The pirate (film)

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German title The pirate
Original title The pirate
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1948
length 102 minutes
Director Vincente Minnelli
script Albert Hackett ,
Frances Goodrich
production Arthur Freed
music Cole Porter , orchestration: Lennie Hayton
camera Harry Stradling Sr.
cut Blanche Sewell

The Pirate (Original title: The Pirate ) is an American film musical by the director Vincente Minnelli from 1948, based on a play by SN Behrman . The premiere in the USA took place on May 20, 1948.


Manuela lives on a Caribbean island in the town of Calvados and dreams of being kidnapped by the legendary pirate Mack Macoco. But her aunt and uncle want her to marry the mayor Don Pedro, a fat tyrant. Shortly before their wedding, Manuela visits the neighboring town of Port Sebastian. A traveling circus performs there, with the leader of the artist troupe, Serafin, flirting with all the women. He also flatters Manuela. He praises her beauty and asks her not to marry Don Pedro. The angry Manuela then leaves the city. The following night she cannot sleep, and she secretly sneaks up to Serafin to attend his performance again.

During the performance Manuela is hypnotized by Serafin. He thinks she fell in love with him. But in her trance, she confesses her crush on the pirate Macoco. Serafin wakes Manuela with a kiss, who then flees in panic. The next day, the wedding day, the circus reaches Calvados. Serafin looks for Manuela and asks her to come to his company. Don Pedro hears noises in Manuela's room, enters and tells Manuela to leave to teach Serafin a lesson. Serafin recognizes the pirate Macoco in Don Pedro, who once also hijacked a ship on which Serafin was a passenger. Now Macoco is retired and corpulent as Don Pedro. Serafin blackmails Don Pedro by threatening to reveal his true identity to Manuela and the other citizens if he does not allow the circus to give a performance.

Serafin decides to pretend to be Macoco in order to win Manuela for himself. He reveals himself to the whole city and asks Manuela if she wants to go with him. But Manuela refuses. When she watches a dance by Serafin from her window, she begins to dream. The next day, “Macoco” threatens to burn the city down if Manuela doesn't go with them. Manuela now happily agrees.

Inadvertently, Manuela is made aware of Serafin's fraud by a member of the troops. She pretends to want to seduce Serafin, but she confronts him and throws objects at him angrily. When she accidentally hits him and he goes to the ground unconscious, she realizes that she loves him.

In the meantime, Don Pedro has convinced the viceroy that Serafin really is Macoco and that he should hang for his deeds. He has a bracelet placed in Serafin's equipment car. An army patrol finds the bracelet and arrests Serafin. The evening before Serafin's execution, Manuela sees the false evidence and realizes that the bracelet has the same design as the wedding ring that Don Pedro gave her. From this she concludes that Pedro is the real Macoco.

As a last wish, Serafin is granted a performance of his show. As the highlight of the performance, Don Pedro is to be hypnotized. To do this, he uses a mirror as a hypnosis device, but it is broken by Manuela's mother. Manuela pretends to be hypnotized by Serafin and confesses her love for Macoco in front of everyone. Pedro is jealous and reveals himself to be Macoco. He takes Manuela, but is attacked by the circus troupe with juggling balls and cream cakes. Finally Serafin and Manuela get together again.


  • This MGM production was a big box office flop; on a budget of $ 3.7 million, the film grossed less than three million worldwide.
  • The film was made entirely in the MGM studios in Culver City.
  • Dance scenes by the Nicholas Brothers , a tap dancer duo who had been hired at Kelly's request, were cut from the film when the film was first shown in Memphis and other southern cities because the two dancers were of African American origin.
  • Cole Porter wrote the music and lyrics for all five vocal numbers in this film musical ( Niña , Mack The Black , You Can Do No Wrong , Be A Clown and Love Of My Life ) and composed the instrumental number Pirate Ballet with Roger Edens and Conrad Salinger during the Curiously, Lennie Hayton, who was not named in the credits, was responsible for orchestrating the film music. Salinger contributed the arrangements for some of the vocal numbers.
  • Cole Porter wrote three more songs for this film musical: Manuela and Martinique were not included; Voodoo was recorded by Judy Garland but not used in the film at the instigation of Louis B. Mayer .
  • Producer Freed (Oscars 1952, 1959) was able to win the following award-winning employees for the production: Cinematographer Stradling (Oscar 1946, another 1965), Art Director Cedric Gibbons (Oscars 1930, 1935, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1947, after the film still 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957), set decorator Edwin B. Willis (Oscars 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, based on the film 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957) and sound technician Douglas Shearer (Oscars 1930, 1936, 1937, 1941, 1945, after the film in 1952; also honorary and special oscars in 1936, 1937, twice in 1938, 1942, 1960, 1964).
  • In later years the following employees were honored with prizes: actress Judy Garland (Golden Globe 1955), director Minnelli (Oscar and Golden Globe 1959), arranger and orchestra leader Hayton (Oscars 1950, 1970), art director Jack Martin Smith (Oscars 1964, 1967, 1970), art director Arthur Krams (Oscar 1956), cameraman Sam Leavitt (Oscar 1959) - here as an unnamed camera technician - and costume designer Barbara Karinska (Oscar 1949).


"Judy Garland's charm, Gene Kelly's lust for dance and Vincente Minnelli's tasteful direction turn the rather undemanding script into an amusing Hollywood musical," said the lexicon of international films . Prisma called the film "a lively musical in which Gene Kelly co-created his impressive dance numbers as a co-choreographer" and praised the "opulent stage scenes" and "sharp word duels between Kelly and Garland, which attracts attention as a boyish tomboy".

Cinema came to the conclusion that "w ith the extravagant choreography by Gene Kelly and Robert Alton as well as the exquisite songs by Cole Porter, the simple story became a musical highlight, which unfortunately was only cautiously appreciated by the cinema audience at the time".


At the Academy Awards in 1949 , the film was nominated for Best Score (Lennie Hayton).

Web links

Individual evidence

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  2. The pirate. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed September 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
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