Gene Kelly and Judy Garland in The Pirate
Do you happen to have an “obscure” movie that you just love body, mind, and soul? One that the average person feels either so-so about or, worse yet, thinks it’s about as bad as it gets?!?
If you do… I think we could be great friends because many of my favorite movies fall in this category. Judy Garland and Gene Kelly star in one such movie – The Pirate. I just love this upbeat, joyful, and unapologetically fun musical.
Okay – since I’m always totally honest with you, I’m going to trust you with another little bit of truth. I like it even better than Singin’ in the Rain or Easter Parade.
Boom! That is some heavy truth there, but it is what it is. There is something magical about the chemistry between Judy Garland and Gene Kelly – a chemistry that is palpable as far as I’m concerned. I, personally, think he sparked more with Judy than any other actress, dancer, or singer.
One of the reasons I love The Pirate so much is the simple fact that Judy Garland is in it. I’m a huge fan, so if she’s there, I’m already on board. But it goes beyond Judy. It’s just a fun, enjoyable movie – very colorful and festive. Exactly how a musical should be!
I’m also drawn to the fact that Gene Kelly seems to enjoy this role (or co-starring with Judy Garland… maybe both?) immensely. He’s having fun with the role and “having fun with…” isn’t something we tend to associate with the intense perfectionist that was Gene Kelly.
Is it over the top? You bet.
Is it far-reaching? Oh, absolutely.
Are there a few moments so corny you can almost smell the butter? You know it.
But…. would I watch it 7 days out of 8 and grin like the Cheshire cat from start to end each and every time. A thousand times yes.
Not only is The Pirate one of my favorite musicals, Judy Garland’s Mack the Black is one of my favorite musical numbers. If I had the task of “introducing” the great Judy Garland to someone and wanted, desperately, to prove to them why I love her so much – this would probably be the number I’d lead with. She shows, with song, dance, and those glorious expressions… that she was and is one of the greatest performers of all time.
Showmanship? The lady oozed it and it was a beautiful thing.
I hope you’ll catch The Pirate as soon as possible. In the video below, Judy sings Mack the Black. I understand that the circumstances won’t make a BIT of sense to you if you haven’t seen the movie – but it doesn’t need to. All you need to do is watch this beautiful lady in her element.
She was one in a billion, wasn’t she?