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The Pirate [VHS][1948]


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Product details

  • Actors: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak, Gladys Cooper, Reginald Owen
  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Writers: Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Joseph Than, S.N. Behrman
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Format: Colour, Full Screen, Mono, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Aug 1994
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJQ6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,660 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Judy Garland thinks Gene Kelly is the famous pirate Macoco, but he is in fact a travelling clown. He leads her along, unaware that her fiancée, Walter Slezak, is the real sea bandit. Set on a Caribbean island with Cole Porter providing the songs.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 July 2009
Format: DVD
Manuela (a very cute-looking Judy Garland), lives in the small Caribbean village of Calvados, and dreams of being abducted by a legendary pirate - Mack "the Black" Macoco. Her aunt and uncle however have matched her with the overbearing, portly, town mayor Don Pedro (the excellent Walter Slezak).

Immediately prior to her wedding to the mayor, Manuela visits nearby Port Sebastian, when a traveling circus arrives in town, led by the dashing Serafin (Gene Kelly - looking very handsome). While flirting with all the local girls - calling them all 'Nina', he explains that as he's so popular with ladies everywhere, he calls all of them this to avoid being in the position of forgetting their names!

Cue the number, `Nina', replete with sharp and funny lyrics by the great Cole Porter - along with Lorenz Hart, the wittiest lyricist of the 20th century. In the song he manages to rhyme the name `Nina' (pronounced 'Neen-ya') with `seen ya', `gardenia', `schizophrenia' and, I kid you not `neurasthenia'! Upon noticing Manuela, however, Serafin falls immediately in love. Initially she plays hard to get and spurns his advances, but as it's Gene Kelly, turning in a charming, irresistible performance, pretty soon she succumbs.

However, there's still the problem of her forthcoming marriage to Don Pedro...

Whenever the great musicals are mentioned this barely gets a look-in; indeed upon release, the film was a massive financial flop. However it has a lot going for it, not least of which are the performances of the two leads. Admittedly it is extremely light on songs, featuring just five numbers penned by Mr. Porter - `Be a Clown', `You Can Do No Wrong', `Mack the Black', `Love of my Life' and the aforementioned `Nina' - and this is probably a crucial factor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Derek Vernon-morris on 6 Mar 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Liza Minelli reviews this film as it was produced by her Father Vincente, saying it proved to be contraversial, and not easily understood by some people, but in the end it ammounts to personal taste. I think it represents some of the optimism and relief after the war years, and I love the fact that it is a colourful fantasy which contains fantasies within fantasies.The plot is beautifully ironic: Judy Garland (Manuella)is to marry a Pirate (unknown to anyone) who has become Mayor of the town, but falls in love with a travelling actor (Gene Kelly),who impersonates him as he was in former times when their paths crossed:(Mack the Black).She is in fact to marry the one about whom she fantasizes and does not realise it.Amongst the great Cole Porter songs "Be A Clown" is featured, and the costumes are brilliant throughout.Gene Kelly does a ballet dance to a Bolero tune, keeping tap to a minimum as there was no American stage style tap in 1830.The whole thing is a good natured romp, even the villany; but Elizabeth Taylor's shrew in Taming of the Shrew is no match for Judy's (Manuella's)enraged outburst when she realizes she has been hypnotised and deceived by a showman.Excellent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Book on 2 July 2007
Format: VHS Tape
This wonderful musical comedy parodies the swashbuckler, with terrific Cole Porter songs and outstanding performances by Gene Kelly and Judy Garland - his performance of "Nina" combines Porter's clever lyrics and Kelly's trademark athleticism. Walter Slezak as the villain is perfect, providing real menace along with wit, just as he did in the archetypal pirate movie, "The Spanish Main". The film is a treat from start to finish - truly the sort they don't make any more.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Duncan on 27 Oct 2009
Format: DVD
This film combines my two favourite stars of the period: Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Both are absolutely fantastic in this as a romantic young woman about to married to an older man and a womanising actor. Garland's character has a secret obsession with a pirate while Kelly wants to impress her by imitating the legendary Mack the Black. With songs by Cole Porter and some brilliant dancing this film is one of my all time favourites.

Anyone who enjoys musicals with excellent dance routines will love this
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
Take the conceit of commedia del'arte, add the lush fussiness of Vincente Minnelli's artistic taste and then varnish on the glossy, expensive polish of the MGM style...and you have The Pirate, a film that proves the point, too much is just too much. When the actors play second fiddle to their costumes, you know there's a problem.

On a Caribbean island, young and innocent Manuela (Judy Garland) dreams her foolish dreams of the dashing, brave, romantic pirate, Mack, the black macoco. Alas, Manuela is an orphan, living with her aunt and uncle who are loving but who have suffered financial reverses. They tell Manuela that they have arranged for her to marry in a few days the powerful and wealthy mayor of their town, Don Pedro Vargas (Walter Slezak). But then some traveling players arrive, led by Serafin (Gene Kelly), juggler, conjurer, singer and dancer, a dark, curly-haired rogue who oozes macho charm. He woos, wins and leaves all the beautiful women he meets, all of whom he simply calls nina. Well, of course, Manuela and Serafin will meet. He falls in love, she resists and Don Pedro is furious. By the end of the movie we learn a great deal about Mack the Black and who he is, we learn about love and stage folks and, of course, that talent and love must have their way.

For a musical with songs by Cole Porter starring Garland and Kelly, The Pirate turns into a bit of a slog. Fifty minutes into the 101-minute movie and we've experienced only two songs. Minnelli evidently thought that the rococo-tinged acting, especially by Kelly, combined with lavish velvet dresses and Carmen-Miranda turbans for the women, harlequin tights for the men, exploding purple and scarlet smoke bombs and flaming torches in every night scene would wow us groundlings.
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