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.
Judy Garland plays Manuela, a girl betrothed to the much older mayor, who (unknown to her) in his younger days was the very Pirate by whom she now dreams of being abducted. When she is placed under hypnosis by a traveling player, Serafin played by Gene Kelly, she lets loose with a song that seeks to encompass and express her vast sensual longings. It's the best of film musicals and Mac the Black is its very heart.
What a joyous film! The hypnotism scenes talk about a science of "animal magnetism" and that's exactly what Garland and Kelly exude from the screen. When Minnelli's camera is not as buoyant and graceful as Kelly's dancing, it's still and refined. If you have a perfect medium close-up of the devastatingly lovely Judy Garland singing, why would you ever move or cut?