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The Pirate (1948), Gene Kelly, Judy Garland

An unusual musical, but equally beautiful, filmed in Technicolor, “The Pirate” was directed by the extremely gifted Vincente Minnelli, who is best remembered for such masterpieces like “Gigi”, “An American in Paris”, “Meet Me in Saint Louis”, “Brigadoon” and “The Band Wagon”. Watch all of his musicals, because you will certainly have the time of your life! It’s pure art! “The Pirate” is, yet, another very interesting musical, starring Judy Garland (Minnelli’s wife) and Gene Kelly, who is one of the greatest dancers of all time. I liked this film very much, because it had some wonderful dancing sequences. I was particularly interested in the one where Gene Kelly is wearing a pirate costume and is dancing on the ship in flames. That was great entertainment! What I did not like about this film was the ending. “Be A Clown” is not really the kind of song that was fit for this part, even if it was funny to see Gene Kelly and Judy Garland dressed like clowns and laughing at each other. All in all, the choreography was superlative throughout the entire film and the costumes were outstanding. In spite of this, “The Pirate” did not convince the audiences at its release. The budget was estimated at $3.7.000.000, and in the USA it earned only $2.956.000. The film was also amply criticized and modified by the MGM executives, who disliked several musical numbers (one of them included a torrid romantic dancing scene with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, and that is why Louis B. Mayer ordered the negative to be burned) and who also decided to change the ending. “The Pirate” was a controversial musical, but this somehow added the ingredients that were necessary for the film itself. I liked it very much, even more because it was unusual to see such diverse and somehow eccentric characters in a single scene. You will like the songs (the famous Cole Porter was the songwriter), the dances, the plot, the settings… It also received an Oscar nomination for Best Music. “The Pirate” is an artistic achievement and it should be a success just for having such colossal people like Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.

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