While this was the third feature film released in 3-strip Technicolor, it does not seem to survive in that form. Only incomplete 35mm negatives are known to exist, plus 16mm prints made in the 2-color Cinecolor process. See more »
In 1820, handsome dance instructor Charles Collins (as Jonathan Pride) decides to visit his aunt in California. Young Mr. Collins thrills the ladies by waltzing with his hands touching their waists. Leaving his giddy pupils wanting more, Collins takes the long route - around the continent of South America. Armed with only his satchel and an umbrella (to return to his aunt), Collins is mistaken for a pirate. As the "Dancing Pirate", he holds up in the western town of La Paloma. There, he dances, faces danger, and falls in love with lovely Senorita Steffi Duna (as Serafina Perena), daughter of the town's bumbling mayor, Frank Morgan (as Don Emilio Perena).
The well-staged "Finale" earned an "Academy Award" nomination for dance director Russell Lewis. Leading man Collins looks like he had everything needed to become a major star - possibly, he found himself in the wrong studio, at the wrong time. Without the takes afforded the standard era star (Fred Astaire), he manages to be dazzling, in his solo routines. The scene with Collins' umbrella stuffed down the front of his pants provides a visual worthy of a Mae West double-entendre. Mr. Morgan isn't a very convincing "Don", but he is always a film asset. Ms. Duna, a Hungarian woman, is a beautiful and believable Senorita.
Currently, this film is more available in "black & white" than "color"
this is not always a disadvantage, but "Dancing Pirate" really should
be seen in color. Although my "Hollywood Legends" VHS Madacy HWGL-5512 says "B & W" on the sleeve, this release of film IS definitely "in color". It most certainly does NOT star cover-girl Rita Hayworth, however. Ms. Hayworth, Pat Nixon, and Marjorie Reynolds can be spotted among the dancing extras (provided you know who you are looking for well enough to spot them).
****** Dancing Pirate (5/22/36) Lloyd Corrigan ~ Charles Collins, Steffi Duna, Frank Morgan
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