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10 pirate movies to get you into the Gasparilla groove

Johnny Depp saves the pirate movie genre in <i>Pirates of the Caribbean.</i>

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Johnny Depp saves the pirate movie genre in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Rob Ossian knows pirate movies. His Web site,, contains what he describes as "the complete list of every pirate movie ever made" -- more than 200 and still counting. So in honor of Gasparilla this weekend, who better to ask about the best pirate flicks of all time?

"I kind of get stuck on what makes a great pirate movie -- is it the story, the heroes, the villains or something else altogether?" Ossian said. "In the end I opt for the films that, after watching them, make me proud to have wasted over two-thirds of my life focusing on the lives of these people."

Here is Ossian's list of the Top 10 pirate movies ever made. We won't tell you the plot for each since every pirate movie has the same story -- map found, woman kidnapped, treasure plundered -- but Ossian offers up his comments on each pick.

10. A High Wind in Jamaica (1965): Anthony Quinn, James Coburn. "The movie has scenes of brutality, terror, death and injustice -- and an ending that is totally honest and frankly devastating."

9. Treasure Island (1950) Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton. "So iconic, it is thought by many to be the origin of today's stereotypical "Arrrrr"-laced pirate."

8. The Goonies (1985): Corey Feldman, Sean Astin. "Although heavy on the slapstick, Steven Spielberg made this a movie that any 10-year-old pirate would go nuts for."

7. Yellowbeard (1983): Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle. "Possibly the greatest pirate comedy ever made, the cast includes the entire Monty Python crew, Cheech & Chong, David Bowie and more."

6. Pirates of the Great Salt Lake (2006): Kirby Heyborne, Larry Bagby. "After winning a slew of awards from its debut, the film has built a vast and loyal cult following."

5. The Princess Bride (1987): Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin. "It's a pretty soft core fantasy/comedy type of movie, but the dialogue by Rob Reiner is outstanding."

4. The Black Swan (1942): Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara. "There was a time when Tyrone Power was regarded as the best swashbuckler in all of Hollywood, and this movie was filmed at the height of his game."

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003): Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush. "Defying the critics who claimed the age of the pirate film was over, this movie single-handedly inspired a whole new generation of pirates."

2. Nate and Hayes (1983): Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O'Keefe. "The thing that really makes this movie stand out from most is how it swapped out the stereotypical nobleman pirates with perfect hair and replaced them with the more realistic characters."

1. The Sea Hawk (1940): Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall. "Inarguably the best swashbuckling film Flynn ever made, this flick delivers tall ships, treasure, battles at sea, sword fights, escape from slave galleys and of course, romance."

10 pirate movies to get you into the Gasparilla groove 02/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 2:36pm]
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