond Classics Illustrated I still think Treasure Island is THE pirate story. Other favourites are Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier, Sabitini's Captain Blood, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Captain Hook haunts dreams and nightmares.

2. Who are your favorite fictional pirates? 

Argh! That be Long John Silver as played by Robert Newton. Long before I saw his original performance in the 1950 Disney film of Treasure Island or his similar take on Blackbeard the Pirate in 1952, I watched his 1956-1957 television series The Adventures of Long John Silver produced in Australia and in syndication during my childhood. Half-hour adventures with the more rascally than a bloodthirsty pirate, spending a lot of his time escaping matrimony with tavern keeper Purity Pinker played by Connie Gilchrist.

Errol Flynn as the principled physician Peter Blood turned reluctant, but excellent pirate chieftain is a particular favourite. Captain Blood from 1935 is a star-making role! When Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone fight a duel over Olivia de Havilland, they created one of the best sword fights in the movies. 

The Black Swan with Tyrone Power is filled with pirates played by such notable actors as George Sanders, Laird Cregar, Thomas Mitchell. Maureen O'Hara is the leading lady and everyone is gorgeous in Technicolor. Henry King was a director who always entertained and this 1942 movie is marvelous fun.

Who doesn't love a singing pirate? Here's Brent Carver as the Pirate King in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance at Stratford in 1985.

3. What do you like best about pirate stories? 

They are so far removed from my reality that the escape into the story, be it fantasy or a study in history is utterly complete.

4. If you were going to play a pirate on stage or screen, what would your costume look like? 

Edward Stevenson's costumes for Jean Peters in Anne of the Indies, 1951 would suit me just fine. I do insist on Louis Jourdan as an accessory. 

5. What pirate ship would you like to serve on?

With a sprinkling of pixie dust, the Jolly Roger would be perfect.

6. Any favorite sea shanties or pirate songs?

What Will We Do with the Drunken Sailor? and the opening theme to Muppet Treasure Island, Shiver My Timbers.

7. Have you ever participated in International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

My boss at the time had no sense of humor!

8. Would you like to go sailing on a real tall ship? 

Visiting in harbor is as much excitement as I can handle. 

9. Have you ever learned anything about real pirates or do you tend to stick to the fictional kind?

The history of real pirates and privateers fascinates me, but the fictional pirates are much more fun. 

10. Why is the rum gone? 

I needed it for my Hot Toddy and that's all I'll say about that!

Sessue Hayakawa as the Pirate Chief Kuala
Swiss Family Robinson, 1960


  1. I love it! All of it. So much fun here :-) I've got two Sabatini books on my TBR shelves, Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they compare to Flynn's film versions :-)

    Using the rum for a hot toddy makes sense to me!

    1. Oh! And I never knew there was a Long John Silver TV series! Wow, that had to have been so funny :-D

    2. You couldn't have said anything nicer, and I want to thank you for providing me with so much fun this morning.

      I recently found The Long Silver TV show on YouTube! Honestly, Robert Newton was shameless!

  2. EDWARD STEVENSON designed the gowns for the movie DANCE, GIRL, DANCE which starred LUCILLE BALL and MAUREEN O'HARA. Later he did the wardrobe for LUCY's shows. He did some of the fashions on I LOVE LUCY and HERE'S LUCY. (Here's Lucy came on in 1968, the same year of Stevenson's passing.) According to imdb he did the fashion on all the episodes of THE LUCY SHOW. I remember that you mentioned that one of your sisters is a big fan of that show. LUCY CARMICHAEL and MR. MOONEY-what a pair!

    1. Lucy and Gale Gordon were a great team, as was Lucy and designer Edward Stevenson. They first met working back at RKO in the 1930s.

  3. I'm with you on choosing Captain Hook's pirate ship for a voyage. Although Errol is among my favorite pirates, too, I'd also have to include Maureen O'Hara from AGAINST ALL FLAGS.

    1. Maureen O'Hara with a sword in her hand and righteousness in her heart is tough to beat.

  4. Shiver me timbers! Great theme . Love Cornel Wilde in Sons of the Musketeers, with Maureen O’Hara.

    1. Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara, two of Hollywood's finest swashbucklers and attractive stars.

  5. PATRICK CASSIDY starred in a touring production of GILBERT and SULLIVAN's THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE in 1981 and took over the role on BROADWAY in 1982. Patrick's younger brother RYAN is 55 today! He acted briefly in the mid 80s and later worked in the art department and prop department of different productions. SHAUN CASSIDY is their older brother. DAVID CASSIDY was their older half-brother. JACK CASSIDY was their father and SHIRLEY JONES is the mother of Shaun, Patrick and Ryan. EVELYN WARD was David's mother.

  6. Have you seen any of the CASSIDY family in person? They are/were a talented family! Speaking of THE HARDY BOYS-SHAUN CASSIDY and PARKER STEVENSON played JOE and FRANK HARDY on a TV series in the 70s. PLUS I want to mention that SHIRLEY JONES later married actor/agent MARTY INGELS.

    1. Yes. Petula Clark, David Cassidy, and Shaun Cassidy appeared here in Toronto in the musical play Blood Brothers. This was back in the 1990s.

      Shirley Jones has been an idol of mine since childhood. One of the treasures in my album collection is Shirley and Jack Cassidy duets.

  7. I loved Captain Blood so The Black Swan looks right up my alley. Bravo to your choice of a flying Jolly Roger! The Pirate Chief Kuala's look from Swiss Family Robinson is so neat! I was trying to find a way to work him into my answers but couldn't manage it so I'm glad that you put a picture of him here.

    1. Thank you. The Black Swan is gloriously entertaining. Have fun.

      I know what you mean about Kuala. I realized I hadn't found a spot for him and then decided he was the perfect end note.

  8. I've seen some of those Long John Silver TV episodes on Youtube! Robert Newton was about the most shameless scene-stealer since Wallace Beery's own piratical onscreen thieving in his own version of Treasure Island!

    As for pirates, there's gorgeous Burt Lancaster as The Crimson Pirate, doing his own stunts on the ship's rigging with his ex-acrobat partner Nick Cravat. I admit I also got a kick out of Johnny Depp's camp performance in Pirates of the Caribbean - the movie was silly but Depp seemed to be in his own separate universe. And Doug Fairbanks Sr as the Black Pirate; I really don't think there has been anyone as sexy as Doug!

    1. True. Doug in The Black Pirate is unforgettable and probably the movie pirate all others measure themselves by. (Probably not Depp)

      My favourite version of Treasure Island is the 1990 movie with Heston as Long John Silver. I have tried a couple of times to watch the MGM one, but the urge to grab Beery and Cooper and smash their heads together overwhelms any pleasure I may get out of the viewing.


WE "HEART" PIRATES WEEK: Blackbeard's Ghost, 1968

Ahoy! It's We 💖 Pirates Week at Hamlette's Soliloquy ! Enjoy the blog party running from February 22nd to 26th. Weigh anchor HERE ...