Anne of the Indies (1951)

81-82 mins | Drama | November 1951

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HISTORY

Although Herbert Ravenel Sass's short story was loosely based on the adventures of real-life pirate Anne Bonny (1700--?), the film is not a biography of Bonny, nor of Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard (d. 1718). According to 1948 NYT news items, producer Walter Wanger originally purchased Sass's story as a vehicle for Susan Hayward, but shelved the project because of its large budget. Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, indicates that Guy Endore wrote a treatment of Anne of the Indies for Wanger, but that his work was not included in Wanger's sale of the property to Twentieth Century-Fox in May 1950. Screenplays by Jan Fortune, written for Wanger, were included in the sale, athough the extent of Fortune's contribution to the released picture has not been determined. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collections, also at UCLA, studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck instructed the writers to incorporate unused footage shot for the 1942 Twentieth Century-Fox pirate film The Black Swan , starring Tyrone Power (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ).
       In a 28 Dec 1950 conference, Zanuck indicated that Valentina Cortese was being considered for the role of "Anne." Although contemporary sources include Lynn Davies in the cast as a "Carib woman," she does not appear in the completed film. Studio publicity includes the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed: Michael O'Brien, Mercer Barnes, Harold Hatfield, Earl Audet, Roy Jensen and Guy Way.
       Other films featuring Anne Bonny as a ... More Less

Although Herbert Ravenel Sass's short story was loosely based on the adventures of real-life pirate Anne Bonny (1700--?), the film is not a biography of Bonny, nor of Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard (d. 1718). According to 1948 NYT news items, producer Walter Wanger originally purchased Sass's story as a vehicle for Susan Hayward, but shelved the project because of its large budget. Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, indicates that Guy Endore wrote a treatment of Anne of the Indies for Wanger, but that his work was not included in Wanger's sale of the property to Twentieth Century-Fox in May 1950. Screenplays by Jan Fortune, written for Wanger, were included in the sale, athough the extent of Fortune's contribution to the released picture has not been determined. According to the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collections, also at UCLA, studio production chief Darryl F. Zanuck instructed the writers to incorporate unused footage shot for the 1942 Twentieth Century-Fox pirate film The Black Swan , starring Tyrone Power (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ).
       In a 28 Dec 1950 conference, Zanuck indicated that Valentina Cortese was being considered for the role of "Anne." Although contemporary sources include Lynn Davies in the cast as a "Carib woman," she does not appear in the completed film. Studio publicity includes the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released picture has not been confirmed: Michael O'Brien, Mercer Barnes, Harold Hatfield, Earl Audet, Roy Jensen and Guy Way.
       Other films featuring Anne Bonny as a character include the 1945 RKO picture The Spanish Main , directed by Frank Borzage and starring Maureen O'Hara (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ), and the 1995 Carolco picture Cutthroat Island directed by Renny Harlin and starring Geena Davis. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 Oct 1951.
---
Daily Variety
15 Oct 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Oct 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 51
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Apr 51
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1951.
---
Motion Picture Daily
19 Oct 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Oct 51
p. 1065.
New York Times
27 Feb 1948.
---
New York Times
10 Aug 1948.
---
New York Times
25 Oct 51
p. 36.
Variety
17 Oct 51
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Contr to dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Dial dir
Jean Peters' fencing instructor
Jean Peters' whip instructor
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Anne of the Indies" by Herbert Ravenel Sass in The Saturday Evening Post (1 Nov 1947).
DETAILS
Release Date:
November 1951
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 24 October 1951
Los Angeles opening: 7 November 1951
Production Date:
26 February--early May 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 October 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1377
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
81-82
Length(in feet):
7,309
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15194
SYNOPSIS

In the seventeenth century, the pirate Captain Providence roams the waters of the Caribbean in the Sheba Queen and plunders British ships. Unknown to the British seafarers who fear her, Captain Providence is a hard-fighting and proud woman named Anne who hates the English because they hanged her brother. One day, Anne and her crew, including first mate Red Dougal, capture a British ship, and after forcing the crew to walk the plank, discover that the ship was carrying a French prisoner. The man, Pierre, explains that he was the master of the Irish privateer the Molly O'Brien , and that he was being sent to England for trial. Although Dougal distrusts Pierre, Anne decides to make him her sailing master. Later, the Sheba Queen puts into Nassau and Anne introduces Pierre to the infamous pirate Blackbeard, who reared her and her brother after they were orphaned. Blackbeard adores his fierce protegée, although like Dougal, he is unsure of Pierre. That evening, Pierre slips away and does not return to the ship until late. Fearing that Pierre is a spy, Anne orders him to be flogged. Jameson, the ship's alcoholic doctor, tells Anne to stop the punishment and reveals that when he searched Pierre's cabin, he discovered half of a treasure map. Anne excitedly declares that the map will lead to the loot of infamous pirate Henry Morgan, which Pierre confirms. Pierre relates the map's history and tells Anne that the other half is at Port Royal, Jamaica, the stronghold of the British forces. Anne hides the ship in a secret cove for repairs, and there, begins a ... +


In the seventeenth century, the pirate Captain Providence roams the waters of the Caribbean in the Sheba Queen and plunders British ships. Unknown to the British seafarers who fear her, Captain Providence is a hard-fighting and proud woman named Anne who hates the English because they hanged her brother. One day, Anne and her crew, including first mate Red Dougal, capture a British ship, and after forcing the crew to walk the plank, discover that the ship was carrying a French prisoner. The man, Pierre, explains that he was the master of the Irish privateer the Molly O'Brien , and that he was being sent to England for trial. Although Dougal distrusts Pierre, Anne decides to make him her sailing master. Later, the Sheba Queen puts into Nassau and Anne introduces Pierre to the infamous pirate Blackbeard, who reared her and her brother after they were orphaned. Blackbeard adores his fierce protegée, although like Dougal, he is unsure of Pierre. That evening, Pierre slips away and does not return to the ship until late. Fearing that Pierre is a spy, Anne orders him to be flogged. Jameson, the ship's alcoholic doctor, tells Anne to stop the punishment and reveals that when he searched Pierre's cabin, he discovered half of a treasure map. Anne excitedly declares that the map will lead to the loot of infamous pirate Henry Morgan, which Pierre confirms. Pierre relates the map's history and tells Anne that the other half is at Port Royal, Jamaica, the stronghold of the British forces. Anne hides the ship in a secret cove for repairs, and there, begins a romance with Pierre. They are interrupted by the arrival of Blackbeard, who accuses Pierre of being Pierre François La Rochelle, an officer in the French Navy. Pierre assures Anne that he was cashiered out of the Navy in disgrace and that he will serve her loyally. Anne believes Pierre and strikes Blackbeard across the face after he stabs Pierre. Warning Anne that he never forgets an insult, Blackbeard retreats, and Jameson tends to Pierre. Later, by the time the Sheba Queen reaches Jamaica, Pierre has recovered and Anne has fallen in love with him. Pierre insists on entering Port Royal alone to obtain the map, and once there, goes to The Governors' Tavern. There, Pierre relates to the British Naval officers for whom he is spying that Captain Providence is a woman, and that her ship is within reach. The officers, who have been holding Pierre's ship while he completed his forced mission to find Captain Providence, will not release the Molly O'Brien until Anne is captured, but in the meantime, Pierre is reunited with his wife Molly. Dougal, who has followed Pierre, rushes back to the Sheba Queen and informs Anne that her lover is a married spy who has led her into a trap. Anne escapes and vows revenge, while Pierre is informed by the British that his ship will not be returned because Anne was not captured. Wherry offers to return the Molly O'Brien to Pierre if he turns pirate for the British and shares his spoils, but Pierre refuses until he learns that Anne has kidnapped Molly. Pierre's ship is outfitted with a crew of gold-hungry swabs and they begin their pursuit of the Sheba Queen . Meanwhile, a drunken and heartsick Anne confronts Molly with the information that she will be sold at the slave market in Maracaibo. At the market, Anne is auctioning off Molly when Pierre's ship attacks the port. Anne then ties Molly to the mast of the Sheba Queen so that Pierre will be forced to hold his fire. Pierre's crew mutinies against his strange orders and a battle begins, during which Pierre jumps overboard and his ship is destroyed. Anne then decides to strand Pierre and Molly on Dead Man's Cay without food or water. She is plagued by nightmares after depositing her prisoners on the cay, and Jameson tells Anne that her conscience is punishing her for her cruel actions. Remorseful at last, Anne returns to the cay and sends Jameson to Pierre and Molly with supplies. Before Anne can leave, however, Blackbeard's ship arrives, and knowing that her former teacher will kill Pierre if he finds him, Anne orders her men to stand and fight in order to distract him. As Pierre, Molly and Jameson watch the battle, they are amazed by Anne's foolhardy decision, for the Sheba Queen could easily outrun Blackbeard's heavier Revenge . As the Sheba Queen sinks, they realize that Anne was doing the best she could to save them. Moved by Anne's sacrifice, Pierre comforts Molly by assuring her that at last Anne is at home in the sea. +

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.