HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Pirate, The It's Not What You Do It's Who You Arrr
Year: 1948
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Owen, George Zucco, The Nicholas Brothers, Lester Allen, Lola Deem, Ellen Ross, Mary Jo Ellis, Jean Dean, Marion Murray, Ben Lessy, Jerry Bergen, Val Setz, Cully Richards, Marie Windsor
Genre: Musical, Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Manuela (Judy Garland) loves to rhapsodise about what she considers the most dashing pirate on the high seas, Macocco, a buccaneer who would pillage adventurously but also sweep her off her feet: she is most taken with the idea that this brawny outlaw could swoop down at any moment and escort her away to his ship and countless exploits as the boldest of the bold. Her friends are less convinced, but it matters not really for Manuela is stuck with an engagement to the Mayor (Walter Slezak), being an orphan whose aunt and uncle wish to be off their hands from now on, mostly because his financial reserves will pay off their debts. But what if there was someone else on the horizon, someone who actually could fulfil her dreams?

The Pirate was not much of a hit when it was first released, but has since gone on to be a cult movie thanks to the fans of Judy Garland and their fascination with her combination of boundless talent and emotional fragility, which was no more apparent than during the making of this. So paranoid was Judy that she missed more working days through her illness than she was able to make to the set, leaving her husband Vincente Minnelli to try and wrestle a movie out of the material when his leading lady was absent for most of the time, and that well-known vulnerability was unavoidably put across in her performance - little wonder they never made another movie together.

As for her co-star Gene Kelly, he had worked with her before on his debut For Me and My Gal, and they made a bright screen couple though in this case as if overcompensating for his troubled co-star he tended to overdo the charm offensive, tipping the scale a little too far into the realms of the overbearing. Then there was the Cole Porter score, which few would agree featured his best songs and is now best recalled for Be a Clown, which was ripped off for the Make 'Em Laugh number in Kelly's Singin' in the Rain - so good is this tune that it is repeated for the finale. On its initial play, Kelly danced with the legendary Nicholas Brothers on his own insistence, and if they are not as athletic as they could be in their other appearances, they remained impressive.

Not least because it was the first time the black brothers had danced with a white performer, a groundbreaking move which sadly backfired when the sequence, really the best in the movie as far as dancing went, was cut out in the more racially sensitive (i.e. bigoted) screenings, another reason The Pirate suffered a poor reception with contemporary audiences. So with all that and more against it, you would expect it to be forgotten yet it is not, and that could be down to the combination of star wattage and a theme of fantasy over reality which has appeal lasting for decades. Manuela is not lost in her reveries, as she is all too aware that the real world is full of disappointments in comparison, so is resigned to her upcoming nuptials with the Mayor.

Though we know, and she probably is well aware of it too, that he is all wrong for her and when the strolling players wander into the seaside village led by Kelly's Serafin, a man with an eye for the ladies, we can tell someone ideal for her has just shown up. That said, the path to true love never ran smooth and so forth, so after a spot of hypnosis Manuela reveals her heart's desire and Serafin adopts the persona of Mococca, leaving us in the kind of dippy plot which drives some people up the wall while enchanting others. The spanner in the works is the presence of the genuine Macocco, which develops into a case of wilful mistaken identity as Serafin's try at pretending to be the pirate sees him in danger of losing his life. If nothing else, this comes across as a dry run for the brightly coloured, richly textured Arthur Freed productions to come which for many represented the apex of the Hollywood musical, but on its own with its artificial sets and artificial just about everything else, including the motifs, for most this will be a case of nice try, but we knew you could do better.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1935 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: