The Black Pirate
Tagline – The Love Story of a Bold Buccaneer
Starring – Douglas Fairbanks (The Duke of Arnoldo/The Black Pirate), Billie Dove (Princess Isobel), Anders Randolf (Pirate Captain), Donald Crisp (MacTavish).
Released – March, 1926
Directed By – Albert Parker
Produced – Elton Corporation
Distributed By – United Artists
Description – Washing ashore on a tiny island are a father and son, the only two survivors of a Spanish ship looted, burned, and sunk by a band of pirates. The son’s father soon dies, but before doing so he gives his son a signet ring.
The Pirate Captain and his Lieutenant also come to the island to bury their stolen loot taken from the Spanish ship. They plan to kill the other pirates and keep everything for themselves. The son, who has vowed vengence for his fathers death, approches the pirates and pretends he wants to join them.
He claims he will fight the most dangerous of the pirates to prove his worth. The Pirate Captain takes him up on the challange and is killed in the fight. The Pirate Lieutenant, now in charge, is not satisfied with just swordplay, and the son says he will single-handedly capture the next ship to pass.
A merchant ship passes and the son does capture the ship earning himself the name, “The Black Pirate.” As the pirates begin to loot the ship and its passengers, planning to sink and burn the merchant ship, The Black Pirate notices some of the other pirates drawing lots for a beautiful woman that has been captured.
To stop this, The Black Pirate convinces the Pirate Lieutenant that they should hold both the merchant ship and the woman, who The Black Pirate recognizes as royalty from the jewelry she wears, for a kings ransom.
The woman is a princess and The Black Pirate has fallen in love with her at first sight. An escape attempt follows and The Black Pirate is caught and forced to walk the plank.
It now appears as though the Princess’ only hope for rescue has drowned.
NOTABLE: In 1993, The Black Pirate was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The Black Pirate was the third motion picture to be filmed using the early two-toned Technicolor process developed in 1922.
During filming, actress Billie Dove used a kissing-stand-in. The woman actually kissing Fairbanks is Mary Pickford.
An extra in the film, Nino Cochise, was a grandson of Apache Chief Cochise, and had also worked as an extra in Fairbank’s Robin Hood.