Film runs Sat, Aug 24 through Sun, Aug 25.
Vincente Minnelli, 1948
USA | 102 minutes
In its 1948 review of the film, The New York Times called The Pirate the “pinnacle of spectacle.” Contemporary audiences will no doubt agree, as this fun, over the top, and campy satirical film provides dazzling costumes, characters, sets, and cinematographic techniques. Set on the Caribbean island of Calvados in the 19th century, Gene Kelly plays Sarafin, a traveling actor, who falls in love with Manuela (the exceptional Judy Garland) and pretends to be an infamous pirate named Macoco. Channeling both Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore, Kelly’s turn as the flashy Sarafin/Macoco is evident in his dizzyingly seductive numbers, such as “The Pirate Ballet” and “Nina.” Directed by Vincente Minnelli, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter, The Pirate not only highlights Kelly’s continual choreographic and technological innovation, but also his successful pairing with Garland. Be sure to look for the phenomenal—yet underappreciated—dancing duo the Nicholas Brothers, who perform with Kelly in “Be a Clown.”
Photos: MGM / The Kobal Collection