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The Pirate (1948)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,774 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 41 critic

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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Pirate (1948)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Serafin
Walter Slezak ...
Don Pedro Vargas
...
Aunt Inez
...
The Advocate
George Zucco ...
The Viceroy
The Nicholas Brothers ...
Specialty Dance
Lester Allen ...
Uncle Capucho
Lola Deem ...
Isabella
...
Mercedes
Mary Jo Ellis ...
Lizarda
Jean Dean ...
Casilda
Marion Murray ...
Eloise
Ben Lessy ...
Gumbo
Jerry Bergen ...
Bolo
Edit

Storyline

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 <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The great MGM musical romance


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A kalóz  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,956,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When one dance sequence was being rehearsed, Harold Nicholas was just going through the motions, and Gene Kelly accused him of not knowing the routine - so Nicholas danced the whole routine, alone, full-out and flawlessly. Kelly was speechless. See more »

Goofs

When Serafin is walking the tightrope to Manuela's balcony, the support wires can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Serafin: [standing by the noose] Usually for our opening I perform a rope trick, but tonight under the circumstances, I will skip the rope.
See more »


Soundtracks

Be a Clown
(uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Sung by Gene Kelly
Danced by Gene Kelly and The Nicholas Brothers
Also performed by Gene Kelly and Judy Garland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Be A Clown, Be A Pirate, Be A Clown
1 April 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Gene Kelly and Judy Garland stepped into some mighty big shoes when they accepted the lead roles in The Pirate. On Broadway, The Pirate ran in the 1942-43 season for 177 performances and the shoes that Kelly and Garland were filling belonged to Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne. True it's probably one of the lighter vehicles that Lunt and Fontanne ever did, still it might have been interesting to compare what they did with the snappy dialog of S.N. Behrmann.

Cole Porter signed on to write the score for this musical adaption of The Pirate. Porter had been in a creative dry spell for a few years, most notoriously he was associated with a flop musical based on Around The World In 80 Days, a couple of years back. Believe it or not, he was having trouble getting work in Hollywood and on Broadway when he signed with MGM for The Pirate.

According to the George Eells biography of Porter, it was Gene Kelly who asked Porter to write a clown number for him and Judy Garland. Porter responded with Be A Clown which turned out to be the hit of the film. The rest of the score is not top drawer Porter, but mediocre Cole Porter is better than most songwriters can come up with.

Judy Garland plays another starry eyed youngster in The Pirate which is set in the 18th century Caribbean. She's first seen reading what would later be called a dime novel about the legendary Makoko the Pirate. She's getting into an arranged marriage with the mayor of the town, staid and settled Walter Slezak. When a troupe of strolling players led by Gene Kelly come to town, under hypnosis she reveals that she longs to be the bride of Makoko. What's Gene Kelly to do, but pretend to be Makoko.

That's all well and good except that Walter Slezak is the real Makoko now just trying to live in peaceful obscurity away from the authorities who want to hang him. All this leads to some interesting complications that of course get all sorted out in the end.

Judy gets to do two ballads in her unmistakable style, Love Of My Life and You Can Do No Wrong. And she stars in a rousing production number where the proclaims her enchantment with the legendary Makoko in Mack The Black.

The film got a tepid response in 1948, it's given far better critical notice in retrospect. The Pirate was produced by MGM's legendary Arthur Freed and his unit and directed stylishly by Vincent Minnelli who was Judy Garland's husband at the time. Today's audiences would far better appreciate the combined wit of S.N. Behrmann and Cole Porter.

As for Porter, his next writing assignment would stop all talk of his going into decline. The following year Kiss Me Kate debuted on Broadway which was Porter's biggest critical and commercial success. No one ever said that score wasn't up to his usual standard.


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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