Sound Feature: The Buccaneer


Studio: A Cecil B. DeMille Production
Paramount Pictures
Premiered: February 4, 1938

Featured Cast: Fredric March, Franciska Gaal, Akim Tamiroff

Producer-director: Cecil B. DeMille
Screenwriter: Harold Lamb, Edwin Justus Mayer, C. Gardner Sullivan
Source: Lyle Saxon’s book Lafitte the Pirate
Additional writers: Emily Barrye, Grover Jones, Jesse Lasky Jr., Jeanie Macpherson, Preston Sturges
Cinematographer: Victor Milner
Associate producer: William H. Pine
Second-unit director: Arthur Rosson
Art directors: Hans Dreier, Roland Anderson
Costumers: Dwight Franklin, Dan Sayre Groesbeck, Natalie Visart
Music: George Antheil
Editor: Anne Bauchens


The pirate Jean Lafitte takes up the cause of the United States during the War of 1812.

Production Quote

“I like to work for Mr. DeMille. He does a painstaking job and never calls a thing finished until it actually is. Just having it do won’t do for him. It takes patience to do the things he does, but he has plenty of it, and if an actor is poor in a DeMille picture, well then he just doesn’t know his trade, which in the final analysis is what acting amounts to.”

– Fredric March to Robert McIlwaine, “Talking Things Over,” Modern Screen, January 1938


“DeMille, in again recoursing to American history, obviously recognized the necessity for adulterating fact with palatable celluloid fiction, and his scriveners have seen to it that both are well blended.”

– The Weekly Variety, January 12, 1938

Letters From Regional Theater Owners

“Cecil B. DeMille has so far outstripped The Plainsman that you cannot compare the two. It would be hard believe that the same genius was responsible for both of them. This picture is on a par with any of recent years. Get behind it and sell it. You can’t say too much for it. They’re bound to like it.”

– R.D. Leatherman, Rialto Theatre, Denison, Texas, Motion Picture Herald, March 12, 1938


The Buccaneer cost $1,395,752.08. There are no figures available for earnings.
(These figures have not been adjusted for inflation nor do they include the considerable profits realized from reissues, television syndication, and home entertainment formats.)