Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Pirate (1948)

Where to begin?
Judy Garland is Manuela -- a romantic young girl in a strange hat. She has imbibed the legends of a pirate named Macoco and has decided that she would do anything for him if he abducted her, as she dreams he will someday do. Meanwhile she is engaged to fat, boring mayor Don Pedro.

Gene Kelly is Serafin -- a strolling player - a.k.a. actor - who wanders into town and falls in love with Manuela. Not surprisingly, he decides to pretend to be Macoco to seduce her.

Come to think of it - this has a plot not unlike an opera. It's unlikely, silly, and melodramatic and allows for a lot of big dramatic dance scenes and songs.

Cole Porter wrote the music so it's a little surprising that none of the numbers are very memorable, even with Judy Garland singing and Gene Kelly dancing. Well I take that back - the obtuse dance number with J.G. as a donkey and G.K. as a pirate in tight black shorts is memorable - if not in a good way. He cuts her ears off with a sword. It is no less bizarre than the dance in the middle of Singing in the Rain or Oklahoma. And therefore, just as memorable.

Overheard passing between us as we watched:

Jess:“Oh, do you think there will be a long, boring dance sequence?”

Amy: (about JG's plaid basket hat) “I nominate this for worst costume ever. If she put fruit on her head it would match better.”

Jess: “Sorry, I just can’t help laughing whenever I see their clothes.”
Amy: “I was hoping she would have changed.”

Jess: (about Gene Kelly's first outfit) “Amy Amy! Look at Gene Kelly! Look at Gene Kelly! Look at Gene Kelly! Look at Gene Kelly!”

Jess: “Wait, can you go back… I think he just sang, ‘When I arrive in any town, I look the ladies up and down,’ but I’m not sure.”
Amy: "That's what he said."

Jess: “Again with the wrapping paper hats."
Amy: "I’m liking this one, though.”

Jess: “Look at the poles, do you think there will be a stripper dance?
Amy: "I think Gene Kelly is going to dance with the poles. Yep, there he goes, Gene Kelly’s version of a stripper dance.”

Jess: “I do NOT like his hat.”
Amy: “I’m anticipating that his costume will become better when he becomes a pirate.”

Amy: (After commenting that JG's character has a lot in common with Kiera Knightly's haracter in "Pirates of the Caribbean.") “I wonder if they watched this before they wrote that script. I mean, not that that’s a hard plot to come up with.”

Amy: “Why has she got her hair in a sock?”

Amy: “I really like this outfit. It makes up for all the other outfits.”
Amy: “I want her skirt.”
Amy: “Ok, you have to admit, though, the outfit is awesome.”

About the wedding dress:
Jess: “Oh, oh.” (with extreme displeasure)
Amy: “I love it.”

Jess: “How long is this movie?”

Jess: “Here it is! Here’s the obtuse dance sequence… and he’s wearing the best shorts ever.”
Amy: “He has nice legs, though. We never see his legs.”

Jess: "How do you make it show how much time we have left?"
Jess:"Ok, it's almost over."

Jessica gives it one star because she can't give it zero and she "really thought it was a dreadful dreadful movie, anything that was entertaining about it was not intended."

I give it two stars - one half each for Gene Kelly and Judy Garland's charm, without the benefit of a really good part to play. One star for the costumes. There were many charmingly silly costumes that I think were meant to be charmingly silly.

I think it's a movie that must be watched by fans of either big colorful musicals, Judy Garland or Gene Kelly - if only because it is classically bad big Hollywood musical. However, we agree that we will not watch it again.

1 comment:

burlyjak said...

Yes, it was a horrible movie.. why do i crave to watch it again... maybe cuz it's been almost 10 years... I can't wait!!!