Movies – 10 Movies To Watch If You Love Sea Shanties
Sail onto the high seas and get fully into those sea shanties with some wonderful films that are guaranteed to get you singing along. By now, most people have heard The Wellerman, a song that went viral on TikTok and has been the inspiration for a huge number of videos (and playlists) in recent weeks. Sea Shanties like the Wellerman have been hailed as an antidote to the misery of the past year, bringing people together in a spirit of collaboration.
However, they are also associated with pirates and the open seas, and long before the current trend, lovers of the open seas have been enjoying them. So let’s sit down with some sugar and tea and rum, and check out the films that are going to inspire some of those same feelings of community, adventure, and occasionally, piracy.
10 Fisherman’s Friends
This 2019 comedy-drama is a wonderful and heartwarming story about a real sea shanty band named, of course, Fisherman’s Friends. It tells the tale of a small Cornish town as their beloved band gets their lives uprooted with the promise of a record deal, much to their bewilderment and disbelief.
It’s a wonderful film that’s jam-packed with different shanties, many you may know and others will be new, but all are catchy and brilliant. Just like the songs they sing, this film isn’t one to be missed and has certainly gone under the radar! With a 7.0 rating on IMDb, this may become a new best film discovery as well as a new favorite band.
9 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
It would be wrong to not acknowledge Pirates of the Caribbean. However, if any film is going to get the viewer into the pirate mindset and long to get on a boat, it’s the amazing and slightly drunk, Captain Jack Sparrow.
As the first installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, this one shows what it’s like to be a gold hunting pirate as well as all the different myths and legends that surrounded these swashbucklers. It is a fun and pretty good film in itself, and although it’s not exactly historically accurate, it’s certainly a go-to pirate film and not one to ever be missed.
8 The Bounty
Released in 1984, this isn’t exactly a new film but many would certainly call it a classic. The Bounty tells the tale of Captain William Bligh who explains the recent events leading up to a mutiny. Interestingly it isn’t the first film that explores the mutiny but this one features Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis, Liam Neeson, Anthony Hopkins, and Mel Gibson so it’s undoubtedly star-studded!
It’s a classic tale of life on the sea and will set the viewer on a marvelous adventure, one that isn’t too common in pirate films these days. It got a rating of 7.1 on IMDb so it’s clear that many viewers love this tale, that or they just love the actors.
7 Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous is a rather unique and timeless film that explores a spoilt child who falls into the sea and is saved by a fishing boat and taught how to live the life of a fisherman. Along the way, he discovers himself and the life he is so naive to.
Perhaps the best reason to watch this 1937 film is the soundtrack. Filled with shanties that many won’t have heard of, this will certainly get you into the spirit of the sea life. Not only is the soundtrack wonderful but the film itself has an 8.0 on IMDb and many fans and critics alike have praised its filmmaking and subject matter.
6 The Crimson Pirate
The Crimson Pirate is exactly what you’d expect from a 1952 pirate film. Topless men, inspiring and uplifting music, and of course, huge ships and the navy. However, it tells more than just swashbuckling pirates looting all the gold. It explores the Caribbean revolution and a rather unsuspecting pirate captain who ends up getting involved with various money-making schemes involving the Caribbean rebels as well as a beautiful woman.
It’s a well-made film for its time and is certainly uplifting, especially with how energetic and excitable Burt Lancaster (Captain Vallo) is, it’s almost infectious and will certainly get those pirate loving viewers smiling from ear to ear.
5 Treasure Island
Treasure Island is beyond a classic film and never lets the audience down. It’s exciting, transforming, and will get any viewer feeling like a pirate.
Released in 1950, this film is one of 50 different adaptations but is arguably one of, if not the best, followed by its 2012 TV movie counterpart. It explores notorious pirate Captain Flint and really embodies the nature of pirates and sailing the seven seas. If sea shanties are your thing, this film will undoubtedly enhance those loves and may even convince you to buy a pirate hat and a parrot.
4 Blow The Man Down
A bit of a contrast when compared to the many pirate films released in the ’40s and ’50s. However, Blow The Man Down takes its title from the well-known sea shanty that viewers will get to hear at the beginning of this film. It’s a more modern experience that delves into the criminal underbelly of a fishing town after two girls attempt to cover up the murder of a dangerous man.
While it is very different from the likes of Treasure Island or The Crimson Pirate, it should be a nice change and something a little more modern. Plus, the audience does get a wonderful rendition of Blow The Man Down at the beginning.
3 Swallows and Amazons
The 2016 rendition of Swallows and Amazons is a feel-good adventure film with sailing and the sea at its core. It pretty much summarises everything children long to be. It’s a classic story of children who long for adventure and are allowed to stay on an island for the night, but then discover there’s more of an adventure in store than they realized.
It’s a lovely film that will just embody your childhood aspirations of becoming a pirate as well as being an escape from the real world as you come to live on this beautiful island and sail to your heart’s content.
2 Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Another modern film, released in 2003, Master and Commander is a wonderful film set during the Napoleonic Wars and starring Russel Crowe. It’s an epic period drama that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats as well as showing them the hardships behind being on the open seas.
The music itself is enough to get you desperate to listen to more shanties, especially since this film is packed with them. The music itself is intense, adventurous, and thrilling, making this film a must watch to all those obsessed with pirates and sea shanties.
1 Damn the Defiant!
Another film set during the Napoleonic Wars, Damn the Defiant! is equally as gripping and thrilling. It has 100% on rotten tomatoes so much can be said about how good of a film it is. However, more can be said about the subject matter.
It takes everything pirate fans want and puts it all together, mutinies, huge ships, battles, and a fantastic score that just screams pirate movie. Although it’s an older film, released in 1962, this film is not to be missed.
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