Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a 2006 American adventure fantasy film and the second film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, following Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). It was directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. In the film, the marriage of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) is interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander), who wants Turner to acquire Sparrow’s compass, and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) discovers his debt to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is due.
Two sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were conceived in 2004, with Elliott and Rossio developing a story arc that would span both films. Filming took place from February to September 2005 in Palos Verdes, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and The Bahamas, as well as on sets constructed at Walt Disney Studios. It was shot back-to-back with the third film of the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was released in the United States on July 7, 2006. The film received mixed reviews, with praise for its special effects and criticism for its plot and running time. Despite this, it set several records in its first three days, with an opening weekend of $136 million in the United States, and it was, at the time, the fastest film ever to gross over $1 billion in the worldwide box office. As of October 2011, it ranks as the 6th highest-grossing film of all time worldwide and the highest-grossing film by Walt Disney Pictures. The film received 4 Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects.
On their wedding day Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann are confronted by Lord Cutler Beckett, head of the East India Trading Company, with arrest warrants for their helping pirate Captain Jack Sparrow escape execution. Former Commodore Norrington is also wanted for delaying the pursuit of Sparrow, but Norrington has resigned from the British Royal Navy months prior and disappeared. Elizabeth is thrown in prison. Beckett sends Will to recover Jack’s compass in exchange for letters of marque that will make Sparrow a British privateer, and he promises Will and Elizabeth pardons.
Will’s father Bootstrap Bill Turner tells Jack he must keep his own promise to join the crew of Davy Jones, who raised the sunken Black Pearl for him years ago. When Jack refuses, Bootstrap tells him Davy’s “pet” will drag him to Davy Jones’ Locker. Will finds the Black Pearl at Pelegosto, where a cannibal tribe worships Jack while secretly planning to kill him. After a jungle chase, Jack, Will, Joshamee Gibbs and remnants of the Pearl’s crew escape to the ship. Meanwhile Elizabeth’s father frees her, though he is himself captured, and she steals the letters of marque and stows away on a ship to find Will and Jack.
In Louisiana, Jack visits voodoo priestess Tia Dalma, who tells them Davy Jones cut his own heart out and put it in the “Dead Man’s Chest”, keeping the key to it with him always. Dalma tells Jack where to find Jones’s ship, The Flying Dutchman, and gives him a jar of dirt as defense: A curse prevents Jones from stepping on land for 10 years. When Will is captured on board the Dutchman, Jones orders Jack to bring him 100 souls in three days or be killed and made to serve aboard the Dutchman. There, Will reunites with his father, who helps Will steal the key to the Dead Man’s Chest from Jones before escaping from the ship. Jones pursues Will, rescued by a merchant ship, and Will stows away on the Dutchman when the Kraken destroys the merchant vessel. Realizing Jack was behind Will’s actions, Jones heads to Isla Cruces where the chest is buried.
In Tortuga with Jack to find a crew, Gibbs encounters Norrington, who tells Gibbs he lost his job while pursuing Jack through a hurricane. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, Gibbs hires him. Elizabeth, also in Tortuga, confronts Jack and he accepts her along for her assistance in locating the chest. Meanwhile, Beckett acquires Governor Swann’s support for the East India Company in exchange for Elizabeth’s safety. At Isla Cruces Jack has Elizabeth use his compass, which points to whatever its holder wants most, to find the chest. A debate over possession of the heart leads to a duel among Will, Jack and Norrington. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and mischievous pirates Pintel and Ragetti fight with Dutchman crewmen also looking for the heart, which Jack hides in the jar of dirt. Norrington, however, then hides the heart and the letters of marque in his coat, giving Jones’ men the empty chest and fleeing on his own.
Confronting the Pearl, Jones calls the Kraken, which kills most of the Pearl’s crew. Jack wounds the Kraken by shooting a net of explosives hanging above the deck. After the Kraken leaves, Jack is hesitant to abandon his ship, so Elizabeth chains him to the mast by kissing him; Will sees this and misunderstands. The Kraken drags Jack and the Pearl to Davy Jones’s Locker.
In Port Royal, Norrington gives the letters of marque and Jones’ heart to Beckett, hoping they will earn him a clean record and a new commission. Will, Elizabeth, Gibbs and the other crewmen return to Dalma’s home and plan to rescue Jack. Dalma says will they require a captain who knows those waters; all are astonished to see a resurrected Captain Barbossa.
Learn more about the concepts, principles and symbolism behind the subliminals found in this film: