• Pirates of the Caribbean
    excels at creating chaotic battle scenes with accurate historical elements and diverse crews, according to piracy historian Rebecca Simon.
  • The franchise effectively balances thrilling battles involving core characters, multiple fights, and fantastical elements.
  • The accurate representation of diversity enriches the battles, with scenes ranging from close combat between ships to personal duels.



Piracy historian Rebecca Simon appreciates the attention to historical accuracy during a battle scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The 2003 Disney film was a box office hit that launched the popular franchise and its numerous sequels. While the series romanticizes the life of a pirate to create swashbuckling adventures, various elements from real-life history are incorporated when they serve the story and the characters well.

In a video for Insider, Simon analyzes historical accuracy in a range of films and television series that feature pirates. The battle scene in question is during the first Pirates of the Caribbean, when Captain Hector Barbossa pursues Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, Captain Jack Sparrow, and his crew, along with the medallion needed to break the curse. The analysis applies not only to the way the battle is conducted, but to the diverse individuals embroiled in the fighting. Check out Simon’s comments and the video below:

That is a
pretty good example of a very chaotic pirate battle scene
. In terms of using cannonballs to shoot at a ship, that was usually kind of a last resort that a lot of ships would do, or if they really intended to sink that ship immediately, because cannonballs are going to cause massive damage very, very quickly. So,

cannons are used when you mean business, just like it was done in this scene.

You see Keira Knightley and you see Anamaria, played by Zoe Saldana, and that’s pretty accurate. There were women on pirate ships. We don’t know how many, but it’s cool that Disney does actually include that, and also, they do a great job with the crew because, if you look, the crew is extremely diverse. You have people of color, you have British people, and
this is very accurate to what a typical pirate ship would be in during the Golden Age of piracy

Pirates Of The Caribbean Always Has Great Battle Scenes

In the battle that Simon analyzes, the use of cannonballs and the crews swinging between the two ships for close combat creates a sense of fast-paced chaos that brings the sequence to life. Having the core characters, Elizabeth, Will, Jack, and Barbossa, all caught in the fight raises the stakes and makes the thrilling battle feel essential, even with an hour still left in the story. A single battle between two ships, such as this one between the Black Pearl and the Interceptor, is done exceptionally well throughout the franchise.

The franchise is just as effective at balancing multiple fights at once, including at the end of the first film, as it moves between the cursed pirates attacking the British soldiers aboard the HMS Dauntless while Elizabeth, Will, Jack, and Barbossa have their own duels on Isla de Muerta. These scenes are further enriched by the accurate diversity that Simon mentions. Despite the high bar that had been set, the third film, At World’s End, arguably raised the bar even higher with the battle between the Black Pearl and Davy Jones’ the Flying Dutchman as they circle a maelstrom.


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Certain shots zoom out and give a bird’s eye view of the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman locked in combat and teetering on the edge of the maelstrom, while other shots are more grounded and focus on the more personal duels and interactions between the characters. This battle is far more fantastical than the one Simon analyzes from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, but is just as riveting to watch. These scenes are a consistent high point throughout the franchise, made even better by the accuracy incorporated into the Black Pearl and Interceptor’s battle.

Pirates of the Caribbean
movies are streaming on Disney+.

Source: Insider

Pirates of the Caribbean The Curse of the Black Pearl Poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The Curse of the Black Pearl is the film that kickstarted the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, a series of supernatural swashbuckling adventures. In 1720, blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate “Captain” Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor’s daughter Elizabeth Swann, from Jack’s former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Gore Verbinski

Release Date
July 9, 2003

Terry Rossio , Ted Elliott

143 minutes

Pirates of the Caribbean

$140 million

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