Saturday, April 4, 2009


I love Yellowbeard, because I have a soft spot for Monty Python and pirate movies. I understand that not everyone feels that way, especially about pirate movies. Oh, it's easy to be a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Anyone can do that. But I love Cutthroat Island, which makes me practically the world's leading expert on liking pirate movies. And I understand that while I might love Yellowbeard (in fact, I already said I did, back at the beginning of this paragraph), not everyone does.

It took forever for Yellowbeard to be released on DVD, and when it was, the cover was 90% Cheech and Chong. I guess if it takes the raw star power of Cheech and Chong to get an obscure movie a DVD release, I'll put up with it. But my point is that I think it's weird that a movie hardly anyone but me likes, that only hit DVD on a fluke, had a big tie-in book published in 2005, 22 years after the movie came out. It's got the complete script, the scripts for the trailers (which is a neat idea, which you don't see very often), the story of the making of the movie, and a novelization of the movie. Well, it's pretty short, so I think it might technically be a novella-ization.

Okay, so like I say, there's more or less a 104-page novelization at the end, and that's pretty neat. It hews very closely to the events of the movie:

Clement began to question him. 'Did you see . . .' -- then he realised and turned to Mansell. 'He's blind, you silly sod!'

'I may be blind,' said Pew, 'but I 'ave acute'earing.'

'I'm not interested in your jewellery, cloth-eyes,' snapped Clement.

It probably doesn't read that funny. But if you've got John Cleese's voice in your head, it's hilarious. It's one of those transcription-style novelizations that don't bring much to the party. Luckily for me, I've seen the movie enough that even reading bare-bones descriptions let me essentially watch the movie in my head.

1 comment:

Jan Andersen said...

Well, it was actually harder for me to get to like the Pirates of the Caribbean, than Yellowbeard, because somehow Johnny Depp felt like a pansy rip-off of Yellowbeard.

I watched Yellowbeard as a rental in the early-mid eighties and it was pretty hilarious, but I haven't seen it since and I've never been able to find it anywhere around here (Denmark), but I fondly remember the treasure hunting scene.. LOL.