|THE BOY AND THE PIRATES (director: Bert I. Gordon; screenwriters: Lillie Hayward/Jerry Sackheim/based on a story by Bert I. Gordon; cinematographer: Ernest Haller; editor: Jerome Thoms; music: Albert Glasser; cast: Charles Herbert (Jimmy Warren), Susan Gordon (Katrina van Keif/Kathy), Murvyn Vye (Blackbeard), Paul Guilfoyle (Snipe), Joe Turkel (Abu the Genie), Timothy Carey (Morgan); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bert I. Gordon; UA; 1960)|
for children than adults."
by Dennis Schwartz
harmless children's time-travel fantasy film
adequately helmed by AIP filmmaker Bert I.
Gordon ("The Amazing Colossal Man"/"The
Magic Sword"/"The Food of the Gods"), that is better
suited for children than adults. It's based on
Gordon's story and is scripted by Lillie
Hayward and Jerry Sackheim. It's a crude and
uninteresting low-budget film, but at least the
special effects are in order. Its best comic moment is
the pirates struggling to eat their beef stew with
bubblegum accidentally in it.
aimlessly walking on the beach near his home in
Malibu, young Jimmy (Charles Herbert) finds
a bottle that's been washed ashore and he imagines
there's a playful genie (Joe Turkel) in
it who grants him a wish. Jimmy wishes he was aboard
the ship of Blackbeard the Pirate.
There's only one catch, he must return the bottle to
the spot he found it within three days. The
consequences if he doesn't is that the genie goes free
and the kid is shrunk and takes the genie's place.
psychopathic Blackbeard (Murvyn Vye)
is dangerous to be around, as he often eliminates
those he takes a dislike to. The kid's job is to swab
the deck and peel the potatoes. Finding the life of a
pirate not as good as he imagined it would be, Jimmy
schemes to find a way to go home again.
should have been a fun romp, of pirates engaged in
sword fights at sea and double-crosses, turns out to
be a mostly dour affair. Since the kid finds his
adventure a glum affair, the pic imitates the kid's
mood and becomes too unnecessarily bleak to truly
Susan Gordon (the director's daughter) has a dual
role as a cute Dutch girl named Katrina on the
pirate ship and as Katy, his next-door-neighbor whom
Katrina resembles. Jimmy rescues
the girl enslaved on the pirate ship.
film comes with the caveat: "Be careful
what you wish for; you may get it."
REVIEWED ON 12/24/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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