Silliness reigns supreme in this Judy Garland-Gene Kelly musical, which is to the movie’s credit. Even a moment of sincerity would deflate it. On a colonial-era Caribbean island, Garland’s Manuela is engaged to a respected Don (Walter Slezak), but harbors a romantic (and downright erotic) obsession with the infamous pirate Macoco. When Kelly’s traveling showman Serafin rolls through town and falls for Manuela, he decides posing as Macoco is the best way to woo her. Garland is genuinely, hysterically funny, first when Serafin hypnotizes her during a street performance and her private passion for Macoco is unleashed in public (it’s far more potent than Serafin bargained for). To the tune of Cole Porter’s “Mack the Black,”she lets her hair fly loose, pulls up her skirt, and sings and stomps repression into submission. It’s Garland at her sexiest and most comedic all at once. Later in the film, after Manuela comes out of the spell and catches on to Serafin’s ruse, she again calls his bluff by amping up her “ardor” beyond what he can handle, then lets him have it by hurling every piece of furniture in the room at him (the scene goes on and on, amusingly, until there isn’t a chair, knickknack, or painting left undisturbed). Kelly is a good sport through all this, and gets his own showcase number later with the acrobatic Nicholas Brothers (Porter’s “Be a Clown”). The Pirate is directed by Vincente Minnelli, Garland’s husband at the time, which didn’t make things any easier. Professionally, this is one of her loosest, funniest performances, but by all accounts it was one of her most personally troubled, even tortured, productions. Mark The Pirate as another reminder that for all the truth the screen can tell, it also lies.