September 19th marks a buzz worthy day for certain fanatics. What started out as a heated game of racquetball quickly became a world-wide phenomenon. June 6th, 1995 marked the first day of everything we love about British frivolity in the form of "Talk Like a Pirate Day". Scoff you may, but the truth is, "Talk Like a Pirate Day" stands for more than just wenching and boozing. It's about remembering the lore, the history, and, let's be honest, the slang that most love about these peg-legged and eye-patched folk.
Talklikeapirate.com states that creators Mark Summers (no, not Marc Summers from Nickelodeon's Double Dare) and John Baur didn't want to use WWII's D-Day anniversary (June 6th) as the day of pirate recognition. So they picked the one date that stuck out in their minds, which was Summers' ex-wife's birthday; September 19th. And thus, an international holiday was born!
In honor of today's out-of-the-blue holidayness, Starpulse wanted to honor all things pirate, including some favorite pirate roles, actors and films spanning the decades, and also referencing ways you, too, can enjoy your own scurvy-hornswagglin' pirate-talk.
"But why is the rum gone?"
It wouldn't be a nod to pirates without mentioning the most recent pirate to appear on the silver screen. Johnny Depp is one of the most iconographic pirates of modern day with his famous role as Jack Sparrow in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. His fourth film in the "Pirates" franchise includes "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" which is set for release in May 2011. Depp has also been known for other unusual characters from Sweeney Todd to Willy Wonka. If the first three pirate films are any indication of what's ahead for Depp, fans can expect great things for the fourth P.O.T.C. film.
"Come on, guys, this is our time. Our last chance to see if there really is any rich stuff."
Leg-warmers, neon colors and New Kids on the Block are all famous from the wonderful time in history we like to call: The 80's. But something even more magical sprouted in 1985, and came in the form of seven youngsters looking to have one last adventure before the group would split. This, dear friends, is "The Goonies." Not a pirate movie, you say? Tosh! Hidden pirate treasure, maps, and long-lost ships definitely make this cast a band of pirates searching for their beloved gold. Several of these actors went on to become big names, such as Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and even Jonathan Ke Quan (besides his "goonie" appearance, made a big hit with "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" alongside Harrison Ford). And c'mon, any movie with the "truffle shuffle" is awesome.
"R.O.U.S's? I don't think they exist."
Sticking with an 80's theme, we come now to one hilariously terrifying scallywag: The Dread Pirate Roberts, played by Cary Elwes. "The Princess Bride" was a film that was immediately captured in the hearts and minds of any and everyone who has seen it. Was it Fred Savage's adorable portrayal of a sick kid, Mandy Petinkin's dedication to Inigo Montoya's life-long pursuit, or Andre the Giant's child-like tendencies as Fezzik that helped us fall in love? Who knows. The point is, it's a gosh-darn great film and if you haven't seen it, get out from under your rock!
"I'm not a pirate. It so happens, I am a lawyer."
If this line sounds familiar, it's because it's from the 1991 pirate film directed by Steven Speilberg, and starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. "Hook" made $13.5 million in its opening weekend, and has gone on to earn more than $100 million world-wide. You can't help but love Ruffio's (played by Dante Basco) ridiculous skunk-style bed-head, Hoffman's dry and temporarily insane portrayal of Captain Hook, or Williams' ability to play a serious lawyer/father and a kid that dresses in tights all in the same film. What could possibly be better? Maybe Bob Hoskins' performance as the scuttle-butt first mate, Smee. In any case, it's a winner.
The time: December 31, 1879. The place: Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City. The show: two act comic-opera known as The Pirates of Penzance. A little more cultured than some of our above mentions, but this show is absolutely worth mentioning. The main character, Frederic, completes his aprenticeship before meeting his true love, Mabel, and decides to begin his life with her. Frederic discovers, however, that he was born on February 29, and therefore only has a birthday each leap year, which means his apprenticeship must continue for the next 63 years. Angela Lansbury took up the role as the Pirate Queen for the Shepperton Studios production in the UK in 1982 and even appeared as Ruth in a film adaptation starring Kevin Kline in 1983.
"It's all right, Captain. We always knew you were a whoopsie."
Here's a film that had all the makings of a smash hit, but for whatever reason failed to deliver at the box office. "Stardust" can boast one of the most hilarious and feminine pirates on screen, and would you believe the character is played by Robert De Niro? Captain Shakespeare prides himself on having the most ruthless pirate reputation around, but little does everyone know that this captain is actually dressing in women's clothing and parading around his quarters when he's not verbally thrashing his crew of lightning catchers. De Niro's performance in this film allows him to be his usual moody, edgy self while bringing to life a side of him that we never, ever thought possible!
"First pirates, now talking parrots, what's next - a singing, dancing mouse with his own amusement park?"
The child in all of us secretly knows that our favorite pirate movie of all time has to be, hands down, Disney's "Muppet Treasure Island" from 1996. With Tim Curry as Long John Silver and wonderful Kermit the Frog, this hour and a half long movie gem reminds us to never be too serious, and chasing the stars isn't as far-fetched an idea as we thought.
Looking to enjoy a little bit of pirate fun on your own? Head on over to facebook, and change the language at the bottom of your page to pirate (click on "English," change it to "English (Pirate)" and watch the fun unfold!). Or, you can check out www.PirateName.net to enter your real name and discover your pirate name and ship name. Yarr me hearties! Ye best be enjoyin' this glorious day of pirate recognition, or it's to the depths with ya, ye landlubbin', lily-livered scurvy dogs!