Before I delve into the movie I chose for today’s genre, I’d like to share some history behind the term “Summer Blockbuster.” How old do you think this term is? Sixty years? Fifty? I’ll give you a hint: this movie paved the way for Shark Week. Jaws, which was released in 1975, began the summer blockbuster craze. Jaws was released during the summer, and even though it’s million dollar ticket sales had been surpassed in the past by Gone with the Wind and The Sound of Music, the film’s success created a modern movie tradition.
“Blockbuster” itself is a term that was originally associated with theatre. Historians believe that this term meant that the play was so successful that it “busted” the other play houses on the block. Now it is used to describe movies, books, video games, or anything that makes a ton of money.
The Pirates franchise is perfect for the Summer Blockbuster genre. It’s high action, it has romance, and it is a period piece. Did that last part throw you? I think part of what makes Pirates so special is that it is a period piece. It takes the genre of Summer Blockbuster and gives it an interesting spin. Old world pirates are shrouded in mystery and fantasy. There are so many legends and folk lore surrounding pirates that I think a well done movie about pirates was bound to happen. It just so happened to be a Summer Blockbuster.
Everyone who has heard of this movie franchise knows that it was based on the popular Disney theme park ride. What you may not know is that the screenwriters wrote the script in the early 90’s and Disney turned down the movie in the pitch meeting. Steven Spielberg got the script and wanted to make the movie with Steve Martin or Robin Williams as Captain Jack. Disney still did not want to make the movie. This is so exciting! Almost or possibly a full decade after the original pitch to Disney, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio saw their script become a Summer Blockbuster. Give your dreams a chance. Sometimes they do not come to fruition immediately. Keep working toward your goals.
Favorite Line: You like pain? Try wearing a corset!
Favorite Character: Jack Sparrow, of course!
Favorite Scene: When Elizabeth passes out from wearing her too tight dress falling into the water. It’s kind of symbolic. Society is trying to confine her into a certain type of person that she can never be so fate intervenes and she is allowed to be one with her true self – a sea loving adventurer.