Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Pirate 1948

In June I wrote a post about using historical movies as inspiration and the movie that triggered that post was the musical The Pirate from 1947 starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. Manuela (Garland) dreams about a dashing pirate, Mack “the Black” Macoco, but agrees to marry a rich, boring and much older Don Pedro. A circus performer, Serafin (Kelly) falls in love with her and pretends to be Macoco in order to woe her. After some twists and turns- it turns out that Don Pedro is the aging Macoco, everything ends happily for Manuela and Serafin. And as it is a movie with Garland and Kelly, there is a fair amount singing and dancing. The movie is set in the Caribbean in the 1840’s, but the costume designer, Tom Keogh, plays rather fast and loose with historical accuracy and nods quite equally to the contemporary fashions of the 1940’s. A hundred years earlier the fashion dictated sloping shoulders, puffed sleeves, a rather high, but narrow waist and a full skirt with many petticoats. There were also some rather oddly shaped hairstyles, like this fashion plate indicates.

Some costumes are clearly influenced by the 1840’s, like this yellow gown, but why on earth is she wearing a tartan beret? That one is definitely more 1940’s than anything else. And, of course, the makeup is pure 1948.

Even this costume looks back and the hair seem to be a nod to the asymmetrical hairstyles of the 1840's.

So does this one, though I suspect that it wouldn't have raised head on a glamorous party in 1948 either.

As do this one.

But this costume looks like a pure fantasy and the hat is most definitely 1940's.

And this one would be prefectly fine for evening wear in 1948.

For the pleasure of seeing Gene Kelly dance in very tight trousers, but also some great looking ladies with an asortment of very 1940's hairstyles.


Lauren said...

I love this movie!! Just saw a couple of the costumes at the Debbie Reynolds exhibit :)

Meg the Grand said...

I love this movie for Gene Kelly's tight pants, but I agree - a tartan beret??? Where did that come from? Fabulous costume review, Isis!

Rowenna said...

I need to add this to my "to-see" list!

Isis said...

Lauren: What fun!

Meg: Glad you enjoyed it! :)

Rowenna: Yes, you do!

Gabriella said...

I love this movie despite (or maybe because of) the fact that it is just SO silly. The dancing is fun and some of the performances (Nicholas brothers) are just mind blowing. ...and now i have Judy singing "Jack the Black" stuck in my head. Yay!

Isis said...

Gabriella: I think it is because it's silly. :) It has never claimed to be anything else than a good romp with some great singing and dancing and sometimes that is just what one need. :)

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