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Friday, November 16, 2012

The Pirate (1948)

Living in a small Caribbean mountain village, a young maiden (Judy Garland) has fantasies of being carried off by the notorious Macoco the pirate. Instead, she finds herself betrothed to the dull mayor (Walter Slezak, excellent) of the town. But when she meets a traveling troupe of players led by the handsome Serafin (Gene Kelly), everything will change. Perhaps a bit ahead of its time, the film was a flop on its initial release. The screenplay is witty, the sets and costumes colorful and Vincente Minnelli's direction is stylish and the Cole Porter songs a delight. Garland and Kelly are in prime form and have a terrific rapport together, as expert in their comedic timing as their singing and dancing. Kelly's brash and often arrogant style which can often be a turn off is perfectly in harmony with his character and he's never been more dashing or sexier. His Pirate ballet is a marvel and the Be A Clown number with the Nicholas Brothers is full of panache. Based on a 1942 stage farce which was a vehicle for Lunt and Fontanne. With Gladys Cooper, George Zucco, Reginald Owen and Lola Albright.

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