Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat in The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Burt Lancaster and Nick Cravat in The Crimson Pirate (1952)
The Crimson Pirate (1952)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

The Crimson Pirate

Robert Siodmak | United States | 1952 | PG

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Wed 3 May 2023

Looking back to Douglas Fairbanks and forward to Jack Sparrow, Lancaster (in his third film with Siodmak, giving one of his defining performances) puts his acrobatic training to spectacular use in this much-loved comedic Technicolor swashbuckler shot around Naples but set in the Caribbean. The director’s great versatility is on show here in what became both a huge hit and his last Hollywood film; simultaneously the apotheosis of the pirate movie and a brilliant self-parody, it’s kicked off by a fourth-wall-busting address from its titular hero.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.

Format: 35mm
Language: English
Source: NFSA
Runtime: 105 mins

Event duration

105 mins




Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 3 May

About the program

Burt Lancaster (1913–94) didn’t appear in his first film until he was in her early thirties. Prior to his breakthrough role alongside Ava Gardner in The Killers (1946), he had a highly successful career as a circus acrobat and as an entertainer in the Special Forces during World War II...

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Burt Lancaster in The Crimson Pirate among the rigging

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Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

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