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Pirate Crews: A Captain’s Props Or True Heroes

1971 words - 8 pages

The film industry, based in Los Angeles, began developing in the early years of the twenty century. America fell in love with this new phenomenon as it swept audiences to other worlds, for just the cost of a few pennies. These new worlds encompassed an array of many dreams and exotic places. Interestingly enough a beloved plot, even in those early years, that of piracy, stood to fill any screenplay and any theater. This fascination with the pirate’s life has never left Hollywood evident by the latest Disney film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides released in 2011. However, as with any outside depiction of a foreign world, Hollywood often tells another story than reality holds. One clear example of this is Hollywood’s use of pirate crews. By looking at the classics Captain Blood (1935), Nate and Hayes (1983) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Hollywood’s depiction of crews proves to solely mirror the character of the hero or villain, when in all actuality crews were their own dominant and powerful force on the high seas.
In every strong plot there exists a hero; someone to fall in love with, root for or relate with. Tinseltown has always understood and followed said rule, apparent by their many blockbusters. In 1935 the release of Captain Blood brought such a character to the stage. The notorious Errol Flynn, played Captain Blood, his first portrayal of a pirate hero. The plot of this early film revolves around Blood, a doctor wrongly accused and sent to the Americas as a slave. It is here he meets his crew, former revolutionaries, on the wrong side of the law. Together they become the finest pirate crew on the high seas, when their story comes to an end all is saved and Captain Blood is appointed as governor to his former captive town; the hero is victorious yet again. This plot turns on the ability of Captain Blood to appear beloved and humble, innocent and righteous. The platform on which to develop these traits is within the crew. The crew themselves are revolutionaries wronged and enslaved waiting for a strong leader. Blood embodies these qualities and becomes their leader. Life on the ship is ruled by a strict code of the fairest sort followed by and supported by the crew. When the crewmen meet another crew, led by the Frenchman Levasseur, the audience sees how Captain Blood compares by the lack of loyalty Levasseur’s crew shows versus Blood’s loyal and obedient crew. Blood’s crew served as Captain Blood’s mirror and a platform for continuing his story. This use of crew is not unique to Flynn’s film alone.
In the movie Nate & Hayes, Hayes explodes on the screen with dashing qualities and gallant gestures. He is the hero and his own narrator. His adventures began with the meeting of young Nate and Sophie as the couple moves to a savage Island. Sophie and Hayes form a distinct connection during their travels to the Island, finally there disaster strikes the village forcing...

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