Cutthroat Island

Who would have thought, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a mere variation on this epic tale of piracy.

A pirate hides his cache of Spanish gold (it’s always Spanish, never Portuguese) and splits the map by 3 of his sons. So far, so King Lear.

The fourth son gets nothing, so he chases after the others for the map to the treasure island. The daughter of one of them is the protagonist, helped by her skeleton crew (not like the other franchise) and a down-on-his-luck guy sold into slavery.

The opening mentions this is set in the 1600s, but technologically it seems more like the 19th century. Not that I really care when a stagecoach passes under some arches and Geena Davis runs through the 1st floor and cartwheels into the seat. There are also large scale ship battles who follow the standard tactics:

  • volley broadsides from afar
  • move closer
  • fire rifles, throw hooks and board the other ship for mêlée combat
  • blow the adversary powder storage
  • return to you ship, cut the ropes and scurry away

Never fails to impress.

Frank Lagella is the villain, who overacts so much he even snucks in an instance of unironic Milking of the Giant Cow near the end. Preposterous!

The film itself was eclipsed by the fact the producers lost 100 million dollars on this, but if that is the price of this fine artefact, so be it. It was totally worth it.


This is my place for ramblings about sequences of images that exploit the human visual limitation know as persistence of vision.

Ephemera of Vision