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The Pirate Blu-ray Review

“The Pirate” has its moments.

In 1948’s “The Pirate,” a young woman named Manuela dreams of embarking on adventures with a legendary pirate named Mack “The Black” Macoco. Alas, she is set to marry the local Mayor Don Pedro. One day, an acting troupe rolls through town and the leader (Serafin The Great) falls for Manuela at first sight. She initially has no interest in him, but he pretends that he is really Mack to win her over. Through a series of surprises and truths, matters become even more complicated for all involved.

A Vincente Minnelli directedTechnicolor MGM musical that stars Gene Kelly and Judy Garland and contains Cole Porter tunes sounds like a match made in heaven. For some folks, this may very well be a musical gem, but, to me, it falls short given the level of talent involved. 

If you’re expecting “The Pirate” to be a swashbuckling adventure musical, it’s not. Much of the action takes place in a big village square set as the play based story about romance, lies, and mistaken identities unfolds. It’s a shame that’s the way the story by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich went as it could and probably should have been a much grander and more exciting musical adventure. As is, it’s mostly just a romantic tale with a whole lot of squabbling.

Flaws aside, there are two elements that make “The Pirate” worth a gander- Gene Kelly and the song and dance numbers. Even though the material is lackluster, Gene Kelly goes all in on out. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again, Kelly is always a joy to watch. He will always be one of the best entertainers. You can certainly say the same for Judy Garland, but the character she has to work with is little more than a lovestruck love interest with dreams. She deserved better. As for the song and dance numbers, there are two showstoppers here with Cole Porter’s songs “Nina” and “Be A Clown” (the first time it’s played). These musical numbers are pure audio and visual splendor that fully showcase Kelly’s skills as a song and dance man. He’s jumping and dancing all over the place here!


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has been remastered from the original negative and this Technicolor musical looks absolutely crystal clear.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? It’s a little snowy in parts, but the musical numbers are rousing.

* Theatrical trailer
* A vintage cartoon titled “Cat Fishin’”
* Audio outtakes for “Love of My Life (the original long version), the unused versions of “Mack The Black,” and “Voodoo.”
* The stereo remix version of “Mack The Black.”
* “Pete Smith’s “You Can’t Win”- An MGM short film about the misadventures of a homeowner.
* “The Pirate: A Musical Treasure Chest”- A 19 minute featurette on the film and its history.
* An informative commentary by Judy Garland expert John Fricke.

March 2, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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