AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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The Buccaneer
Director: Anthony Quinn (Dir)
Release Date:   Jan 1959
Premiere Information:   World premiere in New Orleans, LA: 9 Dec 1958; Los Angeles opening: 17 Dec 1958; New York opening: 23 Dec 1958
Production Date:   30 Sep 1957--24 Jan 1958
Duration (in mins):   118 or 120-121
Duration (in feet):   10,664
Duration (in reels):   13
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Cast:   Yul Brynner (Jean Lafitte)  
    Claire Bloom (Bonnie Brown)  
    Charles Boyer (Dominque You)  
    Inger Stevens (Annette Claiborne)  
    Henry Hull (Ezra Peavey)  
    E. G. Marshall (Governor [William] Claiborne)  
    Lorne Greene (Mercier)  
    Ted de Corsia (Capt. Rumbo)  
    Douglass Dumbrille (Collector of the port)  
    Robert F. Simon (Capt. Brown)  
    Sir Lancelot (Scipio)  
    Fran Jeffries (Cariba, Mawbee girl)  
    John Dierkes (Deacon)  
    Ken Miller (Young sentry)  
    George Mathews (Pyke)  
    Leslie E. Bradley (Capt. McWilliams)  
    Bruce Gordon (Gramby)  
    Barry Kelley (Commodore Patterson)  
    Robert Warwick (Capt. Lockyer)  
    Steven Marlo (Beluche/Stevedore)  
    James Todd (Mr. Whipple)  
    Jerry Hartleben (Miggs)  
    Onslow Stevens (Customs inspector)  
    Theodora Davitt (Marie Claiborne)  
    Wally Richard (Lt. Shreve)  
    Iris Adrian (Frowsy wench)  
    James Seay (Creole militia officer)  
    Reginald Sheffield (Tripes)  
    Stephen Chase (Col. Butler)  
    Julia Faye (Woman)  
    Woodrow Strode (Toro)  
    Paul Newlan (Capt. Flint)  
    Norma Varden (Madame Hilaire)  
    John Hubbard (Dragoon captain Wilkes)  
    Brad Johnson (Rocket officer)  
    Harry Shannon (Tom Carruthers, captain of the Corinthian)  
    Henry Brandon (British major)  
    Billie Lee Hart (Girl at spinet)  
    Eric Alden (Pirate)  
    Majel Barrett (Townswoman)  
    Robert Carson (Militia major)  
    Peter Coe (Pirate)  
    Ashley Cowan (Mouse)  
    Roger Creed (Pirate)  
    Pamela Danova (Mrs. Mercier)  
    Rex Dante (Capt. Caldwell)  
    Julio de Diego (Miguel)  
    Stewart East (City guard)  
    Mickey Finn (Eric, pirate)  
    Kathleen Freeman (Tina)  
    Mimi Gibson (Marjorie)  
    Leonard Graves (Chighizola)  
    Raymond Greenleaf (Junior state senator)  
    Edgar Hinton (2d mate at Barataria)  
    Jud Holdren (Maj. Reed)  
    Robin Hughes (Lt. Rogers)  
    Chester Jones (Cato)  
    Fred Kohler (First sergeant)  
    Walter Kray (Townsman)  
    Jack Kruschen (Hans)  
    Syl Lamont (Lobo)  
    Frederich Ledebur (Capt. Bart)  
    Donald MacLean (Pirate)  
    Phil Marco (Villere)  
    Agnes Marc (Townswoman)  
    Mike Mazurki (Tarsus)  
    Charles Meredith (Senior senator)  
    Alberto Morin (Maj. Latour)  
    Alix Nagy (Baratarian woman)  
    Jack Pennick (Yank, pirate)  
    Thayer Roberts (New Orleans gentleman)  
    Manuel Rojas (Antonio Corona)  
    Elektra Rozanska (Madame Duplessis/[Townswoman])  
    Paul Salata (Pirate)  
    Carl Saxe (Pirate)  
    Kurt Stevens (New Orleans gentleman)  
    Madam Sul-Te-Wan (Charm vendor)  
    Kenneth Terrell (Pirate)  
    Harlan Warde (Naval aide to Patterson)  
    Paul Wexler (Horse-face)  
  and co-starring Charlton Heston ([Gen.] Andrew Jackson)  
    Ty Hungerford (Soldier)  
    Douglas Evans (Soldier)  
    Skipper McNally (Soldier)  
    Ben Mantz (Soldier)  
    Charles Quirk (Soldier)  
    Ethan Laidlaw (Soldier)  
    Bill Meader (Soldier/Townsman)  
    Frank Leyva (Soldier/Pirate/Spanish vendor)  
    Al Paige (Worried soldier)  
    Chief Yowlachie (Choctaw Indian)  
    Roque Ybarra (Indian)  
    Jerry Lucas (1st mate at Barataria)  
    Val Benedict (1st mate)  
    Mary Benoit (Townswoman)  
    Dorothy Elsa Boyar (Townswoman)  
    Vicki Bakken (Townswoman)  
    Sondra Mateski (Townswoman)  
    Bess Flowers (Townswoman)  
    Beth Hartman (Townswoman)  
    Beulah Christian (Townswoman)  
    Maude Fealy (Townswoman/Baratarian woman)  
    Florine Carlan (Townswoman)  
    Amanda Webb (Townswoman)  
    Lydia Wolf (Townswoman/Southern belle at victory ball/Baratarian woman pirate)  
    Emilie Stevens (Townswoman/Purchaser at market)  
    June Rose Ross (Townswoman/Southern belle)  
    Karine Nordman (Southern belle/Customer)  
    Lucy Knox (Southern belle)  
    Jacqueline Beer (Southern belle/Baratarian woman)  
    Harriette Tarler (Southern belle)  
    Carolyn Fonseca (Southern belle)  
    Barbara Hush (Southern belle)  
    Diana Destine (Southern belle at victory ball)  
    June Jocelyn (Southern belle at victory ball)  
    Jan Bradley (Southern belle at victory ball)  
    Phyllis Johannes (Southern belle at victory ball)  
    Ruth Batchelor (Townswoman at victory ball)  
    Gay McEldowney (Woman at victory ball/Baratarian woman)  
    Don Megowan (Pirate with axe)  
    Michael Ross (Bearded pirate)  
    Ric Roman (Tim, pirate)  
    Emmett Lynn (Frontiersman)  
    Gilbert Lasky (Frontiersman)  
    Pat Comisky (Stormy)  
    Val Benedict (1st mate of the Corinthian)  
    William Forrest (Col. Dale)  
    Lane Chandler (Backwoodsman)  
    Charles Victor (Dispatch officer)  
    Manuel Paris (Gentleman)  
    Howard Gardiner (Gentleman at victory ball)  
    Allan Nixon (Sergeant)  
    Robert Bice (Militia man)  
    Sidney Melton (Kentuckian)  
    Nick Pawl (Kentuckian)  
    Chuck Hamilton (Kentuckian)  
    Carter Mullaly Jr. (Townsman)  
    Allan Douglas (Townsman/Buyer)  
    Larry Kent (Townsman)  
    Richard Kipling (Townsman)  
    Len Hendry (Townsman)  
    Tom Cowan (Townsman)  
    John Giovanni (Townsman at victory ball)  
    Michael Pierce (Townsman at victory ball)  
    Jack Chefe (Monsieur Lesaint)  
    Elizabeth Slifer (Madame Lesaint)  
    Jean De Briac (Monsieur Hilaire)  
    Bill Bagdad (Pirate with lost hand)  
    Dick Barron (Regular army officer)  
    William Hunter (Pirate with gun)  
    Peter Bourne (Dragoon lieutenant)  
    Josephine Whittell (Dowager)  
    William Remick (Man with statue)  
    Bill Erwin (Civilian)  
    Lee Martin (Civilian)  
    Mason Curry (Civilian)  
    Courtland Shepard (Pirate)  
    William Hunter (Pirate)  
    Fred Carson (Pirate)  
    George W. Watkins (Pirate)  
    Preston Peterson (Pirate)  
    Tony Roux (Pirate)  
    Tom Hennesy (Pirate)  
    Mike Tellegen (Pirate)  
    George Huggins (Pirate)  
    Myron Cook (Baratarian pirate)  
    David Armstrong (Baratarian pirate)  
    Frank Hagney (Baratarian pirate)  
    Frank Watkins (Baratarian pirate)  
    Matt Murphy (Baratarian pirate)  
    Max Power (Purser)  
    Jack Shea (Stevedore)  
    Carl Saxe (Stevedore)  
    Gil Perkins (Stevedore)  
    Joe Gray (Stevedore)  
    John Benson (Stevedore)  
    Tillie Born (Black vendor)  
    Joseph Marievsky (French vendor)  
    Nina Borget (Buyer/Passenger)  
    Arthur Dulac (Passenger)  
    Gilda Oliva (Passenger)  
    George D. Barrows (City guard turnkey)  
    Max Wagner (City guard turnkey)  
    Don Giovanni (Militia officer at victory ball)  
    Robert Strong (Militia officer)  
    Margarita Martin (Baratarian woman)  
    Jacques Gallo (Baratarian man)  
    Frank Cordell (Wagon driver)  
    Fred Carson (City guard)  
    Rex Hill (Boy with watermelon)  
    Phyllis Johannes (Purchaser at market)  
    Ronald Sorensen (Baratarian boy swimmer)  
    Irwin Marcus (Baratarian boy swimmer)  
    Maxie Thrower (Servant)  
    John Deauville (Officer)  
    Raoul Freeman (Jackson officer)  
    Stuart Culp (Jackson officer)  
    Loren Janes (Tumbler)  
    Jerry Chiat (Tumbler)  
    Charles Heard (Bosun mate)  
    Richard Bailey (Musician at victory ball)  
    Bill Jacoby (Musician at victory ball)  
    Joe Williams (Musician at victory ball)  
    Eddie Frazer (Musician at victory ball)  
    Allia Miller (Musician at victory ball)  
    Al Gayle (Musician at victory ball)  
    Dan Borzage (Musician at victory ball)  
    Aluisio Ferreira (Musician at victory ball)  
    Jose Nieto (Musician at victory ball)  
    Ruth Harris Conte    
    Monty Margetts    
    Tom Daly    
    Joseph Wylot    
    Alyn Lockwood    
    Milt Collins    
    Adele St. Maur    
    Doris Wiss    
    Dori Simmons    

Summary: In late 1814, New Orleans has been under the control of the United States for less than a decade, and Gen. Andrew Jackson, who has been leading the fight against the British for the past two years, realizes that to win the war, he must maintain possession of the vital, still-wild port. With Washington, D.C. having been captured by the enemy, the outcome of the war lies in Jackson’s hands. Desperate to prevent an impending blockade by the British, Jackson heads to New Orleans, despite warnings that notorious French Creole pirate Jean Lafitte is the de facto ruler of the city and especially of Barataria, the outlying swamps. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Lafitte flouts territorial law by selling his booty outside city limits, thereby avoiding paying taxes, while also secretly courting Annette, the daughter of Governor William Claiborne. At one rendezvous, Annette protests that she can no longer see Lafitte, as he is defying the American cause, which her father is attempting to solidify. The pirate replies that he has forbidden his men from attacking American ships and tells her that she can be the queen of Barataria, regardless of who rules New Orleans. Annette dismisses Lafitte’s offer, stating that she needs a man of whom she can be proud. Later, at the harbor, Capt. Brown, one of Lafitte’s men and the father of the fiery Bonnie, one of the pirates, watches as a strongbox of gold is loaded onto an American ship. The ship also carries Annette’s younger sister Marie, who is eloping with her beau. Despite Lafitte’s prohibition on attacking Americans, Brown orders his men to capture the ship, the Corinthian , and after securing the loot, burns the vessel without offering aid to those trapped aboard. Only young cabin boy Miggs is saved, and Lafitte is so horrified when he learns of the vicious crime that he has Brown hanged. In Barataria, some of the pirates want to kill Miggs, as he is the only witness to the Corinthian ’s fate, but Lafitte protects the lad. Bonnie vows revenge against Lafitte for her father’s death, and yells at the others that Lafitte is supporting the Americans only because of Annette. Soon after, Lafitte is visited by British naval officers who offer him royal pardons, land grants and a fortune in gold if he helps the British take New Orleans. Lafitte’s righthand man, Dominique You, ridicules their promise to give Lafitte a captaincy in the British Navy, noting that Lafitte has far greater power as a pirate. Although the British vow to destroy Lafitte if he does not join them, he casually states that he will send them his answer in a week, then dismisses them. Later, Dominique teases Lafitte about his devotion to Annette, and Lafitte replies that he has come to believe in the ideals America represents, and that at some point in his life, a man must change. Lafitte then takes the letters from the British to Claiborne, who deeply mistrusts him. Lafitte asks only for a pardon for him and his men, and a “place under the American flag,” in exchange for joining the Americans, and Claiborne agrees to take the matter to the defense council. Annette is so thrilled by Lafitte’s transformation that she accepts his marriage proposal, but Lafitte’s happiness is ruined when he returns to Barataria and discovers that the pirate village has been destroyed by the Americans. Bonnie tells Lafitte that the survivors have been imprisoned in New Orleans, and he determines to free them. Bonnie, who cannot help loving Lafitte, then begs him to escape with her, but he demurs. Meanwhile, in the city, Annette castigates her father for betraying Lafitte, while Mercier, a cowardly member of the council, asserts that their only hope is to surrender to the British. His comment is overheard by Jackson, who has just arrived, and the general proclaims that he will burn New Orleans rather than surrender it. Afterward, as Jackson rests alone, Lafitte sneaks in through a window and holds the general at gunpoint to demand the release of his men. Lafitte offers Jackson a huge store of arms in exchange, and Jackson, impressed by Lafitte’s courage, agrees. As they talk, a young French Creole bursts in with news that the British are burning his father's plantation, only eight miles away. Lafitte helps Jackson devise strategic defense plans, then goes to the jail, where he tries to rally Dominique, who tells him that the men feel betrayed, as they believe that he has abandoned them. Lafitte shows him the pardon for himself signed by Jackson, who has offered to pardon any other pirate who fights alongside him. Lafitte then leaves, while on the battle lines, the Americans grow fretful, worrying that he will not bring the much-needed supplies. Claiborne arrives with three hundred city dwellers to reinforce the soldiers, although they are still vastly outnumbered by the British. Just as the battle begins, Lafitte arrives with not only the ammunition, but all of his men. Jackson tells Lafitte that due to the heavy fog, he cannot employ his deadly, long-range Kentucky rifles, and so Lafitte undertakes a dangerous mission, accompanied by one of his men and one of Jackson’s Indian scouts. The trio succeeds in sending aloft a fiery arrow to pinpoint the British Army’s location, and soon the Americans win the battle. Claiborne hosts a party celebrating the victory, and both Jackson and Lafitte are feted by the townspeople. The evening is spoiled, however, when Bonnie arrives dressed in the wedding gown that Marie intended to wear, which was taken in the booty from the Corinthian . Miggs also appears, and when he is relentlessly questioned about the Corinthian ’s fate, Lafitte comes to his aid by revealing that he was there when the ship was sunk. Lafitte does not place the blame on Brown, however, stating instead that as the leader, he was responsible. Annette tries to defend her beloved, but the townsmen grab him and plan to lynch him. Jackson stops them, insisting that the pardon offered to the pirates still remains in force, as they stood by the Americans during the battle. Lafitte turns down his offer, asking only for an hour’s “head start.” Jackson agrees, and although Annette begs to go with him, Lafitte tells her that he loves her too much to subject her to a life on the run, without a country to call home. Telling Claiborne that while he cannot restore his other daughter to him, he can give him the thing he loves most in all the world, Lafitte places Annette’s hand in his, then leaves. Later, aboard his ship, Lafitte sails away with Dominique, Bonnie and the others. Bitterly declaring that they have no flag to fly, Lafitte gives orders to head to sea, and Bonnie joins him at the wheel. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures Corp.  
Director: Anthony Quinn (Dir)
  Arthur Rosson (Unit dir)
  Francisco Day (Asst dir)
  Bernard McEveety [Jr.] (Asst dir)
  Don Roberts (Asst dir)
  C. C. Coleman Jr. (Asst dir)
  Mike Caffey (2d asst dir)
  Clem Jones (2d asst dir)
  Henry Wilcoxon (Prologue dir)
Producer: Cecil B. DeMille (Supv)
  Henry Wilcoxon (Prod)
Writer: Jesse L. Lasky Jr. (Scr)
  Berenice Mosk (Scr)
Photography: Loyal Griggs (Dir of photog)
  Ellsworth Fredricks (Fill-in dir of photog)
  Harold Rossen (Prologue dir of photog)
  Frank Dugas (Cam op)
  James Hawley (Asst cam)
  G. E. Richardson (Stills)
  Dominic Seminerio (Company grip)
  Norbert Haring (Company grip)
  Hubert H. Soldier Graham (Gaffer)
  Bob Rogers (Best boy)
Art Direction: Hal Pereira (Art dir)
  Walter Tyler (Art dir)
  Albert Nozaki (Art dir)
Film Editor: Archie Marshek (Ed)
  Gladys Carley (Asst ed)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Ray Moyer (Set dec)
  Joe Cowan (Leadman)
  Art Camp (Props)
  Dwight Thompson (Props)
  Wayne Buttress (Standby painter)
  Fritz Strasser (Nursery dept head)
Costumes: Ralph Jester (Cost)
  Edith Head (Cost)
  John Jensen (Cost)
  Hazel Hegarty (Ladies' cost)
  John A. Anderson (Men's cost)
  Ed McDermott (Men's cost)
Music: Elmer Bernstein (Mus score)
  Munich Symphony Orchestra (Score played by)
  Curt Graunke (Cond)
  Phil Boutelje (Mus adv)
  Paul Mertz (Mus adv)
Sound: Harry Lindgren (Sd rec)
  Winston Leverett (Sd rec)
  Glen Porter (Sd rec)
  Howard Beals (Sd ed)
  Rocky Nelson (Boom man)
  Ted Wasserman (Cableman)
  George Sherman (Mike grip)
  Cecil Gardner (Boom grip)
Special Effects: John P. Fulton (Spec photog eff)
  Paul Lerpae (Optical photog)
  Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
  Wallace Kelley (Process photog)
  William Sapp Jr. (Spec eff)
Dance: Josephine Earle (Choreog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
  Frank Westmore (Makeup)
  Frank McCoy (Makeup)
  Nellie Manley (Hair style supv)
  Lenore Weaver (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Capt. A. T. Ostrander (Tech adv)
  Rodd Redwing (Tech adv)
  Orlando Perry (Tech adv)
  Jack Pennick (Tech adv)
  Gladys Percey (Research)
  Elizabeth Higgason (Research)
  Pamela Danova (Dial supv)
  Frank Caffey (Prod management)
  C. Kenneth DeLand (Prod management)
  Curtis Mick (Asst prod mgr)
  William C. Davidson (Asst unit prod mgr)
  William Mull (Asst unit prod mgr)
  Andy Durkus (Asst unit prod mgr)
  Richard Blaydon (Asst unit prod mgr)
  Jean Heremans (Yul Brynner's fencing instructor)
  Ed Morse (Casting dir)
  Alice Thomas (Casting secy)
  Patti Klein (Henry Wilcoxon's secy)
  Claire Behnke (Scr supv)
  Herb Steinberg (Pub dir)
  Ann Del Valle (Pub)
  Al Finestone (Pub)
  Teet Carle (Pub)
  Mike Kovach (Craft service)
  Bill Hurley (Livestock supv)
Stand In: David Ledner (Stand-in for Henry Hull)
  George Blagoi (Stand-in for Yul Brynner)
  Frank Cordell (Stunts)
  Billy Williams (Stunts)
  Roger Creed (Stunts)
  Carl Saxe (Stunts)
  Paul Salata (Stunts)
  Howard Joslin (Stunts)
  Eric Alden (Stunts)
  Ray Saunders (Stunts)
  Hubert Kerns (Stunts)
  Victor Paul (Stunts)
  Richard Elmore (Stunts)
  Fred Zendar (Stunts)
  Sol Gorss (Stunts)
  Roy Jensen (Stunts)
  Charles Heard (Stunts)
  Gil Perkins (Stunts)
  Chuck Couch (Stunts)
  Don Turner (Stunts)
  Fred Carson (Stunts)
  John Indrisano (Stunts)
  Fred Waugh (Stunts)
  Eddie Saenz (Stunts)
  Charles Evans (Stunts)
  Courtland Shepard (Stunts)
  Polly Burson (Stunts)
  Terry Terrill (Stunts)
Color Personnel: Richard Mueller (Technicolor col consultant)
Country: United States
Language: English

Music:
Songs: "Allez a l'eau," traditional French folk song, words by Yul Brynner; "Barbara Allen," music traditional, lyrics developed by Phil Boutelje, arranged by Elmer Bernstein.
Composer: Elmer Bernstein
  Phil Boutelje
  Yul Brynner
Source Text: Based on the film The Buccaneer , written by Harold Lamb, Edwin Justus Mayer and C. Gardner Sullivan (Paramount, 1938), based on Jeanie MacPherson's adaptation of the novel Lafitte the Pirate by Lyle Saxon (New York, 1930).
Authors: Harold Lamb
  Edwin Justus Mayer
  C. Gardner Sullivan
  Jeanie Macpherson
  Lyle Saxon

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Pictures Corp. 11/12/1958 dd/mm/yyyy LP12588

PCA NO: 18880
Physical Properties: Sd: Westrex Recording System
  col: Technicolor
  Widescreen/ratio: VistaVision

 
Genre: Epic
Sub-Genre: Historical
 
Subjects (Major): Andrew Jackson
  Jean Lafitte
  New Orleans, Battle of, 1815
  Pirates
  Romance
  Self-sacrifice
  United States--History--War of 1812
 
Subjects (Minor): Barataria Bay (LA)
  Betrayal
  Cabin boys
  Creoles
  Dandies
  The Declaration of Independence
  Dogs
  Fathers and daughters
  Fog
  French
  Governors
  Great Britain. Army
  Great Britain. Navy
  Hanging
  Loyalty
  Munitions
  New Orleans (LA)
  Pardons
  Revenge
  Ships
  Tax evasion
  Tomboys
  United States. Army

Note: The film’s opening title card reads: “A Paramount Picture Supervised by Cecil B. DeMille.” DeMille’s name appears in the form of a signature. At the end of the opening credits, a written prologue states that although "Three American Presidents condemned, pardoned, and again condemned" buccaneer Jean Lafitte, "Fate placed into the hands of this man-without-a-country the destiny of a country--the United States--fighting for its very existence in the War of 1812." According to reviews and information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, the picture’s original release contained a prologue featuring DeMille, in which the producer described Lafitte’s place in history. The prologue was not in the viewed print, however.
       The Buccaneer was a remake of DeMille’s 1938 Paramount production of the same title, also about Lafitte. In Apr 1956, HR stated that DeMille would remake The Buccaneer as the first musical of his career. A Jun 1956 HR announced that DeMille was signed Chinese actress Li Li-hua to make her American motion picture debut in the film, which was to be directed by Yul Brynner. In a Dec 1957 NYT article, longtime DeMille collaborator, producer-actor Henry Wilcoxon stated that the plans to stage the remake as a musical were abandoned “because it was apparent that we had too good a story to tell.” According to modern sources, after Brynner decided not to direct the film because it was going to be a larger production than he wanted to attempt for his directorial debut, DeMille turned to actor Anthony Quinn.
       Quinn (1915—2001), who was married to DeMille’s daughter Katherine from 1937 to 1965, had never directed a film before, and according to modern sources, recommended that DeMille hire director Budd Boetticher instead, but DeMille insisted that Quinn do it. Quinn, who had played the part of “Beluche” in the 1938 version of The Buccaneer , accepted reluctantly, noting in his autobiography that DeMille chose a first-time director so that he could maintain control over the production. Quinn stated that he hired Abby Mann to rewrite the screenplay that DeMille had given him initially, but that the producer rejected Mann’s version as “too dark” and “too political.”
       According to items in Jan 1957 HR ’s “Rambling Reporter” column, Rita Moreno and Vincent Price were sought for roles in the picture. A studio press release added that four of the boys tested for the role of “Miggs” were Ronnie Sorensen, Bucko Stafford, Louis Lettieri and Duncan Quinn, Anthony and Katherine Quinn’s son. Although HR news items add Hal Rand, May Johnson, Jerry Lucas, Tony Linehan, Angelo Prioli and Ken Hooker to the cast, their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. According to a studio press release, director of photographer Loyal Griggs was ill for four days during production and was temporarily replaced by Ellsworth Fredricks. Another press release reported that many of the antiques in the set of Lafitte’s home in Barataria were borrowed from DeMille’s personal collection. Some stock shots from the earlier film, such as the sinking of the Corinthian , were used in the later picture, according to studio records.
       Douglass Dumbrille, Reginald Sheffield and John Hubbard also appeared in DeMille’s 1938 version of The Buccaneer , but in different roles. Brynner and Charlton Heston had previously appeared together in DeMille's 1956 production The Ten Commandments . Many reviews of The Buccaneer commented on Brynner’s wearing of a brunette wig and mustache, which marked the first time he appeared onscreen with hair instead of his trademark bald pate. According to the pressbook and an Oct 1958 HR news item, Mack David added lyrics to one of the film’s musical themes, written by composer Elmer Bernstein, to produce the song “Love Song from The Buccaneer (Lover’s Gold).” Used to publicize the film, the song was recorded by Mitch Miller and his orchestra and choral group. A modern source reports that Rebecca Morelli served as the film’s script supervisor.
       In Nov 1958, HR announced that Paramount had allocated a budget of $1,200,000 for promotion of The Buccaneer , which marked the “second highest ad-pub budget placed on a film in the history of the company.” One of the main focuses of the publicity campaign was a ten-minute theatrical trailer featuring DeMille “in a narration and display of the film’s historical highlights.” Jul and Dec 1958 HR news items noted that the film’s world premiere in New Orleans was a benefit for the Louisiana Landmark Society, which was seeking to purchase the approximately sixty acres where the Battle of New Orleans was fought and preserve it as a national monument.
       Dec 1958 DV and HCN items reported that Henri de Balther Claiborne, the great-grandson of former Louisiana governor William Claiborne, was threatening to sue Paramount and the theater scheduled to host the New Orleans premiere. The plaintiff claimed that the film was a “slanderous misrepresentation” because it depicted a romance between Lafitte and a daughter of Claiborne. In reality, Claiborne’s first daughter had died years before the fictional romance could have taken place, while his younger daughter was born in the mid-1810s. [As commented on by several reviews, the film was only loosely historically accurate. For more information about Jean Lafitte, please see the entry for the 1950 Columbia film Last of the Buccaneers in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 .] It has not been determined if de Balther Claiborne did file suit, although the New Orleans premiere was held as scheduled.
       Heston had earlier portrayed “Andrew Jackson” in the 1953 Twentieth Century-Fox production The President’s Lady (see below). In his autobiography and published journals, Heston wrote that it took over two hours for him to be made up for the role in The Buccaneer , and as filming progressed, he realized that he had mistakenly instructed makeup chief Wally Westmore to age him too much, thereby making Jackson look much older than he had actually been at the Battle of New Orleans. According to Heston’s journals, DeMille ordered retakes to be shot in mid-Jan 1959, which was “the closest he [DeMille] came to involving himelf in the shooting.”
       Although the last film personally directed by DeMille was the 1956 Paramount release The Ten Commandments , The Buccaneer was the last film on which the noted producer worked before his death in 1959. The picture was also the last of actor Reginald Sheffield and David Ledner, Henry Hull’s stand-in; Sheffield and Ledner both died during the picture’s production. The Buccaneer marked the screen acting debut of Fran Jeffries and the first onscreen producer credit for Wilcoxon, who had served in an assistant or associate capacity to DeMille on a number of his earlier pictures.
       The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. The Buccaneer , which received fair reviews, was a disappointment to Quinn, who never directed another picture. In his autobiography, Quinn asserted that after he produced a “far more intimate” film than anything DeMille would have done, DeMille, who preferred more epic dimensions, recut the picture completely. Quinn stated that the re-edited film “was nothing like the picture I had shot…the whole feeling was different. The pace I had carefully established was gone, replaced by frenetic jump cuts and wide shots.” Quinn summed up his reaction to the released film by saying “I did not like it at all.” 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Beverly Hills Citizen   17 Dec 1958.   
Box Office   15 Dec 1958.   
Box Office   22 Dec 1958.   
Daily Variety   9 Dec 1958.   
Daily Variety   11 Nov 1958.   
Daily Variety   12 Dec 1958   p. 3.
Film Daily   12 Dec 1958   p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News   12 Dec 1958.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Dec 1958.   
Hollywood Reporter   5 Apr 1956   p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Jun 1956   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Jan 1957   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Jan 1957   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Sep 1957   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Nov 1957   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   25 Nov 1957   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Jan 1958   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Jan 1958   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Jan 1958   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 1958   p. 3, 12.
Hollywood Reporter   31 Jan 1958   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Feb 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Feb 1958   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Feb 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   9 May 1958   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Jul 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Aug 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Sep 1958   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   10 Oct 1958   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Oct 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Oct 1958   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Nov 1958   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Nov 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Dec 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Dec 1958   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Dec 1958   p. 3.
Los Angeles Times   17 Dec 1958   p. 2, 4.
Motion Picture Daily   12 Dec 1958.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   20 Dec 1958   p. 93.
New York Times   1 Dec 1957.   
Newsweek   5 Jan 1959.   
Time   19 Jan 1959.   
Variety   17 Dec 1958   p. 6.

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