Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pirate(1948)

The Pirate(1948). Cast: Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

Manuela Alva, lives in the small village of Calvados, she dreams of being swept away by, Pirate, Mack "the Black" Macoco. Her aunt and uncle, have plans that she marry the town mayor, Don Pedro.

Before her wedding, Manuela visits, Port Sebastian. A traveling circus is performing that night. one of the performers named Serafin, flirts with all the girls while he sings the song, "Nina." When he meets Manuela, he falls in love at first sight with her. That night, Manuela cannot sleep, and she sneaks out to go see Serafin's show.

At the show, Serafin hypnotizes Manuela,hoping that she will admit she is in love with him. Instead, she sings and dances about her love for "Mack the Black." Serafin awakens Manuela with a kiss, and she runs off.

On Manuela's wedding day, the traveling circus arrives in Calvados. Serafin asks Manuela to join his show and asks her to admit that she loves him. Don Pedro, hearing noise coming from Manuela's room, rushes in and asks Manuela to go away so that he can teach Serafin a lesson.

Serafin recognizes Don Pedro as Macoco. He blackmails Pedro with this information, swearing to tell it to Manuela if Don Pedro keeps the performers from performing. Serafin then decides to pretend to be Macoco in order to win over Manuela. He lets everyone believe that he Macoco, then asks Manuela if she will come with him, she still refuses. Still, watching from her window as "Macoco" dances, she begins to daydream about the pirate. The next day, "Macoco" threatens to burn down the town if he cannot have Manuela. Finally, she agrees to go with him.

One of Serafin's men lets on Serafin's plan to Manuela. To get her revenge, she first pretends to seduce Serafin, then attacks him. She accidentally knocks him out, then realizes that she loves him, and sings "You Can Do No Wrong."

Don Pedro convinces the viceroy that Serafin is the real Macoco and should hang for it. He plants treasure in Serafin's trunk to make him look like a pirate and he is arrested. On the night of Serafin's hanging, Manuela finally gets to look at the false evidence, and recognizes a bracelet with the same design as the wedding ring that Pedro, gave her and she now knows that Pedro, is the pirate.

Will Serafin be hanged for his crimes?

To me this was a fairytale come to life on the movie screen. The performers are all amazing. I thought Kelly performance was one of his best. I love his partnering with the Nicholas Brothers in "Be a Clown," as well as the "Pirate Ballet".

Fun Facts:

Gene Kelly helped invent a device which allowed the bulky Technicolor cameras to shoot from low angles.

At one time this movie was going to star Cary Grant and Greer Garson. When that project fell through it was turned into a musical.

The torrid romance enacted by Judy Garland and Gene Kelly in the song-and-dance number "Voodoo" so enraged MGM chief Louis B. Mayer that he demanded the negative be burned.

Film debut of Lola Albright.

The second of three movie musicals in which Judy Garland and Gene Kelly starred in together, though they did appear separately in other movies and features.


  1. I love that picture! The fighting scene between Judy Garland and Gene Kelly is hilarious!

  2. By far, this is my favorite of the Gene Kelly/Judy Garland movies. Perhaps its because he was no longer a film neophyte [unlike in FOR ME AND MY GAL (1942)] and MGM hadn't finished kicking her out yet[unlike after SUMMER STOCK (1950)].

    "Fairytale" is the perfect description for it, Dawn. A fairytale with somewhat realistic characters. Serafin is that guy who won't take no for an answer, but instead of texting the girl 20 times a day, he walks a tight rope to her room. It's exaggerated reality.

    It's just fun.

    Didn't know about the Cary Grant/ Greer Garson connection. I can see that happening very nicely. Garson was lovely as Elizabeth Bennet - another young lady who must refuse a guy who won't take no for an answer. And Cary Grant's mischievous ways are perfect for Serafin.

    I've read the play; it is decidedly more risque than the film, of course. Manuela is already married in the stage version.

    Great post, Dawn.

  3. Frl. Irene Palfy, I agree... Thank you for your thoughts on the film.

    Java, Also.. Thank you, for your thoughts on, The Pirate, it is wonderful film. I can see why it is one of your favorites. If Cary Grant/ Greer Garson, had performed in the film, it would have been a completly different film... but equally as good.