Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ask Me a Question: The Crimson Pirate

 With February and March movie releases not exactly blowing any wind up my skirt, I started searching for screenings around LA.  Anyone not familiar, if you live in or around Los Angeles, California you are spoiled rotten when it comes to music or movie related events.  Anyway, I discovered UCLA was doing a Centennial Celebration on one of my favorite actors, Burt Lancaster!  Quickly perusing the schedule, I spotted the first of many programmed features I wished to view on the glorious big screen.

The Crimson Pirate (1952) with Trapeze (1956).  I had only seen The Crimson Pirate once but remembered it with fond memories.  It's a bit of a trip to think that a serious leading man of Hollywood like Lancaster had once been a real life trapeze artist.  You just don't find those kinds of multi-talented, lived in leading men these days.

Lancaster's daughter Joanna introduced the film to the crowd which included her sister and the family of Crimson Pirate screenwriter Roland Kibbee.  The idea for CP came from Lancaster's success in another swashbuckler, The Flame and the Arrow (People get you into things and things get you into trouble so stay away from people).  Lancaster and co-star Nick Cravat did their own stunts after their doubles quit the production, fearing some of the high wire gags involved.

The Crimson Pirate is just fun adventure.  From the first moment Lancaster speaks to camera and welcomes us to the movie with that gigawatt smile; we know we're in for a treat.  What follows is a swashbuckling good time full of laughs, action and impressive athleticism that takes place on pirate ships, in village streets, castle keeps, under water and even a hot air balloon in the sky.

See you there for Gunfight at the O.K. Corral but where is The Swimmer?!

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