Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Gene Kelly in the pirate ballet sequence of "The Pirate".
Well, pirates of sorts.  This edition of The Devoted Classicist has two parts, with the first about the 1948 film "The Pirate", an extravaganza fashioned to showcase its two stars Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Producer Arthur Freed and director Vincente Minelli strenghtened the 1942 stage version, starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, with Technicolor spectacle and gymnastics by Gene Kelly.  The film is often noted as the first signs of problems with Judy Garland, and the production had to shoot around her absences and was edited together later.  Although the Pirate Ballet sequence is memorable, the film is best remembered for the Cole Porter "Be A Clown" finale with Gene and Judy.  Research reveals that another presentation of the song earlier in the film where Kelly dances with the famous Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, was omitted in the original theatrical release for southern cities such as Memphis because of the men of two races dancing together.  Readers of The Devoted Classicist will enjoy the set design, an interpretation of the Empire era in the Carribean colonies.  This and other films starring interesting design can be purchased here.
A magazine ad for "The Pirate".
The second part of this post involves the duplicate forms of original content of The Devoted Classicist.  The mobile version of the blog is not enabled because it deletes a number of important features.  For those who would really like new posts sent by email, a FOLLOW BY EMAIL feature has been added in the right-hand sidebar;  it is an easy enrollment process provided by Google's FeedBurner that is marginally satisfactory.   FeedBurner sends a the mobile version to those devices and a simple format but with advertising to desk and laptop computers.  Some readers are also following the blog on other electronic platforms, but please note that "official" enrollment is only through the FOLLOWERS feature also in the right-hand sidebar;  if you have signed on but do not see yourself among members, you have signed up to a secondary server.  As thanks to Followers, a give-away drawing is being prepared and will be announced soon.  In summary, if you do not see my red classical drawing as the banner but see display ads and pop-up ads, you are viewing from a pirated source and it is recommended that you bookmark http://tdclassicist.blogspot.com/ to best enjoy the original content.  Your readership is greatly appreciated!

Update August 24, 2011:  I am not totally satisfied with the FeedBurner service, but will continue to offer that option until a better alternative can be found.  I still recommend viewing from the original source for the maximum enjoyment. __ John J. Tackett


  1. This is somewhat off topic, but I will mention it anyhow. I had no interest in pirates as a young girl - it was something my brothers did with black eye patches and slashing cutlasses. And I assumed that 50 years later, pirates would be of even less interest to children. My 3 year old granddaughter last night was digging around in her jelly, looking for fruit. She said she was "digging for pirate treasure".

    Of course analysing a 1949 film will be exciting for historians, largely as you said for its interpretation of the Empire era in the Carribean colonies. But I wonder if the film would have attracted the same audience now, especially amongst younger people. Johnny Depp mark II?

  2. Yes, Hels, it has been a while since children have been afraid of movie pirates. Here in the U.S., our celebration of Halloween brought out many little boys with skull & cross bones insignias and toy parrots sewn on their ruffled shirt shoulders even way back when I was a child. And now with the Johnny Depp interpretation, the numbers have increased dramatically and includes girls, as you point out.

  3. I have never seen this movie... Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Picture O. E., the production of the film went over budget and it took a while to make the expected profit, but it eventually was considered a financial success according to my information. Some editions of the DVD come with a "making of" documentary, so look for that if interested.


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