The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
You haven’t seen this lively version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, which walked the Broadway planks before seizing upon Shepperton studios. It sunk on release, but mainly because a licensing fracas led to a mutiny from cinemas.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Treasure Island too trad? The Little Mermaid’s creators skipped Treasure Island on Ice and went directly to Treasure Island in Space for 2002’s Treasure Planet. It bombed at the box office (something of a trend for pirate movies) but picked up a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars. Then lost to Spirited Away.
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Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
Disney’s story of a shipwrecked family is usually remembered for its inventive use of homemade gadgetry, but let’s not forget those gadgets were used to defend the desert island from evil pirates. Don’t expect laser-sighted coconut bomb launchers, but there’s a low-rent charm to this classic.
It took 12 years to makes Pirates. Not because it was technically difficult to make, but because the director spent much of that time country-hopping to avoid imprisonment in the US. Surely there’s no better qualification to make a pirate movie than that?
The Ice Pirates (1984)
It’s the future. Space pirates travel through time, hunting for the hidden treasure of the universe: water. Oh, and it’s a comedy. What’s not to green light? Overlook the duff mid-80s production and underbaked humour and The Ice Pirates is a worthy 90 minutes of hangover fuel.