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.