fbpx The Pirate | George Eastman Museum

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The Pirate

Thursday, May 20, 2021, 7:30 p.m., Dryden Theatre

(Vincente Minnelli, US 1948, 101 min., 35mm)

Judy Garland and Gene Kelly shared a special friendship, formed when Garland took Kelly under her wing in his first film For Me and My Gal in 1942. Kelly would later repay this kindness as Garland was dealing with illness and drug addiction during the making of their last film together, Summer Stock (1950). In The Pirate, Garland teamed with husband Vincente Minnelli for the last time in a romp about a young woman facing an arranged marriage and the traveling actor who pretends to be the swashbuckling hero she dreams about. Minnelli fully embraced a highly stylized aesthetic for the film, including the costumes and set design—daring the audience to take it seriously—and the actors were game with their over-the-top acting. Yet peppered throughout are great songs and dance sequences, including the “Pirate Ballet,” and Kelly’s extraordinary number teamed with the Nicholas Brothers. Cole Porter wrote the songs directly for the film. (If “Be a Clown” sounds familiar, Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed borrowed liberally from it for “Make ’Em Laugh” in Singin’ in the Rain.) Side note: Joseph L. Mankiewicz took the first pass at adapting the S. N. Behrman play before he and Louis B. Mayer had a falling out over Mayer’s belief that Mankiewicz had a crush on Garland.

 

Upcoming Events in this Series

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Judy, Judy, Judy (Garland) Judy Garland and Gene Kelly shared a special friendship, formed when Garland took Kelly under her wing in his first film For Me and My Gal in 1942. Kelly would later repay this kindness as Garland was dealing with illness and drug addiction during the making of their last film together, Summer Stock (1950).

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