Yankee Buccaneer (1952)

85-86 mins | Swashbuckler | October 1952

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HISTORY

Yankee Buccaneer was loosely based on the life of United States Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (1801--1870). Before his distinguished service leading Union naval soldiers during the Civil War, Farragut, as depicted in the film, served under David Porter on the Essex , fighting pirates in the West Indies. He went on to coin the phrase "Damn the torpedoes--full speed ahead!" in the Battle of Mobile Bay, and was the first U.S. naval leader to earn the rank of ... More Less

Yankee Buccaneer was loosely based on the life of United States Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (1801--1870). Before his distinguished service leading Union naval soldiers during the Civil War, Farragut, as depicted in the film, served under David Porter on the Essex , fighting pirates in the West Indies. He went on to coin the phrase "Damn the torpedoes--full speed ahead!" in the Battle of Mobile Bay, and was the first U.S. naval leader to earn the rank of Admiral. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Sep 1952.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Sep 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 52
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 52
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 52
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
16 Sep 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Sep 52
p. 1525.
Time
20 Oct 1952.
---
Variety
17 Sep 52
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1952
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 16 September 1952
Production Date:
16 February--late March 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
2 September 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1950
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
85-86
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15931
SYNOPSIS

In 1823, brash naval officer David Farragut boards the Essex and informs its commander, David Porter, that the Navy is commandeering the ship for a top-secret mission. Although the crew is overdue for shore leave, Porter, a cold, efficient leader, lies to them in order to coerce them to volunteer for the dangerous assignment. Farragut soon reunites with his old shipmate, Chief Petty Officer Link, who tries to convince the young man that Porter, who years earlier trained Farragut harshly in an attempt to teach him patience and discipline, is not as heartless as he appears. Once the ship is at sea, Porter and Farragut open their orders and are dismayed to discover their mission: to disguise themselves as pirates, with no ties to or protection from the United States, in order to track down pirates raiding the West Indies. One night soon after, Farragut is in charge of the ship when a storm hits. Link becomes trapped beneath a keg of rum from which he has tried to sneak a drink, and Farragut is forced to break the ship's rudder to rescue him. Porter discovers the damage, but even when he threatens to court-martial Farragut, the officer refuses to inform on Link. Within days, the supplies begin to run out and one of the crew contracts scurvy, and Porter steers the rudderless Essex to the West Indies for repairs and supplies. Farragut grows frustrated with the slow drift and, although Porter has forbid anyone to enter the shark-infested waters, tries to repair the rudder himself. When a shark attacks and Farragut's rope catches on a barnacle, he is barely rescued in time, and Porter ... +


In 1823, brash naval officer David Farragut boards the Essex and informs its commander, David Porter, that the Navy is commandeering the ship for a top-secret mission. Although the crew is overdue for shore leave, Porter, a cold, efficient leader, lies to them in order to coerce them to volunteer for the dangerous assignment. Farragut soon reunites with his old shipmate, Chief Petty Officer Link, who tries to convince the young man that Porter, who years earlier trained Farragut harshly in an attempt to teach him patience and discipline, is not as heartless as he appears. Once the ship is at sea, Porter and Farragut open their orders and are dismayed to discover their mission: to disguise themselves as pirates, with no ties to or protection from the United States, in order to track down pirates raiding the West Indies. One night soon after, Farragut is in charge of the ship when a storm hits. Link becomes trapped beneath a keg of rum from which he has tried to sneak a drink, and Farragut is forced to break the ship's rudder to rescue him. Porter discovers the damage, but even when he threatens to court-martial Farragut, the officer refuses to inform on Link. Within days, the supplies begin to run out and one of the crew contracts scurvy, and Porter steers the rudderless Essex to the West Indies for repairs and supplies. Farragut grows frustrated with the slow drift and, although Porter has forbid anyone to enter the shark-infested waters, tries to repair the rudder himself. When a shark attacks and Farragut's rope catches on a barnacle, he is barely rescued in time, and Porter once again chastises him. Six days later, the men finally reach land, and Porter orders Farragut and Link to gather supplies. By night, Link is drunk, and when Farragut searches the island's jungle for him, he is captured by natives. They bring him to Portuguese countess Margarita La Raguna, who is in hiding. She insists at gunpoint that he take her back to the ship, but once there, she hides the pistol, causing Porter to scoff at Farragut's claim that he was forced to bring her back. Margarita reveals that she and her countrymen now live in Rio de Janeiro, and wish to use their gold to establish a trade route between Brazil and England. The newly reinstated Portuguese king, however, has demanded that his subjects and their riches return to Portugal, and abducted her ship while it was en route to England. Her father was killed and the sailing instructions for the Brazilian fleet were stolen, and she needs passage to Brazil to warn the fleet. Porter, as captivated by Margarita's beauty as is Farragut, agrees to take her onboard, and as the days pass, the two men vie for her attention. One day, a Portuguese ship appears. Porter waits until the last possible moment to fly the pirate flag but is shocked when the Portuguese captain, Poulini, responds in a friendly manner. Margarita, however, is furious to learn they are pirates because the Caribbean pirates, led by Scarjack, are working together with the Portuguese and the corrupt island governor, Count Domingo Del Prado, to steal her people's gold. Porter decides to return Margarita to the islands for her protection, and when she begs Farragut to try to change the captain's mind, Farragut agrees and gives her his medallion as a good luck piece. He cannot convince Porter, however, and as they near the island, she overhears the two men discussing their camouflage strategy and, assuming they are in league with Del Prado, jumps off the ship and swims ashore. She is immediately captured, as is Farragut when he takes a crew to the island for more supplies. Brought before Del Prado, Margarita denounces Farragut as a pirate and throws down his medallion. Immediately recognizing it as American, Del Prado imprisons them all and tortures Farragut to reveal the ship's plans. Back on the ship, Link urges Porter to rescue Farragut, and although he risks being court-martialed for defying his orders, Porter finally agrees. The whole crew infiltrates the island and, disguised as Del Prado's soldiers, attack the dungeon. After freeing Farragut and Margarita, Porter overpowers Del Prado in a swordfight and brings him back to the ship. They make him walk the plank until he returns the Brazilian sailing instructions to Margarita. Porter then sets course for America and agrees with Link that Farragut, who is wrapped in an embrace with Margarita, has finally become a man. +

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.