197 user 73 critic

Cutthroat Island (1995)

1:01 | Trailer
A female pirate and her companion race against their rivals to find a hidden island that contains a fabulous treasure.


Renny Harlin


Michael Frost Beckner (story), James Gorman (story) | 4 more credits »
4,604 ( 368)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Geena Davis ... Morgan Adams
Matthew Modine ... William Shaw
Frank Langella ... Dawg Brown
Maury Chaykin ... John Reed
Patrick Malahide ... Ainslee
Stan Shaw ... Mr. Glasspoole
Rex Linn ... Mr. Blair
Paul Dillon ... Snelgrave
Christopher Masterson ... Bowen (as Chris Masterson)
Jimmie F. Skaggs ... Scully
Harris Yulin ... Black Harry Adams
Carl Chase Carl Chase ... Bishop
Peter Geeves Peter Geeves ... Fiddler Pirate
Angus Wright ... Captain Trotter
Ken Bones ... Toussant


Morgan Adams and her slave, William Shaw, are on a quest to recover the three portions of a treasure map. Unfortunately, the final portion is held by her murderous uncle, Dawg. Her crew is skeptical of her leadership abilities, so she must complete her quest before they mutiny against her. This is made yet more difficult by the efforts of the British crown to end her piratical raids. Written by Stern

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Course Has Been Set. There Is No Turning Back. Prepare Your Weapons. Summon Your Courage. Discover the Adventure of a Lifetime!

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong pirate action/violence and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Due to the casting distractions, Renny Harlin hadn't really been able to pay attention to the sets and production design. When he finally did, he didn't like any of it. It all had to be redesigned and rebuilt in a rather short time frame-and then the script had to be rewritten to accommodate the changes. Both had a lot to do with driving the film's budget way up. See more »


Morgan's ship, being pursued by another, is supposed to be running at full sail, but a wider shot that includes some of the surrounding water reveals it to be motionless. See more »


Dawg: [watching Morgan and Shaw falling into the ocean] Love. Who can explain it?
See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive a PG certificate the UK cinema version was cut by 72 seconds, with a further 4 seconds of cuts for home video. These changes included numerous edits to fight scenes, Morgan's breast being caressed during a body search, neck and arm breaks, a head butt and kicks to bodies. Almost all the impact sounds in the major fight scenes were also reduced or removed from the soundtrack. A similarly-edited pre-cut version was submitted to the BBFC in 2003 for DVD release by Momentum Pictures, which restored some of the original edits and sound effects but was still cut by an additional one second to obtain a PG rating under then-BBFC policy. See more »


Featured in Cinematic Excrement: Cutthroat Island (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Big budget pirate adventure about a female pirate captain attempting to take a treasure for herself
14 December 2020 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An underrated epic pirate movie that failed at box office , set in 17th century and stars a female pirate searching for a valuable treasure. She is Morgan Adams : Geena Davis (then Mrs Harlin) who attempts to free a polish , rogue crook : Matthew Modine from slavery and save the life of her father : Harris Yulin at the hands of his brother Henry Morgan : Frank Langella . Her main problem is the map revealing the location has been divided into three pieces . Se only has the first , etched oh her daddy's scalp. Along the way she persuades the educated slave/thief Mathew Modine who has lots of charm , no morals to assist her . The Course has been set. There is no Turning Back. Prepare Your Weapons . Summon Your Courage . Discover the Adventure of a Lifetime¡

Lavish swashbuckling with great production design in which almost everything from entire sea ports -actually set in Malta- are destroyed along the way in a series of impressive stunts that will have your breath away, as well as spectacular sea battles in which entire ships to Jamaica were bombed , though really shot in Thailand . Small children will be entranced and amused by the frolics and antics of a pet monkey . Long on action and short on studio character and plot . Well starred by Geena Davis, she gives exuberance enough for her pirate queen role . Her despicable uncle is nicely played by Frank Langella as the scurvy veteran pirate who wants to take the treasure at whatever cost and he won't stop at nothing . They are finely accompanied by a good support cast , such as : Harris Yulin, Maury Chaykin, Patrick Malahide, Stan Shaw, Rex Linn , Paul Dillon, Angus Wright, Christopher Masterson , among others.

Special mention for the rousing and thrilling musical score by John Debney . As well as colorful and sunny cinematography by Peter Levy , shot on wonderful locations in Malta and Thailand. Filmmaker Renny Harlin likes lots of blowing up and frenetic action when he does not know what else to do, resulting in an overlong and a little tiring movie . It was a commercial flop that bankrupted the powerful production company Carolco/Mario Kassar . The motion picture was regular but professionally directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard , Cliffhanger, Hercules, Cleaner , Exorcist the beginning , Mindhunters, Deep Blue sea , Long Kiss goodnight , Driven , 12 Rounds , 5 days of War) . Rating : 6/10 . An amusing and fun pirate movie though kiddies may be frightened by some gory and bloody action scenes . Well worth watching .

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Frequently Asked Questions

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France | Italy | Germany | USA



Release Date:

22 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cutthroat Island See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Ricasoli, Kalkara, Malta See more »


Box Office


$98,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,371,415, 25 December 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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