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The Buccaneer is a 1958 pirate film made by Paramount Pictures starring Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte, Charles Boyer and Claire Bloom. Charlton Heston played a supporting role as Andrew Jackson, the second time that Heston played Jackson, having portrayed him earlier in the 1953 film The President's Lady. The film was shot in Technicolor and VistaVision, the story takes place during the War of 1812, telling a heavily fictionalized version of how the privateer Lafitte helped in the Battle of New Orleans and how he had to choose between fighting for America or for the side most likely to win, the United Kingdom.

The Buccaneer
The Buccaneer 007.jpeg
Original Spanish film poster
Directed byAnthony Quinn
Produced byCecil B. DeMille
Henry Wilcoxon
Written byJesse Lasky Jr.
Bernice Mosk
StarringYul Brynner
Charles Boyer
Charlton Heston
Music byElmer Bernstein
CinematographyLoyal Griggs
Edited byArchie Marshek
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • December 1, 1958 (1958-12-01)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5,000,000 (estimate)
Box office$3.2 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[1]

The film is a remake of the 1938 film of the same name which starred Fredric March and Akim Tamiroff (Boyer played Tamiroff's role in the remake). The 1938 version was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, but he was seriously ill by the time the 1958 version was made, so he was only the executive producer of that version, leaving his then son-in-law, Anthony Quinn, to direct. It was the only film that Quinn ever directed. Henry Wilcoxon, DeMille's longtime friend, who made frequent appearances in his films, was the actual producer, and DeMille did received screen credit as "supervised by Cecil B. Demille", though students of his films would probably find that his touch is obvious throughout the film. Nevertheless, DeMille was unhappy with the film and tried unsuccessfully to improve it; critical response was generally unfavorable, despite some impressive battle scenes.

The movie's supporting cast featured Inger Stevens, Henry Hull, E. G. Marshall, Lorne Greene, Ted de Corsia, Ed Hinton and Douglass Dumbrille.

Possibly as a film tie-in, Johnny Horton had a big success at the time with his version of the song The Battle of New Orleans.[citation needed]


Historical inaccuracyEdit

Claiborne's only surviving daughter, Sophronie (or Sophronia) Louise Claiborne, was only two years old at the time of the battle. The romance with Lafitte is complete fiction.


  1. ^ "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34

External linksEdit