THE PIRATE was a definite departure from the typical fare MGM was churning out during the 40's and 50's and audiences let MGM know immediately that this was not the kind of thing they were accustomed to because, for the most part, audiences stayed away in droves, and sadly, missed one of the most colorful and imaginative offerings to come from the MGM stable. THE PIRATE was the second of three films that Judy Garland and Gene Kelly appeared in together. Judy delivers a smart comic performance as Manuela, a Spanish princess engaged to a rich and sleazy nobleman (Walter Slezak)though at night she dreams of being with an enigmatic pirate she has heard tales of called Macoco or Mack the Black. Manuela meets Serafin (Gene Kelly) an actor in a traveling troupe and mistakes him for Macoco and it is this bit of mistaken identity upon which the thin plot thread resolves. Vincente Minnelli once again shows his penchant and eye for color with some outstanding scenery and art direction, as well as some state of the art special effects for 1948. Despite looking frail, Garland delivers an on target comic performance as Manuela and her voice, in fine form as usual, resonates on the rousing "Mack the Black" and is equally compelling on the beautiful ballad "Love of My Life". Gene Kelly is at the peak of his on screen charm and physical and dancing prowess as the witty Serafin and makes the Pirate Ballet fantasy a must see for musical fans and it goes without saying that his duet with Garland, "Be a Clown" is a classic. Kelly also does an amazing dance number with the Nicholas Brothers. Vincente Minnelli's magical eye, the voice of Garland, the charisma of Kelly, and Cole Porter music...what else do you need?