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Movies with a Nautical Theme

A few of the best compiled by Peter Spectre

Nautical MoviesThe original African Queen movie poster.
Image copyright CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

Here are a few of the best Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd, 1952 Charles Laughton as the Kidd; Bud and Lou spoof the swashbucklers. The African Queen, 1951 Bogart, Hepburn; river steamboat love adventure; based on C.S. Forester novel. Billy Budd, 1962 Peter Ustinov, Terence Stamp, Robert Ryan, David McCallum; brutality in the sailing navy; based on Herman Melville novella. The Bounty, 1984 Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Sir Laurence Olivier; revisionist take on the famous mutiny; based on nonfiction book by Richard Hough. Captain Blood, 1935 Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone; the definitive Hollywood swashbuckler; based on Rafael Sabatini novel. Captain Horatio Hornblower, 1951 Gregory Peck is Hornblower; early-19th-century Royal Navy; based on C.S. Forester novel. Captains Courageous, 1937 Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, Mickey Rooney, genuine Gloucester schooner; Grand Banks fishing adventure; based on Rudyard Kipling novel. The Crimson Pirate, 1952 Burt Lancaster; all-stops-pulled-out swashbuckler with twinkle-toed sense of humor. Das Boot (The Boat), 1981 the submarine movie to end all submarine movies; the most realistic sea epic ever filmed; based on Lothar-Gunther Buchheim novel. A High Wind in Jamaica, 1965 Anthony Quinn, James Coburn; pirate meets children; based on Richard Arthur Warren Hughes novel. Kidnapped, 1960 Peter Finch, James MacArthur, Peter O'Toole; Disney take on archetypal boy's sea adventure; based on Robert Louis Stevenson novel. The Lady From Shanghai, 1948 Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles; film noir thriller on a yacht (in real life Errol Flynn's *Zaca). Lifeboat, 1944 William Bendix, Tallulah Bankhead, Hume Cronyn; survival-at-sea epic; screenplay by John Steinbeck, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Moby Dick, 1956 Gregory Peck (Ahab), Orson Welles; whaling as morality tale; based on Herman Melville novel. Popeye, 1980 who else but Robin Williams as Popeye, Shelly Duvall as Olive Oyl? saltiest sets in the Western World. The Riddle of the Sands, 1979 small boat espionage along the Friesian coast; the mood and essence of the Erskine Childers novel. The Sea Hawk, 1940 Errol Flynn; Sir Francis Drake and his band of happy marauders in the years before the Spanish Armada. Treasure Island, 1990 Charlton Heston as Long John Silver, Oliver Reed as Billy Bones, need we say more?; based on Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Yellowbeard, 1983 Marty Feldman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Peter Boyle, Cheech & Chong, James Mason, Susannah York; the Monty-Pythoning of the swashbuckler. A pirate movie hall of fame The Black Pirate, 1926 Douglas Fairbanks swings through the rigging Captain Blood, 1935 Erroll Flynn makes his mark as a manly man for all women The Sea Hawk, 1940 Flynn again, taking swashbuckling to new heights The Princess and the Pirate, 1944 Bob Hope in the first swashbuckler parody Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd, 1952 Bud and Lou in the ultimate swashbuckler parody Treasure Island, 1934 Wallace Beery as Long John Silver in an authentic reading of the Stevenson novel Peter Pan, 1953 Disney's animation of the J.M. Barrie play creates a entertainingly memorable Captain Hook Treasure Island, 1990 Charlton Heston puts his stamp on Long John Silver Insider intelligence leads us to believe that Mr. Spectre created this list from the top secret files he uses to create his annual calendar: A Mariner’s Book of Days, which is available for sale at your favorite bookstore or our STORE.

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