Pocahontas (also known as Captain Smith's Adventure!, New World or La figlia preferita di Powhatan or Powhatan's Favourite Daughter in English) is a 1970 Italian film directed by Umberto Lenzi. It was the last film Lenzi made before starting the then famous, now infamous cannibal genre with the film "Deep River Savages". It is also the film that marks his discovery of actress Me Me Lai. This is not Lai's first film, but it was the film that ultimately lead her toward the cannibal genre where the majority of her acting career took place. It was also the main inspiration for Disney's 1995 Pocahontas, similar to how the 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired the 1996 Disney version. In spite of this, however, the film, to this day, comes under fire for the use of realistic torture and violence, genuine animal violence and (allegedly) unsimulated sex between Brando and Lai.
Lenzi specifically requested Marlon Brando for the role of Captain Smith after seeing his performance in the 1969 film Burn! and Brando allegedly turned him down twice, only agreeing after being asked a third time when Lenzi agreed to remove the scene where a litter of newborn pugs were supposed to be drowned, which would have been done genuinely. The pugs that were adopted specifically for this purpose were sold off and Lenzi managed to successfully sell all but one, whom was adopted by Renato Salvatori after he developed a fondness for the pup, and portrayed the role of Princeton, Governor Ratcliffe's pet.
- Me Me Lai as Pocahontas
- Marlon Brando as Captain John Smith
- Renato Salvatori as Governor John Ratcliffe
- Stacy Keach as John Rolfe
- Todd Armstrong as Kocoum, Pocahontas' husband
- Marie Versini as Nonoma Winanuske Matatiske, Pocahontas' mother
- Henry Brandon as Chief Powhatan/Wahunsenacaw, Pocahontas' father
- Lorraine De Selle as Matachanna, Pocahontas' older sister
- Francesca Ciardi as Pocahontas' sister
- Robert Kerman as Thomas
- Honour Blackman as The Great Willow
In 1607, Captain John Smith sets out for the new world with his crew under the watchful eyes of Governor Ratcliffe, who has expressed wishes to trade with the Virginia natives. Captain Smith suspects that Ratcliffe may have an ulterior motive but is unsure and uninterested at that point in time, believing that anything he could hope to gain from it would be harmless and impertinent to the welfare of the natives. His main theory is that Ratcliffe wants to make a good impression on his majesty King James and gain higher nobility. Having that mindset, Smith completely turns a blind eye to Ratcliffe's plans. Once the Virignia Company reaches land, Ratcliffe claims it and names it "Jamestowne" in honour of King James. However, the approaching of the ship has attracted the attention of Pocahontas, the chief's daughter, whom frequently wanders outside of the village.
Pocahontas tells her father, Chief Powhatan, and her mother about this and her sisters eavesdrop from outside of the tipi. Chief Powhatan immediately becomes alarmed that white men, whom they call "palefaces", have come within such close proximity of their land and calls upon the mightiest of his braves, Kocoum, whom is also Pocahontas' husband.