Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese and Tedd Pierce; Animation by Manuel Perez, Ken Chapin, Virgil Ross, and Gerry Chiniquy; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Paul Julian; Boice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Directon by Carl W. Stalling. Released on May 8, 1948.
He may be remembered as a cowboy, but Sam had many different occupations in the shorts he appeared in. This was his second appearance even! (Unless, you count “Along came Daffy” but there is no concrete evidence that either of the men in that short were Sam)
As a pirate, Sam is burying his treasure so that no one will know where it is. (His eyebrows turn pink. It’s that tropic sun, I tell ya.) But as he tosses it in the hole, Bugs tosses it back up. Sam decides to shoot him to keep his secret safe. “Dead rabbits tell no tales.” Bugs corrects him that it’s dead men. Sam figures he has no choice and starts to aim at his head. (Hysterical) He quickly catches on and gives chase. Bugs hops in Sam’s rowboat and rows so fast, he ends up paddling himself out of the boat and onto Sam’s ship. Seeing this, Sam swims out to the ship, grabs the oars and swims back to the boat to row. (A good gag to be sure, but it makes sense. He might needs that boat later and he’ll want the oars) Once aboard he runs into Captain Bligh from “Mutiny on the Bounty.” (Bugs of course) He gives Sam several orders and chuckles while Sam does so. He soon wises up and Bugs hides. It would work, but Sam’s parrot keeps obnoxiously pointing out the rabbit’s hiding places. Bugs shuts him up by giving it a (fire)cracker. Taking the birds place, he tells Sam the rabbit is in the cannon. BOOM! Bugs takes the crow’s nest like an elevator and is well out of Sam’s reach. Sam orders him down, and Bugs yells for him to catch him as he tosses an anvil which causes the whole ship to submerge, (save Bugs) until Sam lets go of it. After some hilarious cannon gags and the brilliant many doors gag, (Bugs enters a door, Sam is about to follow when Bugs emerges from another door and enters a different one and Sam can’t catch up) We get to undoubtedly the best part of this short. Sam comes over to Bugs who is standing by the stairs to the powder room. (By which I mean where the gunpowder is kept. It’s not a latrine. When you’re a pirate, the ocean is your latrine) Smiling like a troll, Bugs lights a match and throws it down. Sam reacts how you’d think and runs after it. He manages to get it and berates Bugs for doing that. Bugs responds by doing it again. Sam grabs it once more, but tells Bugs that if he does it again, he’s not chasing after it. Bugs does it again. (This really is one of the best gags is all cartoon-dom. I’ve yet to see it be used in any other piece of media) Sam is true to his word and tries to keep busy, but ultimately can’t take it and tries to retrieve the match. Too late. The ship is blown to pieces and Bugs and Sam are blown back to the Island. Sam chases Bugs back to his hole thinking he has him cornered. But Bug’s hole is really a buried cannon. Sam surrenders despite the Bugs claim that he hasn’t even begun the fight.
Personal Rating: 4