Fact or Fiction: The Historical Accuracy of Pirate Movies

In my house, “Talk Like a Pirate Day” is as treasured a holiday as, say, Halloween. We also love a good pirate movie, and I believe we’ve seen them all by now (there may be some early silent films or talkies we’ve missed, but if they’re still available, we’ll find them!). Often, these movies are pure fantasy, with only a few hints of real pirate life, but they are sometimes far more accurate than we realize. It’s time to find out the truth about pirate movies!

Iszi Lawrence, a podcaster and history buff, rates the historical accuracy of scenes from pirate movies in the video below. Yes, we all know that Pirates of the Caribbean from 2003 is a fantasy, but how accurate were the ships and pirate protocols? Is Captain Phillips from 2013 a good representation of more modern piracy? Disney’s Treasure Island, released in 1950, set the tone for all subsequent pirate films; how much did they get right? And don’t forget the 1996 remake, Muppet Treasure Island! Check it out: