Time: 102 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
AWARDS: Academy Award nomination for Best Score
While this second pairing of Kelly and Garland gives each of them a chance to shine, its bloated story and stagey production design detracts from the simple joys of their talents his dancing and her singing. Their chemistry is also somewhat subdued by the wacky machinations of a script made more convoluted than it needs to be...even by the standards of the day. Garland stars as Manuela, a young woman promised by her aunt in marriage to Don Pedro (Slezak), a wealthy, older man and the town mayor. She has only one request before the nuptials: to set her eyes upon the blue waters of the Caribbean. Her secret romantic hope, while strolling by the shore, is that she will meet and be swept off her feet by the dreaded pirate Macoco. That should tell you all you need to know about the merits of her intended. And to think pirates were supposed to be unsavory, nasty men...
Instead, she is wantonly pursued, to her obvious disgust, by Serafin (Kelly), a clown in town with a traveling vaudeville troupe. Though they just met, Manuela is the most beautiful woman Serafin has ever encountered and he's not about to let her marry anyone but him. Serafin tries to seduce her with romance and music, but Manuela's heart is not so easily turned. It's the pirates life for her. Little does she know her dream of marrying Macocco is closer than she thinks.
Unwilling to lose (or for some unknown reason to pursue ANY of the other lovely young women on the island), Serafin sets a dangerous plot in motion that eventually exposes the secret identity of the renegade bandit. Unfortunately, his ploy to trick Manuela into believing he's the dreaded pirate almost ends his chances with her permanently. While THE PIRATE has some wonderful musical numbers, the constant confusion of who's tricking whom wears thin rather quickly. Kelly and Garland clearly enjoy working together, bringing great energy to the proceedings when they are onscreen together, yet I still found myself more bored than amused. For fans only.