Olive Film's Blu-ray: Yellowbeard (1983)

YellowBeard (1983)

Company: Olive Films

Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Martin Hewitt, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan, Ferdy Mayne, James Mason

Plot: Product Description: Having survived a 20-year incarceration for tax evasion, the notorious pirate Yellowbeard escapes to claim his hidden treasure after the Royal Navy imposes a bogus additional prison sentence. Gathering a crew of miscreants and ne’re-do-wells (AKA his friend and companions), Yellowbeard sets out to locate the treasure map (which has been inexplicably tattooed on his son’s head) and find the booty in this comic riff on the swashbuckler.

My Review and Thoughts:

Here is a different and often forgotten about funny comedy, that's a required taste. This is lovingly brought out on Blu-ray by the one and only Olive Films. This is a beautiful Blu-ray. High quality. Great vibrant color and equally important audio. The movie has never looked any better.

It’s been a long time since I have seen this, and I was thoroughly excited to see it again. It’s a film not for everyone. It is a different style of entertainment. It’s one of those forgotten films due mainly because of its production, and all the destructive moments that went wrong in making this film. A comedy that is silly and hysterical and downright memorable in many ways.

Huge cast of great actors and actresses. This would be actor Marty Feldman’s last film performance. Feldman was a legend, an icon and a brilliant performer. He was able to create the many laughs that many movie's detailed. He was a master at his craft and always held the watcher. He owned every part he ever did, and Gilbert in Yellowbeard is no different. He is most famous for playing in Young Frankenstein, but he was so much more than that, and Yellowbeard is one of those films that expresses that reality. Marty was only 48 years old when he had heart attack that took his life. It was during the making of Yellowbeard that his untimely death happened. He was one of the greatest comedies/actors to ever grace cinema. He knew his parts and created those memories of perfection in this art form.

Sadly what hurt Yellowbeard was its funding? It took forever just to complete the film due to its many changes in development and scripts and yes Marty’s death. There was delay, after delay and changing of many actors in the lead. The film seemed doomed from the start.

Most of the critics hated this movie and even the actors spoke vocal about. It was a doomed film during it’s time. Whatever the case is, I still enjoy this movie, mainly for its amazing dynamite cast. Starring some of the greats such as, Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle, Peter Cook, Eric Idle, Cheech and Chong, John Cleese, a powerhouse of comedy legends. I don’t think this movie is great, but I don’t think is horrible as some have stated. I think it’s one of those movies that’s a acquired taste. I think a certain group of movie persons, will get this film. I was entertained with all it’s over the top goofiness and mix of humor once again seeing it.

This also has in it the wonderful James Mason. Mason is one of my all-time favorite actors. He had a style and attitude toward his characters that few actors have. There is a sophisticated reality toward his personas. Well over 150 acting performances in his career. Gracing such amazing pieces of cinema as, 1954’s A Star is Born, 1950’s North by Northwest, 1962’s masterpiece, Lolita. His long career from the 1930’s till 1985 was a mix of high class performances. Many will know him from some of his most famous roles, Nazi Erwin Rommel in 1951’s The Desert Fox, and the other that I love him in, 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, where he plays the famous character Captain Nemo. I also am a huge fan of 1978’s The Boys from Brazil where Mason is golden in the part of Eduard Seibert. But in all his career, I think it would be his role in Stephen King’s masterpiece TV movie 1979’s Salem’s Lot, playing Straker that I always end up remembering. He is a golden performer and his part Yellowbeard is no different.

I think that is what makes this film stand out the most. All the performers. A mix of amazing performers. Yellowbeard is directed by Mel Damski. He is best known for directing Television from the 1970’s all the way to the present. From Picket Fences, Early Edition, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Charmed, Psych, and many others. His main stay is in TV shows or TV movies. He also directed another funny comical film 1985’s Mischief. It’s like he pops away from TV every once and a while and directs a feature film, but he is mainly a TV man.

Like I say there is nothing wrong with the product. Olive Film’s did another amazing job in capturing another film on a lovely blu-ray.


Nothing wrong here. Vibrant in color and crisp in sound.
Screen: 1.85:1, Color
Languages: English


A fun, silly watch of a acquired taste. It’s comical and it’s weird. A great cast of performers. A script that was damaged in tones of pre-production, but ultimately got made. I feel the movie is worth a watch, and the blu-ray is an excellent buy to watch it on.



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