Manuela dreams of the notorious pirate Macoco, but has been promised to the local mayor Don Pedro. The arrival in their Caribbean village of travelling player Serafin upsets all the plans… A rollicking musical comedy (with songs by Cole Porter) which recreates the feel of Yolanda and the Thief and adapts it to the talents of the Kelly-Garland duo. –Locarno Film Festival
Vincente Minnelli (February 28, 1903 – July 25, 1986) was a Hollywood director and stage director. His skilled integration of story, music, lighting, and design elements in a film made him the most critically respected crafter of American film musicals. With first wife Judy Garland, he was the father of Liza Minnelli.
Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago, Illinois, United States, Minnelli was the youngest surviving child of Mina Mary LaLouette Le Beau and Vincent Charles Minnelli. His father was musical conductor of Minnelli Brothers’ Tent Theater. Minnelli’s Chicago-born mother was of French Canadian descent and his paternal grandfather was from Sicily.
With his background in theatre, Minnelli was known as an auteur who always brought his stage experience to his films. The first movie that he directed, Cabin in the Sky (1943), was visibly influenced by the theater. Shortly after that, he directed Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), during which he befriended the film’s star… read more
Judy Garland's acting is so spot on with its perfectly calibrated hamming and Gene Kelly's athleticism is completely released by the characters he plays. The colors are gaudy and the line between fantasy and reality blurry. Do I want what I think I want or will I discover that what I want is me?
Wow. The Pirate is so much fun. It's such a wonderfully entertaining film - Gene Kelly is absolutely electric, the Technicolor is as beautiful as anywhere else, and the entire experience is carried along by a marvellously tongue-in-cheek love story. Brilliant. I don't generally go for musicals, but The Pirate is a great motion picture.
I find the description from the allmovie guide, posted above, fairly insulting in its condescension; suggesting that one must be a Judy Garland cultist in order to fully enjoy this musical. She's pretty haunting in this work, admittedly, but there are a great many other aspects here to appreciate. Like so many of Minnelli's films, The Pirate speaks of the need for a healthy and active fantasy life; perhaps one needs that to enjoy it. It's only fitting to point out that this film has nurtured a great many people, among them Jack Smith. There are many other good reasons to take it seriously, not least the quality of the dance...