The Pirate (1948)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1948Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by , , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , .  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A perfect example of how Vincente Minnelli was the colour film genius of his time is this splashy musical fantasy, one of the best in the Judy Garland film repertoire.  Unappreciated when originally released, it was a financial disaster (even composer Cole Porter thought it was “the worst that money could buy”) but has since gained a better reputation. Garland is the wooable woman on a Caribbean island whose dreams of adventure are made reality by a visiting pirate (Gene Kelly). Their number “Love of My Life” is a high point, as is Judy’s opening song “Macocco of the Seven Seas”, but the most famous song in the film is likely when Judy and Gene do “Be A Clown”, a similar number to the “Couple of Swells” number Garland danced with Fred Astaire in Easter Parade that same year. There’s no limit to the fun you can have here–it’s so exotic and bright you almost forget you’re watching a movie that was made on a back lot in California.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Scoring of a Musical Picture


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