Dancing Pirate

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Dancing Pirate

Adventure, Comedy, Musical | 83 mins | Released: 1936
Director: Lloyd Corrigan
Starring: Charles Collins, Frank Morgan, Steffi Duna, Luis Albertni, Victor Varconi, Jack La Rue, Alma Real
Our Rating: 6
Black & White

Set in Boston the in 1820s, Dancing Pirate tells of dancing teacher Jonathan Pride, shanghaied by pirates and forced to be a slave aboard his own ship. Jonathan is able to join a provisioning party that lands on the coast of California, then a part of the Spanish Empire where he makes his escape; his only possessions being his umbrella and music box that he uses for his dancing lessons.

He is seen by a shepherd who warns the nearest town whose excitable population transform Jonathan’s arrival into a full-fledged pirate invasion. The Alcade Don Emilio Perena leads the militia into shooting up their own town whilst Jonathan is later captured in the boudoir of Alcade’s daughter Serafina. Jonathan is sentenced to death.

When Serafina and the women of the town discover Jonathan’s profession of dancing teacher, his execution is delayed until he teaches the waltz to the women of the town.

Meanwhile, Serafina’s suitor, Don Balthazar a Captain of the Guards of the Presidio of Monterey and some of his soldiers visit the town to not only marry Serafina, but unbeknownst to the town has been cashiered from the Army along with his men who seek to loot the town. Don Balthazar also plans on secretly executing his rival Jonathan.

Jonathan makes his escape and motivates the local downtrodden but peaceful Indians into an uprising through a teaching them a torrid war dance. The Indians use their only “weapons” their lassoes to capture the former soldiers now bandits. Don Balthazar challenges Jonathan to a duel with swords but Jonathan defeats and captures him with his umbrella and his dancing skills.

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Movie Notes:

Dancing Pirate is a 1936 American musical comedy film directed by Lloyd Corrigan. It is the third film shot in the

It is the third film shot in the three-strip Technicolor process and the first musical in that format.

Dancing Pirate was produced by the makers of Becky Sharp, and was based on the December 1930 Colliers Magazine story Glorious Buccaneer by Emma-Lindsay Squier a serious and action filled romance that may have been inspired by the story of Joseph Chapman.

Dancing Pirate features the debut of stage star Charles Collins and the cast includes Rita Hayworth as one of The Royal Cansino Dancers. Other dancers in the film were Pat Nixon and Marjorie Reynolds.

While this was the third feature film released in 3-strip Technicolor, it does not seem to survive in that form. Only incomplete 35mm negatives are known to exist, plus 16mm prints made in the 2-color Cinecolor process.

Although the U.S. copyright to Dancing Pirate was not renewed, it is a derivative work from the 1930 novella “Glorious Buccaneer”, whose U.S. copyright was renewed and does not expire until 2025.

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