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 »
The Dancing Pirate is worth watching for a several reasons: the over-the-top early Technicolor hues, the spectacular finale featuring the Royal Cansino Dancers (including a young Rita Hayworth) and a very small appearance at the beginning of the movie by Pat Ryan, later to be Pat Nixon. But more than these things, I like The Dancing Pirate as a forgotten movie about Los Angeles. The movie depicts a Boston dance teacher kidnapped by pirates who escapes into the sleepy Alta California village of La Paloma.
This is an obvious adaptation of the real-life story of Joseph Chapman. Chapman, originally from Boston, deserted Hippolyte de Bouchard's piratical coastal raiding party to become the first yanqui resident of Los Angeles in 1818. Chapman, like the character in the movie, became a solid citizen of the little pueblo. Unlike the character in the movie, there's no historical evidence that Chapman could dance, however.
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