This story is So. Much. Fun.
Filmed in a vibrant, vivid splash of Technicolor, it includes such a swashbuckling group of jovial pirates as I'm sure ye’ve never seen (Blackbeard, Avery, Ann Bonney, Morgan, Kidd – the whole lot of ‘em).
And there be magnificent boots and feathers a-plenty.
It’s the definition of slapstick (i.e. from Britannica: “Slapstick, a type of physical comedy characterized by broad humour, absurd situations, and vigorous, usually violent action. The slapstick comic, more than a mere funnyman or buffoon, must often be an acrobat, a stunt performer, and something of a magician -- a master of uninhibited action and perfect timing.”)
Donald O’Connor is one of my favorite classic actors and -- as our hero Davey Crandall -- he shines in every line of that description. (Honestly, the headliner pirates only play small parts as the entire thing is driven by the daring deeds of our intrepid hero, determined to save his lady -- single-handed if need be -- from the clutches of the powerful and truly dastardly villain.)
Ok, so here we come to my quandary. For weeks I’ve been planning to do a narrative style review for this (which would be whole heaps o’ splendid-ness), buuuuuuut as I rewatched it this week I realized so much hilarity is built into the twists and turns themselves that it would be double spoilage to say anything about it. So my lips are, hence, sealed on any and all plot points. (But again, please understand we’ve come to this turn of events not because there’s nothing to say but because I’m determined not to deprive you of a single delightful laugh. So please please duly appreciate my self-restraint. xD)
But we do have to say a teensy bit more to make this a proper review + of course look at the costumes a little.
The supporting cast does a good job, and it has the distinction of having a young James Arness among Bloodthirsty Dave’s crew -- so that’s fun.
Davey’s sweetheart -- Lady Sylvia, ward of the governor -- is played by Helena Carter. I’d forgotten they starred together four years before in Something in the Wind. (Not my favorite, though it has two bright spots, Donald O’Connor being one of them. I’ll have to review it sometime, but that’s for another day.) Anyway, I really like how they play off each other.
And Lady Sylvia wears some lovely and ornate haute couture gowns.
The back of the blue
Sorta fuller view of her quilted green ensemble aboard ship
As aforementioned, Davey is gallant and sweet. And you also get the sense (if such untoward events weren't underway and he wasn't distracted doing a lot of growing up very quickly -- what with running for his life and fighting an Arch-Enemy and all that) that he could be rogue-ishly and playfully mischievous with the best of them.
(Picture worth a thousand words aka my last ditch attempt to persuade you to watch this asap if you haven't already. Either way, if you have or if you haven't please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. xD)
The plot's a tad unlikely in places, but the story sparkles, and I think it's essential to just take it as intended. Content wise, it’s thoroughly family friendly -- with nary a bad word or scene in the entire thing and all the fighting quite bloodless.
In conclusion: charmingly sweet, deliciously ridiculous, and frightfully funny, Double Crossbones most certainly needs to go on your watch list. I’d love to hear if ye’ve seen it!
Till next time, my hearties!
Posted for Hamlette’s Pirates Week. (Thank'ee for hosting, Rachel! 😊)