Search - Terry and the Pirates on DVD


Terry and the Pirates
Terry and the Pirates
Actors: William Tracy, Jeff York, Joyce Bryant, Allen Jung, Victor DeCamp
Director: James W. Horne
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Television
NR     2004     4hr 30min

Of all the early radio shows adopted from the classic newspaper comic pages in the '30s and '40s, none was more intriguing or exciting than the action-packed tales of Terry and the Pirates. Columbia Pictures brought Ter...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: William Tracy, Jeff York, Joyce Bryant, Allen Jung, Victor DeCamp
Director: James W. Horne
Creators: James S. Brown Jr., Dwight Caldwell, Larry Darmour, George Morgan, Joseph Levering, Mark Layton, Milton Caniff
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Silent Films, Drama, Television
Studio: Vci Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 06/29/2004
Original Release Date: 05/05/1940
Theatrical Release Date: 05/05/1940
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 4hr 30min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Directed by James Horne, so serial fans know what to expect!
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 11/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This adaptation of Milton Caniff's comic strip is a jungle serial produced by Columbia in 1940. William Tracy plays teenage Terry like radio's hapless Henry Aldrich, complete with brash confidence and adolescent voice. Granville Owen is one of the better serial heroes, playing Terry's adult protector with firm jaw and resolute manner.

Director James Horne, best known for his Laurel & Hardy comedies, throws in some noteworthy touches, most of them on the silly side. Horne instructs Sheila Darcy, playing a tribal queen, to over-emphasize her lines like a third-grader in a class play (thankfully she drops the stilted delivery later on). John Ince also chews some scenery as the queen's high priest. Most of the cast members are invited by Horne to slice a little ham here and there, and they respond with enthusiasm: listen for Tracy's ludicrously high-pitched shriek of terror, and for cowboy-villain Dick Curtis (of all people) and his incredible dialect as an Oriental warlord named Fang! Horne even adds comic business to some of the fight scenes (Tracy subdues a combatant by robbing him of his pants; Owen slugs someone and hurts his fist). And it's fun to watch a serial hero actually being ANNOYED by his sidekick for once. When Tracy says something dumb, the disgusted Owen repeats the remark in true Oliver Hardy style!

To Horne's credit, he stages the cliffhanging perils nicely and employs some very effective silent-serial technique (like a memorable shot of a hand reaching up from the floor, desperately groping for the switch that will stop a death trap). Also, some serials have the characters walking away from calamity wihout batting an eye, but Horne allows the heroes to be visibly shaken and unsteady after surviving the more serious perils. This may not be one of the best adventure serials of all time, but between the thrill scenes and the dopey scenes there's plenty to hold the attention.

VCI transferred this film to video just in the nick of time; there are scattered instances of blemishes and slight decomposition. The decay totally ruined the soundtrack of one episode, so VCI recreated the Chapter 5 track with appropriate music and re-enacted dialogue (the actors imitating William Tracy and William Irving are right on the money!). Overall, the picture and sound are very good, especially considering the rarity of the subject.

As a bonus, the DVD contains episode #1 of the "Terry and the Pirates" TV series from 1952. The emphasis on adventure and international intrigue reminded this viewer of a first-season "Superman" show (some of the music here was actually used in the "Superman" series). William Tracy appears in this, too -- now he's Terry's co-pilot and sidekick.

Like 'em or leave 'em, it's good to see these Columbia serials on DVD."
WELL I THINK YOU'RE WRONG, R.B. MERHAR
MICHAEL TAYLOR | RICHMOND, VA USA | 08/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"IN THIS 15-CHAPTER SERIAL, TERRY AND HIS FRIENDS ARRIVE IN THE FAR EAST ON A MISSION FOR SOME HIDDEN GOLD. ALONG THE WAY, THEY MUST FACE THE DRAGON LADY AND THE FANG. ALL 15 CHAPTERS OF THIS SERIAL WERE ENTERTAINING AND ACTION-PACKED. I DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS SERIAL. GET THIS ONE NOW. DON'T LISTEN TO THE OTHER REVIEW."
Serial Killers
Reuben M | Shek O, Hong Kong | 03/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"One of many newspaper comic strips to be serialized for the big screen, Terry and the Pirates brings Milt Caniff's characters to blazing B movie life. As with most releases from VCI (The Phantom, The Green Archer, et al) no effort has been made to improve the quality of obviously ancient prints; these DVDs offer you a chance to see classic material at about the quality you'd get from you local terrestrial TV station. A trip down (faded) memory lane, these are worth the money, but keep your expectations, like the price, low."
What might of been
Indiana | usa | 10/04/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"there was potential...republic could have done things with this one...the lack of a credible villain, Terry's whininess, the cheesy tiger men, and I am afraid this was typical of the studio...cliffhangers were decent...but, not good enough..."