”Pirates” - Our Movie!, unknown inflight magazine, July 2003
By Vynnette A. Frederick
typed by Becky Greenleaf
© Disney brings fame and fortune to St. Vincent & The Grenadines with
their 2003 Box Office hit-“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black
(Orlando off camera on the ship picture) Director of Photography Dariusz
Wolski (center) lend Orlando Bloom (right) a hand during the filming of Walt
Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
The crush of people haggling for tickets outside Cinerama Cinemas, Kingstown,
St. Vincent symbolized and captured Vincentian sentiment about the film. We
couldn’t wait to see it! Such was the fervour that gripped every Vincentian
awaiting the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black
Pearl…the pushing and tugging to get into the cinema was unbelievable!
This was ‘our movie’. Sure, the movie starred Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and
Geoffrey Rush, but the real star for Vincentians was our very own Gem of The
Antilles-Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Our cove Wallilabou, For Charlotte,
and in the Grenadines, Balliceaux, and the Tobago Cays. Wherever there was
seaside and island footage every Vincy would be jumping up and swelling up
So there I was, sitting in the darkened Cinema, awaiting the start of our
movie-“Pirates” and I wondered whether I’d even recognise the place. Would I
recognise my brother Jerry who was an extra? He was in full pirate regalia!
(Johnny Depp on the mast of the ship picture) For the roguish yet charming
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the crystalline waters of the Caribbean
present a vast playground.
The film opened to applause-there it was, our sparkling blue waters, Fort
Charlotte with its cannon pointing inland, there was Wallilabou which, through
the magic of editing and computer technology, appeared to be ensconced in a
valley carefully watched over by our towering fort. Someone shouted, “Camera
tricks, dread!” And didn’t our Fort look
majestic! At that very moment, the film was worth every cent of the ten
dollars I had paid to get it, it was worth all the fuss and fighting to clear
the door and the crush to get popcorn! And the opening credits were barely
Pirates took many months to complete and we watched in awe as Disney Studios
made movie magic. Wallilabou was transformed into bustling Port Royal and our
island never looked more beautiful. Cinematography to die for, the whole
choice of lighting, colours, wardrobe, everything worked to transport us back
into the realm of the pirate. We could feel the sweltering heat on the jetty,
the discomfort of the British finery (corset, wigs and all) in the West Indian
sun, we could taste the rum-we were there!
Who wouldn’t want to be the inimitable Jack Sparrow (so ably portrayed by
Johnny Depp)? His slurred speech was like a private joke, shared with every
Vincy who ever took a shot of Sunset Rum. Geoffrey Rush was menacing, and
perhaps the most articulate pirate ever immortalized on film. We found
ourselves admiring the bad guy! And Orlando Bloom bloomed in every female
heart there that night. The purists may look to technical questions, marketing
issues, plot development, dialogue, and actors’ performances as critics are
wont to do. However, if you had told me, before I’d seen this film, that a
Disney fun-ride could successfully be transformed into an entertaining,
clever, creative romp of a movie, I’d have been the first person to ask you to
walk the plank with that idea!
I heard a woman behind me shout, “That little boy come from Bagga!” The entire
cinema erupted into laughter as the young actor said his line. We didn’t know
whether to believe her or not, but surely the rumour that a local from
Barrouallie had a speaking part in the film would only add to the
anticipation, ticket sales and overall appeal of the movie. Vincies who had
the opportunity to see the sets being constructed readily gave away trade
secrets. “you see that boat hull? It make from concrete and board.”
Being in the cinema was as much about seeing the film as it was about hearing
the running commentary from the other patrons.
“Johnny Depp was at Ocean Allegro y’know,” said one young lady with a sigh…
“Pirates” brought Hollywood home. It put money in our coffers, brought jobs
for our people, and above all else, we now have the right to brag that St.
Vincent and the Grenadines, just like Trinidad and Jamaica can be considered a
Every time you drive along the Leeward Coast, it is almost impossible not to
look out to the horizon and hope for a glimpse of the Black Pearl.
It is now one month later and the movie is still in demand. Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the cinema’s top seller. Right now
Cinerama is packed with new and returning viewers. The lines: as long as at
the premiere. Me? I’ve seen it six times. Tomorrow night I am heading back to
the cinema for a seventh helping…my mission: to catch a glimpse of my brother,
Vynnette A. Frederick is an avid movie fan, awaiting her Call to the Bar in
(Johnny and Orlando pic) (Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, left) and Will Turner
(Orlando Bloom, right) join forces on the fastest ship in the British fleet,
the H.M.S. Interceptor
(Picture of the Black Pearl) The Black Pearl, the notorious ‘ghost
ship’, looms on the dark ocean.
(Barbossa and crew pic) Wily Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush, foreground) is
flanked by his first mate, Bo’ sun (Isaac C. Singleton, Jr., (left) and other
members of his motley crew.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” is directed by Gore
Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer from a screenplay by Ted Elliott
& Terry Rossio and a screen story by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and
Stuart Beattie & Jay Wolpert. Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Bruce Hendricks and
Paul Deason executive produce. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.