Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Overlooked Films of Jean Lafitte - Part 1

In the tradition of talking about films I haven't seen but want to, here's the original 1938 version of The Buccaneer, where Jean Lafitte saves New Orleans, and quite probably the whole U.S. of A. I know the story, though, because I have seen the 1958 remake with Yul Brynner and Charleton Heston, and thought it was great.

Still, nobody makes a Cecil B. DeMille film quite like Cecil B. DeMille, so I'm going to have to track this one down. The story introduces us to Jean Lafitte and his merry band of pirates at home in Barataria Bay, and follows events up to and including the Battle of New Orleans. It was a spectacular battle, and probably even more spectacular as staged by DeMille.

I'm in a Lafitte mood, of course, because my new story "The Judgment of Jean Lafitte" has just appeared in Action: Pulse Pounding Tales Vol. 1, and the book is now ripe for purchase, right HERE. More Lafittiana as the week unfolds.

More Overlooked Films await you at SWEET FREEDOM.


Cap'n Bob said...

I read your Lafitte story last night on Kindle and it was definately a rip snorter. Your smooth style is always a plus.

As for saving the US, fact is the treaty ending the War of 1812 had been signed before the Battle of New Orleans commenced. Slow communications in those days. Nevertheless, it was a spectacular victory and Lafitte's contribution was considerable.

David said...

I’m a big fan of the 1958 The Buccaneer, which was directed in large part by Anthony Quinn. You have to admit that for a film shot entirely on a sound stage, except for one brief scene (Lafitte and his men returning from the sinking of the Corinthian), it’s pretty damn good. I’ve probably watched it a couple dozen times.

I’ve only had one opportunity to watch the 1938 version, but I remember it as excellent, but very different. March’s characterization of Lafitte is less exotic and emphasizes his illiteracy and lack of education more, while Akim Tamiroff's Dominique You is far less cultured that Boyer’s, in fact he’s a bit of a brute, but a charming one. Hope you get to see it soon. Hope I do, too.

Evan Lewis said...

Thanks guys.

More on the Battle of N.O. tomorrow.

Ron Scheer said...

The 1938 poster at the top is spectacular. Don't you love how C.B. gets his name the same size (if not even a teensy bit larger) as Frederic March's. Knowing March from his later roles, it's hard to believe he once played a buccaneer.

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