The Devil-Ship Pirates – 1964
A Hammer film production released by Columbia Pictures
Copyright MCMLXIII Hammer film Productions Ltd. – All rights reserved
MPAA Approved Certificate
The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional
RCA Sound Recording
Produced at Bray Studios, England
Eastmancolour by Pathe 86 mins
Opening titles:- “July 1588: In the English Channel the British Fleet has been battling for two days against the mighty Spanish Armada….Badly damaged, with half their crews killed, the ships of Spain battle their way on up the Channel. And in the thickest part of the fighting is one of the smallest Spanish ships – the licensed privateer ‘Diablo’.”
Robeles, the pirate captain of the Diablo, puts in for repairs and convinces the local villagers that the English fleet has been defeated….
Watch the trailer on YouTube
Actor Johnny Briggs has a very small role in this film. He is now well-known to millions of television viewers as Mike Baldwin in Granada TV’s ”Coronation Street”.
Another British soap star appears here – Leonard Fenton. He went on to play Dr Harold Legg in BBC TV’s “Eastenders”.
Regular Assistant Director Bert Batt joins Hammer with this production. In 1969, he wrote the story (with Anthony Nelson Keys) and the screenplay for “Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed”.
Director Don Sharp made two more films for Hammer – “The Kiss of the Vampire” (1963) and “Rasputin – the Mad Monk” (1966). His other credits include “Witchcraft” (1964, with Lon Chaney, Jr,), “The Face of Fu Manchu” (1965), “The Brides of Fu Manchu” (1966, both with Christopher Lee) and “Jules Verne’s Rocket to the Moon” (1967).
The title boat Diablo capsized during shooting and about 30 people ended up in the water along with camera, sound equipment, props etc. It was caused during a scheduled tea break in shooting, when the tea boat came alongside and everyone rushed to that side of the boat. The Diablo was so badly damaged they decided to set fire to the actual boat in the final scenes, rather than use a model as planned.
Details were complied viewing the actual film.
Source of viewing copy – The Hammer Graveyard Collection