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Classic Black & White
Rita Hayworth makes a brief, but memorable, appearance in this musical tale of dancing pirates and step-lightly buccaneers. Featuring a score by legendary composers Roger and Hart, the Dancing Pirate follows the comical adventures of Jonathan Pride (played by British stage veteran Charles Collins), a dance instructor who falls in with a gang of zany pirates, and ends up being mistaken for their chieftain. Frank Morgan (of MASH TV series fame) costars.
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Rita Hayworth is uncredited because she performed as one of the dancers in the chorus in two numbers and only a true fan might be able to pick her out. Also dancing in the chorus are Pat Nixon (later First Lady of the US) and Marjorie Reynolds.
The plot is fanciful and there is definitely a pacifist leaning to the screen "violence". No blood letting and only a few bops on the head.
The music by Alfred Newman tries to capture early California before the Mexican Revolution. The songs by Rodgers and Hart are amazing. Some of the lyrics are only in Spanish.
Apparently the film did not do well at the box office.
Frank Morgan does a interesting performance as the Alcalde. Those who remember him as the Wizard of Oz (three years after the release of this film) will recognize his stock delivery of his lines here in that same character.
Steffi Duna (Serafina) and Victor Varconi (Balthazar) were both European actors from Hungary. Their Hungarian accents passed for "foreign" and so audiences of the 1930s may have accepted them as Spanish.
Not a movie that modern viewers will necessarily appreciate but it is sugary sweet and entertaining with an art deco musical score.