Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 American adventure fantasy film and the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In the film, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is joined by Angelica (Penélope Cruz) in his search for the Fountain of Youth, confronting the infamous pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane). The plot draws inspiration from the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers, which also inspired the LucasArts game The Secret of Monkey Island. It is directed by Rob Marshall, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
The movie was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and was released in the United Kingdom and Italy on May 18, 2011, in Australia on May 19, 2011, and in the United States and Canada on May 20, 2011. The release was presented in Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D, as well as in traditional two-dimensional and IMAX formats. The film was first announced in 2008 and principal photography started in June 2010. The release was the first in the series to be directed by Rob Marshall and not Gore Verbinski. It was also the first movie in the series which featured fictional versions of historical characters such as Blackbeard, George II of Great Britain, Henry Pelham, John Carteret and Ferdinand VI of Spain. It was the first Pirates of the Caribbean film to be released in 3D and Jerry Bruckheimer's second 3D film, following the 2009 movie G-Force. It was also the fifth Disney film to use Dolby 7.1 surround sound. While previous films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have been filmed in the Caribbean Sea, On Stranger Tides was filmed mainly in Hawaii.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) travels to London to locate a person who has been impersonating him. The imposter has been recruiting a crew to search for the legendary Fountain of Youth. First Sparrow rescues his former first mate, Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally), who is about to be hanged, though the two are captured. Jack is brought before King George II (Richard Griffiths), who wants him to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth before the Spanish find it. Heading the expedition is Jack's old nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now a privateer in service to the British Navy after having lost Jack's ship, the Black Pearl, as well as his leg. Jack escapes, and is found by his father, Captain Teague (Keith Richards), who warns Jack about the Fountain's tests. Jack then discovers that the imposter is Angelica (Penélope Cruz), his former lover and daughter of the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), who possesses supernatural powers and practices voodoo magic. Jack is forced to join Blackbeard's crew and to lead them to the Fountain. Meanwhile, Gibbs, who memorized, then destroyed Sparrow's map, barters with Barbossa to lead him to the Fountain. Aboard Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, Angelica reveals that the Fountain's water must be drunk from silver chalices once belonging to Juan Ponce de León, and that one chalice must contain a mermaid's tear. The person drinking from the chalice with the tear will have their life extended, while the one drinking from the other will die. Blackbeard intends to use the Fountain's power to circumvent his fated fatal encounter with a one-legged man, and sets course to Whitecap Bay. There he traps a mermaid that a captive missionary, Philip Swift (Sam Claflin), later names Syrena (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey). Blackbeard then sends Sparrow to retrieve the chalices from de León's grounded ship. Sparrow arrives finding only Barbossa: the Spanish have already taken the chalices. Barbossa admits that he only wants to kill Blackbeard for capturing the Black Pearl, forcing Barbossa to amputate his own leg to escape. He and Jack devise a plan to defeat Blackbeard; they then steal the chalices from the nearby Spanish camp. Meanwhile, Syrena, who returns Philip's love, is tricked into shedding a tear, which Blackbeard collects, then leaves her to die while forcing Philip to go with him. Sparrow returns with the chalices and Gibbs, who he had reunited with while helping Barbossa. Jack negotiates with Blackbeard to return his confiscated magical compass (which points in the direction of whatever the person holding it desires most) and to free Gibbs in exchange for the chalices and leading them to the Fountain. Blackbeard agrees, and Gibbs is freed, departing with Jack's compass. At the Fountain, Blackbeard and his crew are attacked by Barbossa and also the Spanish, who have been sent by the king to destroy the Fountain, believing it to be an abomination against God. After a lengthy fight, Barbossa stabs Blackbeard with a poison-laced sword, but Angelica is also wounded by it. Barbossa then steals Blackbeard's magical sword and leaves with Blackbeard's former crew. Philip, mortally wounded, escapes and returns to Syrena and frees her. After finding the chalices and giving them to Sparrow, Syrena returns and takes the dying Phillip underwater to heal him. Angelica intends to sacrifice herself for her father, but Sparrow tricks Blackbeard into drinking from the chalice without the tear while Angelica drinks from the other, killing Blackbeard and saving Angelica. However, suspecting she may try to avenge her father's death, Sparrow strands her on an island, intending for a passing ship to find her. After much bantering, they both declare their love for each other, but Jack still leaves her on the island knowing she is untrustworthy. Jack then meets up with Gibbs, who used Sparrow's compass to find the Revenge and retrieve all the ships that Blackbeard had magically shrunk and bottled, including the Black Pearl. The two head off, hoping to find a way to return the Pearl to its original size. In a post-credits scene, Angelica, still on the island, finds Blackbeard's voodoo doll of Sparrow which has washed ashore.