ByMax Farrow, writer at
Fanatical film-watcher, Hill-walker, Writer and Biscuit Connoisseur. Follow me on Twitter: @Farrow91 or on Facebook: @maxfarrowwriter
Max Farrow

From under the cloud of Johnny Depp’s many controversies, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has arrived to buckle swashes afresh and bring home the booty for Disney. In the new film we find Capn’ Jack Sparrow embarking on fresh misadventures as he attempts to outwit the cursed privateer, Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem) alongside several new characters. But while Dead Men Tell No Tales harbors some major plot developments, and also goes out of its way to set up some potential sequels it also contains several pretty left field — and clever — winks to the series' past as well.

Mayo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me!

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has delighted in showing getting into (and out of) increasingly deep and treacherous waters, and Dead Men Tell No Tales is no exception. In what must surely be a daily occurrence for the famed freebooter, a new scene sees Jack being led to the executioner, complete with a jeering, jostling crowd that’s baying for his blood. Clearly Jack never changes between the films but when he’s given a final ultimatum it seems that the times around him have.

Indeed, Jack’s asked whether he wants to meet his maker by use of a new invention: the guillotine. In the above clip, Jack attempts to reply to — and outwardly ponder — the dilemma in his now iconic, meandering fashion:

“Guillotine? Sounds French! I love the French! Did you know that they invented mayonnaise?”

Jack begins rambling so much that the irritated redcoats start to drag him towards the device regardless of his protestations; it’s a funny moment that’s sure to amuse the casual cinema-goer, but die-hard Pirates fans will be laughing a mighty yo, ho, ho! “Why?” I hear you ask, “Surely it’s just a funny but random, throwaway line?” Well to answer this, we need to look back at the long running “parlay gag” in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Curse of the Black Pearl.

The Curious Cameo Of A Creamy Condiment

Back before Davy Jones had even showed his tentacled face and rockers started cameoing in the series left right and center, Jack Sparrow was humbly trying to reclaim the Black Pearl from his mutinous first mate Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), but following Will’s () betrayal, Jack is cornered on Isla de Muerta by the terrible twosome Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook). However, as we all remember, they stupidly remind him of the rules of parlay, meaning that he’s able to wriggle his way out of trouble yet again.

Now here’s where things get interesting. As it stands, Jack wittily explains to Pintel and Ragetti that the French thought of parlay just before the film cuts away to Will and Elizabeth escaping to the HMS Interceptor; however, a different and longer version of that sequence exists. As Lee Arenberg recounts:

“The scene was supposed to end after that, but they kept rolling so Johnny and I started to get into this improv about the French and he starts saying something about mayonnaise and for my character I didn’t know what else to say so I go 'I love mayonnaise...”

Indeed you can find this scene online and I’d recommend that you do give this, as well as the other alternate sequences, a watch. There are some other pretty funny moments, including an even more cringe-inducing take of Will’s breakage of a lamp, as well as Pintel’s admittance that he once dated a eunuch. Director Gore Verbinski definitely seems to have encouraged spontaneity during the making of the Pirates series, and there are many other instances of this practice working to great effect throughout movie history.

[Credit: Disney]
[Credit: Disney]

Yet out of all of these various cases, it’s the jars of dirt and mayonnaise which have truly stuck in the minds of fans, thanks to hilarious deliveries from Lee Arenberg and respectively. Moreover, as Arenberg stated to The Hollywood Reporter, the alternate take became very popular with Pirates enthusiasts, so much so that that:

“Every fan for a year or two who would come get an autograph would bring me a jar of mayonnaise.”

So while the scene was deleted, Jack Sparrow finally got to explain about the origins of mayonnaise after all in Dead Men Tell No Tales. In fact, the new film features the exact same wording all these years later!

The neat inclusion of this little line was certainly a nice reference from the filmmakers, both to the fans as well as the series’ history, and it’s another interesting case of discarded concepts being recycled in later films. Star Wars is another other franchise that’s repeatedly done this to great effect, and these little Easter Eggs only serve to enhance our appreciation of a film and its place in the wider world of cinema. And coincidentally, the new Pirates movie isn’t the only release this year that features an Easter Egg about guillotines and food...

It’s debatable as to whether or not Dead Men Tell No Tales matches up against its predecessors, yet there’s plenty to indicate that the series will continue sailing onward, despite its holes below deck. If it does, let’s hope that these little Easter Eggs can continue. If they don’t, someone must surely walk the plank!


What did you think of 'Dead Men Tell No Tales'?

(Poll Image: Disney. Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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