Last of the Buccaneers (1950)

78-79 mins | Drama | October 1950

Director:

Lew Landers

Writer:

Robert E. Kent

Producer:

Sam Katzman

Cinematographer:

Vincent Farrar

Editor:

Henry Batista

Production Designer:

Paul Palmentola

Production Company:

Columbia Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

Jean Lafitte was a French pirate who headed a band of privateers and smugglers outside New Orleans, LA, and was also involved in the slave trade. During the War of 1812, when the British asked for his help in an attack on New Orleans, he revealed their plans to the American authorities. During the Battle of New Orleans in late 1814, Lafitte was put in charge of American artillery. After the end of the war, Lafitte returned to piracy and established his headquarters at Galveston, TX. His headquarters were raided and destroyed after he scuttled an American merchant ship in 1820. He continued his pirate raids on the Spanish high seas until he disappeared around 1825. Lafitte was also the main character in two Cecil B. De Mille films, both called The Buccaneer . The 1938 Paramount film starred Fredric March as the pirate (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0518) in the 1958 film, the role was performed by Yul ... More Less

Jean Lafitte was a French pirate who headed a band of privateers and smugglers outside New Orleans, LA, and was also involved in the slave trade. During the War of 1812, when the British asked for his help in an attack on New Orleans, he revealed their plans to the American authorities. During the Battle of New Orleans in late 1814, Lafitte was put in charge of American artillery. After the end of the war, Lafitte returned to piracy and established his headquarters at Galveston, TX. His headquarters were raided and destroyed after he scuttled an American merchant ship in 1820. He continued his pirate raids on the Spanish high seas until he disappeared around 1825. Lafitte was also the main character in two Cecil B. De Mille films, both called The Buccaneer . The 1938 Paramount film starred Fredric March as the pirate (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0518) in the 1958 film, the role was performed by Yul Brynner. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Oct 1950.
---
Daily Variety
13 Oct 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Oct 50
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Oct 50
p. 518.
New York Times
15 Dec 50
p. 43.
Variety
18 Oct 50
p. 6.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1950
Production Date:
14 March--29 March 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 October 1950
Copyright Number:
LP967
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
78-79
Length(in feet):
7,080
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During the War of 1812, pirate Jean Lafitte helps General "Stonewall" Jackson defeat the British and endears himself to Belle Summers, the beautiful niece of wealthy shipowner George Mareval. Later, when the governor of Louisiana refuses to return his ships to him, Lafitte captures a recently provisioned ship belonging to Mareval. He then offers his services to the consul of Venezuela, whose country is at war with Spain. Knowing that as long as he loots only Spanish ships, the American authorities will leave him alone, Lafitte promises to return for Belle and takes to the seas. As the months pass, Lafitte and his buccaneers establish a kingdom on the island of Galveston in the Gulf, and Lafitte builds a castle, which he names the Maison Rouge. The spoils from his raids are kept in tunnels which, if threatened, can be destroyed by a pulling a secret lever. When pirate Cragg Brown attacks an American ship against Lafitte's express orders, he is hanged. In New Orleans, the news that one of Lafitte's ships has plundered an American vessel angers the people. Belle is convinced that Lafitte is innocent and offers to prove it. Under safe conduct from the authorities, Lafitte takes Belle to Galveston, where she plans to prove that the bills of lading for the goods in his warehouse do not correspond with those from the missing American ship. Shortly before her wedding day, however, Belle finds a document that proves that Lafitte does have the loot from the American ship. Not knowing that Lafitte has hanged the responsible man, she gives the authorities in New Orleans information that will enable them ... +


During the War of 1812, pirate Jean Lafitte helps General "Stonewall" Jackson defeat the British and endears himself to Belle Summers, the beautiful niece of wealthy shipowner George Mareval. Later, when the governor of Louisiana refuses to return his ships to him, Lafitte captures a recently provisioned ship belonging to Mareval. He then offers his services to the consul of Venezuela, whose country is at war with Spain. Knowing that as long as he loots only Spanish ships, the American authorities will leave him alone, Lafitte promises to return for Belle and takes to the seas. As the months pass, Lafitte and his buccaneers establish a kingdom on the island of Galveston in the Gulf, and Lafitte builds a castle, which he names the Maison Rouge. The spoils from his raids are kept in tunnels which, if threatened, can be destroyed by a pulling a secret lever. When pirate Cragg Brown attacks an American ship against Lafitte's express orders, he is hanged. In New Orleans, the news that one of Lafitte's ships has plundered an American vessel angers the people. Belle is convinced that Lafitte is innocent and offers to prove it. Under safe conduct from the authorities, Lafitte takes Belle to Galveston, where she plans to prove that the bills of lading for the goods in his warehouse do not correspond with those from the missing American ship. Shortly before her wedding day, however, Belle finds a document that proves that Lafitte does have the loot from the American ship. Not knowing that Lafitte has hanged the responsible man, she gives the authorities in New Orleans information that will enable them to capture Galveston. Just before the soldiers arrive, Belle learns the truth about the capture of the ship, but it is too late to stop the invasion. When the soldiers are about to search the tunnel, Swallow, the daughter of one of Lafitte's loyal workers, pulls the secret lever, and the treasure is buried forever. Lafitte forgives Belle, and the two lovers escape in a fishing boat. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.