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Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate. Written by
R. Kessen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The 1948 film's musical production final sequence, "Be a Clown", composed by Cole Porter, featured the acrobatic and dancing talents of the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, with Gene Kelly. Gene Kelly choreographed the dance number. Judy Garland (Manuela) joins Gene Kelley's (Serafin) act and the film ends with the two of them singing a reprise of "Be a Clown." The dance sequence was the first time The Nicholas Brothers had danced onscreen with a Caucasian, while it was Kelly's insistence that they perform with him. The Nicholas Brothers were the ones punished. When released to the feature movie theater circuit distribution, this Nicholas Brothers sequence was deleted by MGM when screened in the Southern States, such as Memphis, because it featured black performers, the result of racial bigotry in the South. Only in the Northern States' movie theaters, were audiences allowed to view the entire end production presentation. Essentially blackballed, Fayard and Harold moved to Europe and did not return until the mid-sixties making a comeback appearance on the ABC TV variety show "The Hollywood Palace" hosted by Roy Rogers and Trigger, (#2.22, air date 27 Feb 1965). See more »
When Manuela and Serafin first meet near the sea, the seam of the backdrop is visible. See more »
The sound of my name was like thunder rolling in from the sea!
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They certainly don't make movies like this one anymore! "The Pirate" shows how MGM dominated the musical genre with stars of the magnitude of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland under Vincente Minnelli's direction, and music by Cole Porter.
The story is just a pretext to present the stars doing what they did best. The film is totally dominated by Gene Kelly, who makes a wonderful contribution to the film as Serafin, an itinerant entertainer who happens to be in Calvados, the Caribbean, a fictional island where the beautiful Manuela is about to get married to a powerful man, Don Pedro Vargas.
After being pursued by Serafin, Manuela's resolve to marry the much older, fatter, and uglier, Don Pedro, is reduced to seeing the would be husband by what he really is, a bully and a man who she will never bring herself to love. The revelations at the end and the happy conclusion gives the film a great finale.
Gene Kelly and Judy Garland were at the peak of their careers. Ms. Garland looks so beautiful in the film and she makes an adorable Manuela. Mr. Kelly gives an excellent performance as the song and dance man who can put people in a trance as he hypnotizes them. The musical numbers in which Mr. Kelly dances are superbly staged.
The supporting players are a delight. Gladys Cooper, makes a great Aunt Inez. Walter Slezak is perfect as Don Pedro, a man who hides deeply rooted secrets. Reginald Owen and George Zucco are also seen. Best of all are the Nicholas Brothers who were amazing in their number.
The glorious Technicolor utilized in the film has kept its luster as it has aged gloriously.
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