Anne of the Indies

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Anne of the Indies
File:Anne of the Indies film poster.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Jacques Tourneur
Produced by George Jessel
Written by Arthur Caesar
Philip Dunne
Herbert Sass
Starring Jean Peters
Louis Jourdan
Debra Paget
Herbert Marshall
Thomas Gomez
Music by Franz Waxman
Cinematography Harry Jackson
Edited by Robert Fritch
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • October 18, 1951 (1951-10-18) (US)
Running time
81 min
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,550,000 (US rentals)[1]

Anne of the Indies is a 1951 adventure film made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by George Jessel.

The film stars Jean Peters (the future wife of Howard Hughes) and Louis Jourdan, with Debra Paget, Herbert Marshall, Thomas Gomez and James Robertson Justice.

Story development

The story was intended to be based on the true life of pirate Anne Bonny.

"Queen Anne of the Indies" (among other proposed titles) was a short story published in the Saturday Evening Post c. 1946, by Charleston's historical fiction author, Herbert Sass. Sass was asked by New York publishers and Los Angeles studios to write a movie treatment of the story. In 1948 he offered up a fictionalized version of the true story of Anne Bonny, including a 10-page "factual basis" for the story. Studios seemed responsive, but in the end Sass was left out of the loop until the movie came out in 1951. What ended up on the screen was very different from the original story. Without writer credit to Sass, it would be difficult to convince anyone it was the same story.[2]

Susan Hayward was originally slated for the lead role, but eventually was replaced by Jean Peters.[3]


After seizing a British ship, the female pirate captain Anne Providence (Jean Peters) spares Pierre LaRochelle (Louis Jourdan), a Frenchman captured by the British, from walking the plank. He agrees to join Providence's crew and soon she begins to fall for the handsome officer.

They travel to an island where they meet with her pirate mentor Captain Blackbeard (played by Thomas Gomez), who takes an instant dislike to LaRochelle although he, at first, holds back as he can see Anne has affection for him. Blackbeard eventually realises he has seen LaRochelle before in the French navy when a pirate was hanged. When he reveals this, LaRochelle claims he has left the French navy. Anne believes him, but when Blackbeard attacks him, she defends him and sends Blackbeard and his men away, making an enemy of Blackbeard. It eventually transpires that LaRochelle is working for the British as they have captured his ship, and he has a wife. He betrays Anne to the British who attack her ship. Anne escapes and takes his wife hostage. The British do not return LaRochelle's ship to him, as they did not capture Anne, so LaRochelle gets a ship of his own to go after Anne. In a battle, LaRochelle's ship is destroyed and he is captured. Anne then maroons LaRochelle and his wife on a remote island to die. She sails away, but a few days later her conscience compels her to return with provisions and a small boat. As she does so she is attacked by Blackbeard; instead of fleeing, to stop Blackbeard from finding LaRochelle she stays and fights, even though her ship is no match. Her ship is destroyed, and she is killed.



  1. 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  2. Sass files: South Carolina Historical Society
  3. Local newspaper articles: South Carolina Historical Society

External links