The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, September 14-20

the-pirate-kelly-garland

The Pirate (1948)
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
When Channing Tatum did a Gene Kelly number in Hail, Caesar! it was perfect and inevitable: who else but Magic Mike to pay homage to the man with a sense of timing like a matador, fast-twitch muscles like an athlete, a grin like a corgi, and a tush to make the internet stand up and cheer? Kelly’s inimitable mix of musical-theater corniness and pelvic physicality finds its ideal screen partner in Judy Garland, whose earnest avidity often stopped just short of alarming, but here seems the very least that’s appropriate. Garland’s the rich girl of the Carribean who dreams, with eyes wide open and voice a-trembling, of being abducted by the legendary pirate “Mack the Black”; Kelly’s the traveling tumbler who’s not above a little make-believe. On proscenium stages, in costume-closet silks with no credible real-world antecedent, the two stage a pageant of G-rated thirst that ascends to a fever pitch of hysteria and hilarity. (Incidentally, Anchors Aweigh, the gee-whiz double-entendre feast which inspired Tatum’s “No Dames” in Hail, Caesar!, also plays this week at BAM’s MGM musicals series.) Mark Asch (September 16, 2pn, 4:30pm, 7pm, 9:15pm; September 17, 7pm, 9:15pm at BAM’s “That’s Entertainment!: MGM Musicals, Part I”)

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