Anne of the Indies
|Anne of the Indies|
Original film poster
|Directed by||Jacques Tourneur|
|Produced by||George Jessel|
|Written by||Arthur Caesar|
|Based on||Anne of the Indies|
by Herbert Sass
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Edited by||Robert Fritch|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$1,550,000 (US rentals)|
After seizing a British ship, female pirate captain Anne Providence (Jean Peters) spares Pierre LaRochelle (Louis Jourdan), a Frenchman captured by the British, from walking the plank. He agrees to join Providence's crew and soon she begins to fall for the handsome officer.
They travel to an island where they meet with her pirate mentor Captain Blackbeard (played by Thomas Gomez), who takes an instant dislike to LaRochelle although he, at first, holds back as he can see Anne has affection for him. Blackbeard eventually realises he has seen LaRochelle before in the French navy when a pirate was hanged. When he reveals this, LaRochelle claims he has left the French navy. Anne believes him, but when Blackbeard attacks him, she defends him and sends Blackbeard and his men away, making an enemy of Blackbeard.
It eventually transpires that LaRochelle is working for the British as they have captured his ship, and he has a wife. He betrays Anne to the British who attack her ship. Anne escapes and takes his wife hostage. The British do not return LaRochelle's ship to him, as they did not capture Anne, so LaRochelle gets a ship of his own to go after Anne. In the confrontation that follows, LaRochelle's ship is destroyed and he is captured.
Anne maroons LaRochelle and his wife on a remote island to die. She sails away, but a few days later her conscience compels her to return with provisions and a small boat. As she does so, she is attacked by Blackbeard; instead of fleeing, she stays and fights to stop Blackbeard from finding LaRochelle, even though her ship is no match. As Anne, the last survivor of her crew, challenges Blackbeard to a final personal duel, she is blown away by a salvo from the enemy ship before Blackbeard can stop his cannoneers. Watching on, LaRochelle and his wife pay tribute to Anne's sacrifice.
- Jean Peters as Anne, also known as Capt. Providence
- Louis Jourdan as Capt. Pierre François La Rochelle
- Debra Paget as Molly La Rochelle
- Herbert Marshall as Dr. Jameson
- Thomas Gomez as Blackbeard
- James Robertson Justice as Red Dougal
- Francis Pierlot as Herkimer
- Sean McClory as Hackett
- Holmes Herbert as British sea captain
- Byron Nelson as Bear handler
- Mario Siletti as Auctioneer
- James Dime as pirate
The film was based on a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1947 by Charleston's historical fiction author, Herbert Sass. Sass was asked by New York publishers and Los Angeles studios to write a movie treatment of the story. In 1948 he offered up a fictionalized version of the true story of Anne Bonny, including a 10-page "factual basis" for the story. Studios seemed responsive, but in the end Sass was left out of the loop until the movie came out in 1951. What ended up on the screen was very different from the original story. Without writer credit to Sass, it would be difficult to convince anyone it was the same story.
In February 1948 Walter Wanger bought the screen rights to the story as a vehicle for Susan Hayward who Wanger had under contract. Hayward reportedly is the one who prompted Wagner to make the purchase. The producer hired Jan Fortune to write a script and announced he intended to make the film later that year for Eagle Lion. The film was also known a Queen of the Pirates. It was to be part of a four picture deal Wanger had with Eagle Lion, the others being Tulsa, The Bastille and The Blank Wall.
In February 1949 it was reported Hayward would make the film at Columbia where Guy Endore was writing a script. Mark Robson was to direct.
By July Hayward was reportedly trying to set the project up at 20th Century Fox who she owned a picture. In May 1950 Fox bought the story, assigned Arthur Caesar to write the script and George Jessel to produce; Hayward was still attached to star.
Susan Hayward Drops Out
Hayward was unable to do the film. By November 1950 Louis Jourdan was signed to play the male lead and Valentina Cortesa was going to play a female pirate. Jourdan had recently had his contract with David O. Selznick been bought by Fox. He had appeared in Bird of Paradise for Fox with Debra Paget and she was reteamed with him in Anne of the Indies.
Bu January 1951 Cortesa was out as the lead - due to her accent, reportedly - and Constance Smith was being tested. Anne Francis Eventually the title role was given to Jean Peters, her first starring role
"I would have died if I'd lost the part of Anne," said Peters. "The costumes are delirious, any girl would look good in them.; they have tight fitting trousers and open throat shirt down to here, and free top boots - I'm in rags, really but so picturesque and flattering. And the character is terrific, she's a complete primitive, a girl raised by Blackbeard, the pirate, who knows no other life than the law of might. Just an animal. I can't wait to begin it. Of course, I'm aware it's a dangerous part, too. You could make an awful fool of yourself if you went overboard."
- 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 224
- "James Dime". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Sass files: South Carolina Historical Society
- DOROTHY STICKNEY SIGNED FOR MOVIE: To Star With Monty Woolley in 'The Tatlock Millions' -- Haydn Directing Film By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times (27 Feb 1948: 26.
- Of Local Origin New York Times 8 Mar 1948: 17.
- FIVE ADDED TO CAST OF REPUBLIC MOVIE: Brent, Aherne, Bennett, Bedoya and Bonanova Will Appear in 'Drums Along Amazon' By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times 24 Apr 1948: 11.
- ROONEY IS PARTNER IN PRODUCING FIRM: He and Stiefel Set Up Concern for 4 Entertainment Fields -- Young in Film Deal New York Times 10 Aug 1948: 18.
- Looking at Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 3 Feb 1949: B12.
- Goldwyn Seeks Hayward, Dickers for Ether Show; Haver Tune Feature Set Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 2 Apr 1949: 9.
- Cooper Sells 'Flaminia,' Buys Oregon Trail Story; Hayward Plots 'Anne' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 20 July 1949: A7.
- U.A. MOVIE STOCK PUT UP FOR SALE: 2,000 Shares, 60% Majority Interest, Available as Firm Seeks Operating Capital "Cyrano" Roles Filled By THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times 26 May 1950: 32.
- Looking at Hollywood: Valentina Cortesa to Play Woman Pirate's Role Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 12 Dec 1950: a4.
- LOUIS OF FRANCE: HE HAS EVERYTHING LOUIS JOURDAN Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 27 May 1951: c3.
- Drama: Tracy, Deborah Kerr Cast in 'Pin' Episode Los Angeles Times 3 Jan 1951: 16.
- Doris Day Will Play Straight Drama Parts: Looking at Hollywood..... Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 31 Jan 1951: a7.
- "LOOKING AT HOLLYWOOD". Chicago Daily Tribune. March 25, 1951. p. c6.
- 'Anne of Indies' Captures Herbert Marshall; RKO Signs Collegian Writer Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 15 Feb 1951: A11.
- Of Local Origin New York Times 9 May 1951: 40.
- Drama: Old Stellar System Passe, Says Zanuck Los Angeles Times 11 June 1951: B8.