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Pirates


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Product Details

  • Actors: Walter Matthau, Damien Thomas, Richard Pearson
  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AATRFE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,585 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert Graves on April 14, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This movie has been with me for about 10 years. It grew on me quickly and it has become one of those movies I watch again and again, usually about once a month. First of all, Jean Claude Van Damme is not in this movie, contrary to what you may read in the reviews (I just love that careful attention to detail from most reviewers). However, the people that *are* in the film do a fine job, particularly Walter Matthau who in my opinion is a very, very believable pirate. What is so interesting to me about this movie is that it is one of the few films where you legitimately feel as though you are just peeking in at a tiny episode in the lives of the characters. The film, in fact, ends exactly where it begins, and you are left with a sense that you've seen only one miniscule adventure in the lives of these pirates, who have had and are yet to have countless more. I would have to say that if you are even remotely interested in this era of our history, watch this movie. It is not the epic that "Cutthroat Island" tried to be (and failed at), but rather it is the somewhat comical and adventurous story of Captain Red trying to get his gold, at any cost whatsoever. I hope they eventually put this out on DVD, but I won't hold my breath.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr Vess on October 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
"Arr, mateys, shiver me timbers!" is what you feel like shouting while watching this involving modern pirate movie that should become a classic. Roman Polanski had wanted to make a pirate movie such as this one for a long time, starting in the Lodz Film Academy in Poland, and finally did it - unfortunately, the problems he had affected the movie and made it a theatrical flop. Quite unfairly, as it has everything a pirate fan might want - a lovely score, breathtaking scenery, props and settings, a script that is adventurous and funny, good acting - and plenty of fun and adventure! And, most importantly, the amazing Walter Matthau as the best stereotypical pirate cap'n you'll ever see! Matthau performance is breathtaking - I can see his Cap'n Red standing arm-in-arm with Blackbeard, Black Bart and Captain Kidd, shouting orders at the "mateys"... Highly recommended for any fan of swashbuckling adventures - and for everyone else!

By the way, this film is easily available here on DVD. The DVD has "Pirates" in an uncut 2.35:1 widescreen version, with DTS/DD5.1 sound, and costs the equivalent of 5 USD. I've heard the film still has not been released in the USA - I wonder if it's true, and if so, why...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 8, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, this is a poor quality DVD with quite a few glitches.
That aside, the movie is....well...different.
I especially liked Captain Red's dialog. It was colorful.
The movie was not nearly as "bawdy" as I had been led to believe, but it does have one catch.
Any other pirate movie you see, the pirate actually is a good guy, just misunderstood, somehow. The pirate always gets the girl, and the girl is always some duchess or something that is far above the pirates station in life.
Not this movie.
Pirates really went to sea for gold. If they came across anything else, they would take it, too. In this movie, that is what happens. The pirates live happily everafter because they got the gold. The girl got away, the pirates were a bunch of low lifes, very different from the way these movies have always played out in the past.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "youngvelvet" on May 26, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Pirates is one of Roman Polanski's most underrated films along with The Fearless Vampire Killers and the Tenant. While the latter two films are masterpieces, Pirates is a very good pirate film that's never received it's due.
Polanski redefines the pirate film while still paying tribute to the swashbuckling genre. This film is the perfect companion piece to The Fearless Vampire Killers. Walter Matthau gives an excellent performance as the fearless Captain Red and the rest of the cast's performances hit all the right notes. Polanski's direction is masterful as always. The photography and musical score are also very good. From a purely technical standpoint this film is excellent. The script is really the only thing that keeps this film from attaining greatness.
MGM who now hold the DVD rights (they now own the rights to the entire Cannon film library) must release this film as soon as possible in it's uncut, 124 minute widescreen glory (I suggest emailing MGM).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Mehle on August 2, 2008
Format: DVD
I have seen this film when it was released in VHS format. It was indeed bawdy but in a non offensive humorous way. When we got the DVD we were troubled by how it had been needlessly sensored. Scenes that were suggestive but less graphic than most TV dramas had been cut and the film lost a lot of its flow and in fact logic. I was terribly disapointed and continually search for an un-cut version. In its original form, it is a very funny twist to a pirate's tale and a tribute to the late Walter Matthau.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Krafft on August 28, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
This movie may still hold the record for being the biggest money loser of all time, but it happens to be one of the funniest movies people have never seen. While slow at times, the outlandish sets, costumes and action more than make up for it. And if you love the crusty, crotchetty Matthau at his best, this is a must-see. I can not recall a movie with less dialog that has more humor in it. Who can ever forget lines like, 'What have you got in your little basket?' spoken when they are nearing execusion? Or 'It's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needel than for an officer to enter the kingdom of heaven!' shouted as he insights a riot on ship? The final scene is the very definition of irony. My only hesitation is seeing this come to video is that "Pirates" may loose it's status as the biggest loser in Hollywood...
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