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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Before Pirates of the Caribbean...

Back in 1985, long before Disney produced "Pirates of the Caribbean," there was a not as famous or blockbusting pirate movie titled, "Nate and Hayes." Remember that one? I had it on VHS and my sister and I used to watch it over and over. Even though the critics pretty much panned it, there was something very appealing about it. When I went on the internet to find the movie poster for this post, I learned it has kind of a cult following. Go figure. But I guess my sister and I weren't the only two who loved this movie.

In "Nate and Hayes," a still youngish Tommy Lee Jones played the part of Bully Hayes, the rascally buccaneer, and Michael O'Keefe was Nathaniel Williamson, a mild-mannered minister whose fiancée is kidnapped by a dastardly pirate named Ben Pease. Through a twist of events, Nathaniel and Bully Hayes partner up and hit the high seas to rescue the fiancée. There's lots of swashbuckling and action, and plenty of attempted humor. Nate (Michael O'Keefe) becomes transformed into the adventurous, dashing hero and what ensues is a bit of a love triangle once the fiancée, played by Jenny Seagrove, is rescued and the three begin swashbuckling together.

Does this sound familiar at all?

Tonight, for some reason, I thought of "Nate and Hayes" and it suddenly dawned on me that it was the precursor of "Pirates of the Caribbean." The characters are pretty much interchangeable. Bully Hayes was Jack Sparrow. Nate was Will Turner, and Jenny Seagrove was Keira Knightley, the love interest kidnapped by that odious Captain Barbosa and taken aboard the Black Pearl.

By no stretch of the imagination is "Nate and Hayes" on par with "Pirates of the Caribbean," and I'll take Captain Jack Sparrow over Bully Hayes any day. But back in its day, "Nate and Hayes" was a darned good little movie and I was struck by the similarities. And once I had them side by side, I was surprised to see that even the movie posters are eerily similar. In fact, they're so very nearly the same, I wouldn't be surprised if they were designed by the same artist.

Now, if I could just figure out how "The Terminator" (the original) has the same plot as "Titanic" I'd be a happy camper. Both were written by James Cameron and I've heard, more than once, that he used the same basic plot for both. Would someone who knows what the heck everyone is talking about please spell it out for me, because I don't see it.



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  2. Devon, I think I remember seeing that movie years ago, but I never really made the connection. I think my uncles used to have it on those HUGE plastic disks. Remember those? They were the size of a record, and were really popular for a while. I remember watching that at my grandparents house.
    You're right though, they're almost identical, aren't they?
    As for the Terminator connection, I have no idea. Can't see it myself.

  3. What amazing similarities! So glad you put the posters here for us to see. Of course there's nothing new under the sun, right?

  4. Hi, Chonsom. Welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to my blog and feel free to link. Best of luck with your writing!

  5. Hi Jennifer. I'm sure there's no real connection, just coincidence, but I find this kind of thing fascinating.

    Yes, I remember those huge disks. They were the forerunners of the VCR and they looked exactly like an LP record. They also sometimes skipped. just like a vinyl record. We had one for a short time and the only movies I can remember watching on it were the first Star Wars and Showboat. Talk about worlds apart!

  6. Hi Magdalena. You're right. There is nothing new. According to the experts, there are only 9 (or is it 13) basic plots in the universe and we keep writing them over and over. It's very strange, and kind of depressing, if you stop to think about it.

  7. Um...can we call it "a challenge and an opportunity" rather than "depressing?"


  8. Well, if you insist on always looking on the bright side and seeing the cup half full, I guess we could call it that. ;o)


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