the cursed ship

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Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)

You best start believing in ghost stories Miss Turner, you're in one

gallion in moonlight
A sinking boat heads for a British port past majestic cliffs. The sole occupant is the eccentric, flamboyant and constantly drunk Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp of Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands). He removes his hat as he passes lynched skeletons beside a sign, "Pirates, ye be warned." The boat sinks completely as he steps onto the dock and bribes the harbormaster to leave his name off the books.

So begins Disney's most entertaining non-kiddy movie in decades, and their first PG-13 (the R-rated comedy Splash, in which a mermaid changes into a nude woman who walks ashore, was released under their Touchstone name). It seems Sparrow's crew mutiny-ed and left him to die on an island. They now sail the Black Pearl ship without him, but under a curse. Ever since stealing coins made of stolen Aztec gold, they have been undead - they can't be killed, but they can't eat or enjoy life either. So they are in search of the remaining crew member, whose blood will lift the zombie curse.

On the island, the very proper British something-or-other is about to fix up his daughter with some Navy twit when she remembers a pirate coin she removed from a shipwrecked boy years ago. She and Sparrow escape from the British and end up on the Black Pearl (she doesn't yet know about the curse). The Captain thinks she might have the missing coin and invites her to dinner. She refuses. In that case, she's told, she'll be dining with the crew, "And you'll be naked." She reconsiders.


As the Captain is telling her about the curse, the Moon comes up and she sees that the crew outside turns into the living dead at night (I think this is a new zombie rule - normal human in Sun or lamplight, living dead skeletons in Moonlight). Because she has the pirate amulet, she's assumed to be a blood relative of the dead crewman.

So they take her back to their pirate lair and are about to spill her blood on the cursed coins when Jack Sparrow shows up, with the British Navy chasing right behind him. He makes a deal, and off they go to deal with the British - living dead skeletons walking on the bottom of the ocean (Ray Harryhausen would have loved to animate this movie). Watch close in the scene where the British are fighting the zombie pirates in hand-to-hand combat. The humans were filmed first, then the undead skeletons were put in and there weren't enough to go around so some of the British are fighting with air (see Trivia notes below).

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"Pirates" reviewed by a guy stuck in space with 2 robots
Johnny Depp on cable/TV previously (as of 2007) --

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005 remake of Willy Wonka)
Thu  Jun 21  12:00P on HBO
Fri  Aug 31  06:30P on Cinemax
Sat  Sep 22  09:00A on More Max

Making of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' (15 mins, 2005)
Mon  Aug 13  06:30A on Cinemax

Cry-Baby (1990 spoof of '50s teen musicals)
Wed  Aug  1  12:00A on Sundance Channel

Ed Wood (1994, starring Depp, with Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi)
Mon  Aug  6  9:05am/12:05pm EST on Independent Film Channel
Thu  Aug 30  3:45/6:45P EST on Independent Film Channel

Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands
Thu  Apr 26  01:20P on Encore Love Stories
Sun  May 27  04:00P EST on Fox Movie Channel
Sat  Jun  2  03:00A on Wam!
Sun  Jun 17  07:00P on Movie Plex
Thu  Aug  9  10:05A on Encore
Thu  Aug 23  12:15A on Starz Kids and Family
Wed  Sep 26  06:00P EST on Fox Movie Channel

Nick of Time (1995, Depp must assassinate Gov. of California or own daughter will be killed)
Thu  Jun 21  12pm & 2am on Bravo

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, as one of the kids)
Mon  Jun 18  02:00A on Cinemax
Tue  Sep 25  01:35A on HBO Zone

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991, Nightmare on Elm Street 6, cameo only)
Thu  Jul 19  02:00A on Cinemax

The Ninth Gate (1999, book buyer searches for a volume about the Devil)
Tue  Aug 21  05:00P on American Movie Classics

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, here there be monsters)
Thu  Sep 13  07:00P on USA Network
Fri  Sep 14  04:00P on USA Network

Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Jack Sparrow schemes to get out of paying a debt to Davy Jones. 155 mins, PG-13
Sun  Aug  5  01:05A on Starz
Sat  Aug 11  11:35A & 9:00P on Starz Edge
Fri  Sep  7  10:45A, 8:00P & 3:30A on Starz Comedy
Thu  Sep 27  11:15A, 8:00P & 3:10A on Starz Comedy

On the Set: Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End (2007)
Sun  May 27  01:00P on Starz in Black
Sat  Jun  2  06:20A on Starz

Platoon (1986, supporting role)
Wed  Sep 12  03:30A on American Movie Classics

Private Resort (1985, Depp & Rob Morrow as lustful buddies are on the prowl at a hotel)
Wed  May 23  04:00A on HD Movies

Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999, Washington Irving's classic about a Headless Horseman)
Thu  Sep 13  11:40P on TBS 

Stephen King's Secret Window (2004, as horror novelist being stalked by killer)
Fri  May  4  08:00P on MyNetwork TV (previously UPN)
Fri  May  4  8pm/11pm EST on WOR New York

True Hollywood Story: Johnny Depp is profiled (60 minutes, 2003)
Sat  Jul 28  08:00A on E!

Biography: Johnny Depp (120 min, 2006) 
Sun  Sep  9  07:00A on A&E Network

Inside the Actors Studio: Johnny Depp discusses his career with host James Lipton (60 mins, 2002)
Fri  Jun 22  04:00A on Bravo
Pirates of the Caribbean Action Figures, Toys, and Collectibles at Entertainment Earth. Mint Condition Guaranteed! CLICK HERE

Pirates of the Caribbean - all 3 in a row

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Trivia (courtesy the Internet Movie Database)

* The movie is inspired by the ride (of the same name) at the various Disney theme parks.

* Stick around after the credits for an additional scene

* References to the Disneyland attractions include (but are not limited to):
- three uses of the song "(Yo Ho, Yo Ho) A Pirate's Life for Me" by X. Atencio and George Bruns in the opening scene (sung by young Elizabeth), when Jack and Elizabeth are marooned on the island, and in the end by Jack.
- The jail scenes, in which the prisoners try to tempt the dog who holds the key to their cell. Jack says, "That dog is never going to move"
- although the movie dog eventually does, the one in the ride doesn't. Jack later tries to tempt it with a bone, as does one of the audio-animatronic pirates in the ride.
- The "burning town" sequence, and within it, the redheaded prostitute (who slaps Jack), and the "stuffed pirate" drinking the rum spurting out of a barrel
- Jack's initial discovery of Gibbs sleeping with the pigs
- The line "Dead men tell no tales", said by the macaw, which is repeated throughout the ride's narration
- A quick shot of a skeleton sprawled on the beach of the Isla de Muerta, with a crab nearby
- During the raid on the town, seen is a man being dunked into a well.
- A skeletal Barbossa drinks wine, which trickles through his exposed ribcage, as one of the skeletal pirates do
- During the battle scene between the two ships, Black Pearl and the Interceptor, Captain Barbosa refers to his crew as "bloomin cockroaches" just like the captain in the ride does when his ship attacks a local town fort.
- In Tortuga, we see a pirate drinking rum on top of two barrels and is wobbling just like in the ride.
- There are references to cursed treasure in the ride: old pirates speak of cursed treasure and how you probably don't believe in it, and the line "Who knows when that evil curse will strike the greedy beholders of this bewitched treasure"
- The woman wearing a red dress at Tortuga island that slaps Jack and he wonders if he deserved it is a character in the ride.
- Part of the Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is called "Port Royal"
* Jack Sparrow's line "...and then they made me their chief," is a tribute to British comedy series "The Fast Show" (1994), of which Johnny Depp is an ardent fan, so much so that he guest starred in one episode. The line was originally said by a character, played by Mark Williams, who usually appeared in a kitchen and is, in its entirety "...and then they made me their chief. Which was nice." The line has also been said by another character, in The Fast Show, Sir Roly Birkin (played by Paul Whitehouse), who blurts out random sentences during his drunken, mumbled ramblings. The Fast Show was shown in the US under the title "Brilliant" (Depp uses another Fast Show catchphrase (again from a Mark Williams character) in an unused version of the "parley" scene in the cave when he says, "I'll get me coat..." - this deleted scene can be seen on the DVD)

* The island Isla de Muerto is Spanish for "island of the dead".
Tortuga is also Spanish, meaning "turtle".

* The film's last spoken line - "Bring me that horizon" - was conceived by Johnny Depp on the morning the scene was filmed.

* The ship used for the HMS Interceptor, the Lady Washington, is the same vessel used to portray the HMS Enterprise in the holodeck scene of Star Trek: Generations

* When returning from a night shoot on one of the Caribbean islands, Keira Knightley's boat struck a reef and went down. The only people aboard were Knightley, her mother and the boat's skipper, all of whom escaped unharmed and were rescued within a few hours. However, the incident ultimately determined that the rest of the island night shoots needed would complete filming in a studio, rather than on location.

* The title was originally just "Pirates of the Caribbean" but the name was changed in the hope that it would do well at the box office and a sequel could be made.

* The movie's world premiere was located at Disneyland Park at the Disneyland Resort in California, home to the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, on June 28, 2003. This was the first ever movie premiere at Disneyland

* Johnny Depp's character, Captain Jack, is portrayed as having gold teeth in the film. These are real and Depp had his dentist implant those and others into his mouth for the production. Jerry Bruckheimer thought there were too many and asked him to remove all but a few

* Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski wanted to use the massive water tank in Baja, Mexico used for Titanic (1997) and Pearl Harbor (2001), but Peter Weir's film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) had the tank booked during the time Pirates was scheduled to shoot.

* The "walking under the row boat" scene is a direct homage to The Crimson Pirate (1952)

* The scene where Orlando Bloom impersonates Johnny Depp's performance was devised by Bloom who asked producer Jerry Bruckheimer if he could put it into the movie.

* The tattoo that Orlando Bloom got on his right wrist during The Lord of the Rings is covered throughout most of the film. It's visible during the swordfight in the blacksmith shop when Will raises his sword to parry after Jack's "You're not a eunuch, are you?" and again below decks on the Interceptor where Elizabeth reveals she took the medallion and Will realizes it was his blood the pirates need to lift the curse - you can see it just as he reaches to touch the medallion on her chest.

* Many of the crew got seasick while filming.
* The final cannon shot during the Black Pearl's siege of the town, billows into a Mickey Mouse head shape against the night sky

* The Jolly Roger that the Black Pearl flies is a skull and crossed swords, which had originally been flown by historical pirate John "Calico Jack" Rackham who is most famous for having the two most famous female pirates of the Caribbean in his crew, Mary Read and Anne Bonney.

* This is a common mistake. John Rackham's flag was actually a chipped skull with two swords, not the infamous Jolly Roger, which no known pirate ever actually sailed under.

* The name of one of Jack's crew members, Ana Maria, is a reference to the two most famous female pirates of the Caribbean, Anne Bonney and Mary Read.

* In an attempt to ward off the seasickness that struck the rest of the cast and crew, Keira Knightley took a travel sickness pill... and fell asleep instead.

* Clothing and smears of charcoal were used to conceal Johnny Depp's numerous tattoos. The "Jack Sparrow" tattoo on his arm in the movie is a fake, but he got a real replica after finishing the film, in honor of his son Jack.

* Having decided that pirates were the 18th century equivalent of rock stars, Depp's characterization of Sparrow was inspired by close observation of his friend Keith Richards, though he emphasized in interviews that it was not an impersonation.

* The "Fort" in Port Royal is actually not on St. Vincent's, but at a closed-down amusement park (Marineland) in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

* In the cave at Isla de Muerte, one of Barboassas pirates can be seen with what appears to be a smoking beard. According to the legends of Blackbeard (the famous pirate) he used to attach slow burning fuses to his beard before a raid.

* When Will wakes up after being knocked out he looks out into the port and you can see the same girl who played the young Elizabeth sweeping at a doorway (Lucinda Dryzek).

* When Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, the screenwriters, originally pitched the movie to the Disney executives in the early '90s, it was rejected.

* Alan Silvestri was first suggested to provide the score but has been replaced by Klaus Badelt. However, some movie posters still show the credit "Music by Alan Silvestri". These posters also show a different story credit, omitting the fourth story writer Jay Wolpert: "Screen Story by Beattie, Stuart and Elliott, Ted and Rossio, Terry".

* Governer Swann's first name is Weatherby, Commodore's is James, and Barbossa's is Hector.

* The substance sprayed on William Turner after the sword fight between him and Captain Jack Sparrow is actually powdered chocolate

* The East Indian Trading Company really did brand pirates with a "P" but it was put on their foreheads instead of their arms.

* Industrial Light and Magic designers scanned turkey jerky to create the effect of decomposing skin when the pirates turn into their skeletal forms.

* The various "eunuch" lines were improvisations by Johnny Depp.
* When filming in the cave, excessive makeup was added to the characters so they wouldn't looked washed out on film. When the crew realized how cool the makeup looked on Johnny Depp, they continued to use it on him for the rest of the movie. Heavy makeup was later again used on Depp as Tonto in the flop movie "Lone Ranger"

* On the DVD commentary with director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, it is revealed that Captain Barbossa's first name is Hector.

* Jimmy Buffett was offered a role as a pirate, but had to decline due to previous engagements. Means no

* The words "pirate" and "piracy" are said 56 times.
* Johnny Depp wore contact lenses which served as sunglasses so he wouldn't be squinting in the sun all the time.

* According to the screenwriters' commentary on the DVD, Will Turner is the best swordsman in the film, Barbossa and Commodore Norrington are evenly matched, and Jack Sparrow is actually the worst.

* A scene in the movie spoofs Michael Caine's MonsterVision movie The Hand (1981)

* The real Port Royal, Jamaica, is built on a low spit of sand south of Kingston Harbor, nowhere more than about ten feet above sea level. The movie set has it built atop hundred-foot basaltic cliffs.

* When Elizabeth discovers that the pirates are cursed, a pirate is seen sitting on the capstan playing a concertina. The concertina was not invented until 1829

* HMS Dauntless and HMS Interceptor are shown flying the British Blue Ensign. Prior to 1864, the color of a Royal Navy vessel's ensign was determined by its posting. The color of the Caribbean squadron's ensign was red, as should have been the Dauntless' and Interceptor's (blue was the color of the south Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans)

* In the beginning of the Commodore's promotion ceremony "Rule Britannia" is played in the yard. The song was not composed until 1740.

* The tattoo on Captain Jack Sparrow's wrist is a swallow, not a sparrow. The tail on the bird is the giveaway

* When Norrington arrives on the HMS Dauntless to fight the cursed pirates, some of the naval personal are fighting no one because not enough CGI skeletons were put in

* In the mid-17th century, "Commodore" was simply a new title for captains that were in charge of squadrons, not a promotion. Commodore became a promotion in mid-to-late 19th century America

* There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, save the title.

* There is a short scene with the monkey at the end of the credits where he steals a piece of Cortes' gold and becomes a skeleton. He then bites the screen.

* Keira Knightley was only 17 when they filmed the first Pirates movie. She was 19 when they filmed Dead Mans Chest and 21 by the time main shooting was done for Pirates 3 in 2006
* The Walt Disney logo at the end is golden.

* Official website: Disney.com/pirates (click the coin, if you dare) On their video page check out the 2 trailers and the 2 clips, the 2nd clip is best. The pirate-ship game on their website is a bit difficult since you have to allow for both gravity and where the other moving ship will be when the cannonball comes down
Disney official homepage: www.Disney.com o

* Sequels: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (summer of 2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (2007). The two sequels were filmed back-to-back in 2005, after which Disney Studios entered the only American ship in an around-the-world sailing ship race, complete with skull & crossbones flag: Pirates Carib in Race news

* There was an unrelated movie called "Ice Pirates" set in space that featured Robert Ulrich Ice Pirates

* Johnny Depp's 2005 movies were Tim Burton's Corpse Bride and a remake of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Early roles included separate characters in Nightmare On Elm Street and "Freddy's Dead: Nightmare On Elm Street 6"



* More information about this movie than you'll ever need to know

Sparrow: "No! Not good! Stop! Not good! What are you doing?! You burned all the food, the shade, the rum!"
Elizabeth: "Yes the rum is gone."
Sparrow: "Why is the rum gone?!"
Elizabeth: "One, because it is a vile drink that turns even the most respectable men into complete scoundrels! Two! That signal is over a thousand feet high. The entire royal navy is out looking for me! Do you really think that there is even the slightest chance that they won't see it?!"
Sparrow: "But why is the rum gone?!"

* The producer of this movie previously made "Pearl Harbor." In the 1930s, comic strip Terry & the Pirates had many storylines in which Japan (changed to "the invaders" by nervous newspaper editors) attacked China and then Pearl Harbor (and the comic strip invented the term "Dragon Lady"). This story-line was also adapted for the radio series Captain Midnight, also before the real attack on Pearl Harbor, believe it or not!

* Elizabeth may have been partly based on Anne Bonny, a headstrong, independent woman, with a legendary and fearsomely courageous temperament. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous lawyer and a maid named Brennan in Ireland, when the affair became public he left his wife and moved to Charleston, South Carolina. He presented Mary Brennan to polite society as his wife and Anne as his legitimate daughter. Anne grew to have a reputation among her peers as having a fierce and courageous temper, and a fiery disposition. At age 14, she thrashed a young man for trying to sexually assault her and injured him badly enough that he had to take to his bed for several weeks. When Anne was 16 she fell in love with a sea captain who had been courting her, unbeknownst to her father. Anne and James Bonny, a small-time pirate, were wed against her father's will, for which he disowned her. Not wanting to stay in Charleston, the two moved to what was then called New Providence, now Nassau. It was a den of iniquity and a pirate's paradise. At the time most of the community was made up of pirates and pirate's paramours. This suited Anne just fine. But marriage to disagreed with Anne Bonny before long. At first she simply tired of being a dutiful wife and waiting for him to return from the sea, but even after he gave up pirating and began a career as an informer to Governor Woodes Rogers, turning in his pirate friends for a reward, Anne was still discontented. Most of her friends on the islands were pirates or earned their livelihoods from piracy, so Anne probably viewed her husband as a turncoat. Anne began to cast her eye around for another means of escape, and the means presented itself to her in the person of Captain Jack Rackham, known as Calico Jack. It is said that Jack was a flamboyantly handsome and debonair man that the ladies made much over, and after he offered Anne a chance to get away from her husband, along with the added benefit of high adventure, it didn't take much more convincing for Anne to consent to run away with him. After disguising herself in men's clothing they snuck aboard his ship and headed to sea. She was so vicious and fought so well with both pistol and cutlass that no one questioned her, and the one man that did challenge her lost his life to her cutlass. This likely went a long way towards ensuring that the rest of the crew gave her a wide birth and fearful respect. Soon, however, her sex became known to all, as she became pregnant. Agreeing that a pirate ship was no place to give birth to a baby, Capt. Jack sailed to Cuba, where he left Anne in the care of friends until she had the child. Sadly, the infant did not live, and Anne was heartbroken, believing that her lifestyle had contributed to her misfortune. He took her back to New Providence to recover, taking the King's pardon and temporarily giving up piracy to privateer on commission. Anne learned of a plot to assassinate Governor Woodes Rogers. Having met the man during her marriage to Bonny, Anne decided to warn him and saved his life. He was extremely grateful for her interference. Unfortunately James Bonny, who still lived on the island, discovered that Anne and Jack Rackham were staying in his vicinity and he sent troops to arrest them both for piracy. When they were unceremoniously dragged before the governor in the middle of the night Bonny was almost hysterical in his rage, because they had been flaunting their affair under his nose, and he refused to be merciful. He wanted Jack and his wife to hang, and was afraid that Anne would kill him if she were set free. Governor Woodes Rogers, remembering the favor Anne had so recently done him, decided to spare their lives. He commanded that Anne be flogged and returned to her rightful husband, and that Jack Rackham be set free. He believed this to be a lenient solution, but Anne was enraged at being treated like a piece of property and refused to be dictated to. The next evening Anne and Jack escaped to their ship and returned to a life of piracy. They continued on for several years, and their notoriety grew and grew. Amazingly enough, Anne was not the only woman on board Jack's ship. There was one other, Mary Read, who also dressed in men's clothing and was said to have been as brave and as dangerous as any male pirate on the sea. One of their shipmates was said to have proclaimed that both were resolute and ready to board or undertake anything that was hazardous in the time of action, and another stated that both of the women cursed and swore with the best of males, and never cringed at murder. Anne and Mary became fast friends, and were the first in battle and the first to volunteer in any boarding parties. They became well respected by their crew for their ferociousness, and were feared as well for their unpredictability. Mary fell in love with a young sailor from a vessel captured by Captain Jack's crew. The sailor soon had trouble on his hands, however, in the shape of a large, burly pirate of longstanding. Mary feared for her lover's life when he was challenged to a duel by him, so she challenged the big pirate to a duel herself. Pirate law was clear on this matter, and the quartermaster promptly rowed the two combatants ashore. Mary and the other pirate, armed with both cutlass and pistol, discharged their pistols, both missing the other, then proceeded with an ambitious clash of blades. The larger pirate was the stronger of the two, but Mary was quick, and brilliantly cunning. She studiously avoided the other pirate's attacks, all the while waiting for him to make a mistake. It came when the pirate stumbled while lunging at her, and Mary immediately seized the opportunity. She ripped her shirt open, exposing her breasts to the man's incredulous gaze. While he stood gaping, Mary swung her own cutlass and nearly decapitated him, killing him instantly.

In 1720 their life of piracy and adventure came to an end. The Governor of Jamaica, sent troops to commandeer their ship and bring them to trial. Calico Jack and his crew were unprepared - the troops did not strike until the day after Jack had captured a commercial vessel, and he and all the men aboard ship were in a drunken stupor from their celebrations, leaving only Anne Bonny and Mary Read to fend off the attackers. The two women became so disgusted with the men for not fighting that they periodically turned their guns on their own crew before they were all captured. Both women, along with Jack and the rest of the men, were condemned to hang, but received a stay of execution because they were both pregnant. Mary did not live to hang - she died in prison, still pregnant. Anne survived, and when Jack received permission to speak to her before his hanging, she told him "I'm sorry, Jack, but if you had fought like a man you would not now be about to die like a dog. Do straighten yourself up!" Anne never was executed, and there is much speculation as to what her fate actually was. One much-loved legend states that pirates up and down the coast collected with their guns pointed towards the governor's estates, with the message Let Anne Bonny go or feel the thunder of pirate guns from Port Royal to Kingston and back again!

* The opening scene of lynched pirate bodies may have been inspired by the fate of pirate Captain Kidd. Kidd experienced a terrible death: the hangman's rope broke twice, the third time it held. Once dead, his body was dipped in tar and hung by chains along the Thames River. Kidd's body served as a warning to all would-be pirates for years to come.
Monty Python: The Crimson Permanent Assurance sets sail

from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

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Fun fact:
Sailers and others have sometimes reported seeing a ghostly rainbow at night. Seen by lunar light alone, they appear in shades of gray instead of color. This British website caught one in color at sunset, and has an explanation as to why they usually look gray. But no explanation as to why zombie skeletons can only be seen that way in moonlight.

It should be a dress or nothing

You're off the edge of the map, mate. Here, there be monsters

You're the worst pirate I've ever heard of
"But you have heard of me."


Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved.

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