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Pirates of Blood River, The (1962)

This lavish technicolour production from Hammer tells the story of a young Huguenot who, although himself a victim of his father’s bigotry, eventually puts aside paternal differences and fights on the side of the sect when its existence is threatened by pirates.

Jonathon (Kerwin Mathews) – the lusty down-to-earth heir of Jason Standing (Andrew Keir), a pious and unrelenting leader of the Huguenot sect – is wrongfully accused of misconduct with a married woman (Marie Devereux), who is eaten alive by piranhas when she tries to flee.

He is found guilty by his father’s court and sentenced to 15 years in a nearby penal colony. He manages to escape but falls into the hands of LaRoche (Christopher Lee), captain of a crew of notorious buccaneers.

Captain LaRoche believes there is gold in the Huguenot settlement and Jonathon is compelled to direct the pirates to the stockade. There is a terrific struggle before the settlers are finally overpowered, but a fortunate outcome is Jonathon’s escape from the pirates through the efforts of Henry (Glenn Corbett), the fiancé of his half-sister, Bess (Marla Landi), who releases him.

In spite of his previous differences with his father, Jonathon now joins forces with him in an all-out effort to re-group the settlement’s forces and turn the tables on the pirates. Meanwhile, LaRoche discovers that a statue of the founder of the Huguenot settlement is made of pure gold. This precipitates more cutlass swinging between the opposing factions.

The Pirates of Blood River is an action-packed adventure yarn in the best tradition of the sea, the cut-throats who sailed under the Jolly Roger, and the men who had the courage to resist them.

Jonathon Standing
Kerwin Mathews
Glenn Corbett
Captain LaRoche
Christopher Lee
Peter Arne
Bess Standing
Marla Landi
Oliver Reed
Jason Standing
Andrew Keir
Michael Ripper
David Lodge
Timothy Blackthorne
Dennis Waterman
Godfrey Mason
Jack Stewart
Martha Blackthorne
Lorraine Clewes
Penal Colony Master
Jerold Wells
Tom Blackthorne
Desmond Llewelyn

John Gilling