66 user 48 critic

The Pirate (1948)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy, Musical | 11 June 1948 (USA)
2:25 | Trailer
A girl is engaged to the local rich man, 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.


Vincente Minnelli


Albert Hackett (screenplay), Frances Goodrich (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Garland ... Manuela
Gene Kelly ... Serafin
Walter Slezak ... Don Pedro Vargas
Gladys Cooper ... Aunt Inez
Reginald Owen ... The Advocate
George Zucco ... The Viceroy
Fayard Nicholas ... Specialty Dancer
Harold Nicholas ... Specialty Dancer
Lester Allen ... Uncle Capucho
Lola Deem Lola Deem ... Isabella
Ellen Ross ... Mercedes
Mary Jo Ellis Mary Jo Ellis ... Lizarda
Jean Dean Jean Dean ... Casilda
Marion Murray Marion Murray ... Eloise
Ben Lessy ... Gumbo


It is the year 1830. In the Spanish Main, local beauty Manuela Alva, is living on the island of Calvados and dreams of falling in-love with the legendary Caribbean pirate Macoco. However, her guardians, her aunt and uncle, aiming to get rich, insist she marries Don Pedro, the town mayor, a fat and bullying man. Manuela resigns herself to her fate but before the wedding day, in the nearby Port Sebastian, she meets by chance a troupe of traveling circus actors, led by the handsome Serafin. They both are attracted to one another but, while Serafin wants to woo Manuela, she refuses his advances claiming to be promised in marriage to Don Pedro. At the circus show, during a hypnosis act, Serafin learns that Manuela is secretly in-love with Macoco the pirate. This revelation persuades Serafin to resort to a trick in order to woo her. He pretends to be the famous pirate Macoco and he plays the part well, assisted by the complicity of his troupe. His performance is so well executed that it ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


M-G-M's Big Beautiful Color by TECHNICOLOR Musical! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Endless production delays, re-shoots and frequent absences from the set by Judy Garland drove this film so over budget that it wound up costing almost as much as M-G-M's all-time biggest box office hit, Gone with the Wind. Unlike that film, this one lost money. See more »


The film is set in 1830. Manuela's trousseau is labeled "Maison Worth, Paris". The Maison Worth couturier house did not exist until circa 1860. See more »


[first lines]
Manuela: The history of the pirate, Mack the Black Macoco... Macoco the dazzling, Macoco the tabulous, The hawk of the sea, the prince of pirates, whose spirit of legends will live on through the ages, praise a mortal thieves. As here and after set forth.
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Featured in Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli (2010) See more »


Written by Cole Porter
Performed by Gene Kelly
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User Reviews

A rococo fever dream
10 May 2013 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Highly stylized this is not an essential MGM musical along the lines of Meet Me in St. Louis or the Wizard of Oz but there is much that is memorable here aside from the Be a Clown finale. Perhaps Gene Kelly's most physical performance his pirate dance is phenomenal and he is loose and full of fun. Watching Judy there are hints everywhere of the jittery mess she was behind the camera while this was in production, she is almost never still for an instant throughout the entire film, especially her hands, and she is thin to the point of gauntness. Even with her evident spiral she still manages to be both funny and moving and the voice is in great expressive shape. A huge flop upon release its reputation has grown with the years and it can now be viewed as the artwork it is.

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Release Date:

11 June 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pirate See more »


Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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