The 4 Greatest Hollywood Pirates

June 24, 2022

There’s something about pirates that captured the imaginations of generations. Perhaps it’s the swashbuckling tales of adventure and freedom on the seven seas that makes pirates so alluring.

1. Captain Long John Silver – Treasure Island

To us, Captain Long John Silver is the great Hollywood/literary pirate of all time. First introduced in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, the story of the infamous pirate captain has seen numerous adaptations that have transcended generations. While John Silver’s origins were explored in the series Black Sails, John Silver is truly “Long John” in Treasure Island.

2. Edward “Blackbeard” Teach – Various Adaptations

Okay. So Blackbeard isn’t exactly a fictional pirate, but he’s certainly been adapted as a fictional character many times, so he makes the list! Edward “Blackbeard” Teach is one of the most infamous pirates of all time. It can be argued that our modern view of pirates is based on Blackbeard’s theatrics during his time at sea – including putting fuses in his beard. 

Blackbeard sought to capture ships using fear over force, therefore resolving conflicts without much bloodshed. These theatrics have earned him a place in both pirate and Hollywood history. 

3. Captain Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise

What’s a Hollywood pirate list without the famous Captain Jack Sparrow, brilliantly played by Johnny Depp in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Sparrow is perhaps the most “Hollywood” pirate on this list, with perfect comedic timing and a reluctant heart of gold (and for gold). However, the fictional captain does embody the spirit of freedom and mischief that pirates are known for today. 

4. Captain Hook – Peter Pan

Captain Hook is a true icon. Hook has been adapted so many times that it’s hard to keep track! From books to stageplays to Disney animated movies to live action movies and television shows – Captain Hook is the pirate that almost always returns. 

Did you know that Hook is potentially based on a real pirate from history? Rumor has it that Peter Pan’s original author, J.M. Barrie, based Captain Hook on the likeness of real-life privateer Christopher Newport who led attacks on Spanish ships and settlements for the English. 

Learn The True Stories of Real Pirates in Salem, MA

Now that you’ve learned a bit about our favorite Hollywood pirates, it’s time to learn about the real New England pirates! You may find that the truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

At the Real Pirates in Salem, MA, you can learn the true history of New England pirates, specifically, Captain Black Sam Bellamy of the Whydah Gally. Here, you’ll explore Bellamy’s infamous history as one of the youngest and richest pirates of all time. 

The exhibition includes in depth information about the pirate captain, his crew, and his lover, Maria Hallet “the Witch of Wellfleet.” You’ll also have the chance to get up close and personal with real pirate treasure. In fact, Real Pirates holds the world’s first fully authentic pirate treasure. 

So, do you love pirates as much as we do? Be sure to book your tickets to Real Pirates today!