Dancing Pirate (1936)

85 mins | Comedy | 22 May 1936

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HISTORY

Onscreen credits state that this film was the first color "dancing musical," and was "filmed 100% in new Technicolor." It was Pioneer Pictures' second and last three-strip Technicolor feature to be distributed by RKO. According to HR , Robert Benchley, on loan from M-G-M, teletyped dialogue for the film from New York, but was later replaced by credited writers Francis Edwards Faragoh and Ray Harris. The extent of Benchley's contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. A HR news item described color director Robert Edmond Jones's aesthetic approach as "imaginative" rather than "realistic," as he was attempting to "synchronize color, music and dancing" throughout the picture. Charles Collins, a veteran New York and London stage performer, made his screen debut in this production. HR production charts add Sherman Sanders and Cy Kendall to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been ... More Less

Onscreen credits state that this film was the first color "dancing musical," and was "filmed 100% in new Technicolor." It was Pioneer Pictures' second and last three-strip Technicolor feature to be distributed by RKO. According to HR , Robert Benchley, on loan from M-G-M, teletyped dialogue for the film from New York, but was later replaced by credited writers Francis Edwards Faragoh and Ray Harris. The extent of Benchley's contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. A HR news item described color director Robert Edmond Jones's aesthetic approach as "imaginative" rather than "realistic," as he was attempting to "synchronize color, music and dancing" throughout the picture. Charles Collins, a veteran New York and London stage performer, made his screen debut in this production. HR production charts add Sherman Sanders and Cy Kendall to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 May 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 May 36
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 36
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 36
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Mar 36
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 36
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
7 May 36
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
9 May 36
p. 38.
Motion Picture Herald
16 May 36
p. 33, 47-50.
MPSI
May 36
p. 26.
New York Times
18 Jun 36
p. 19.
Variety
24 Jun 36
p. 29.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Designed in color by
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor color dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Glorious Buccaneer" by Emma Lindsay Squier in Collier's (27 Dec 1930).
SONGS
"When You're Dancing the Waltz" and "Are You My Love?" words and music by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 May 1936
Production Date:
15 January--mid March 1936 at United Artists Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Pioneer Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 May 1936
Copyright Number:
LP6422
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Wide Range Noiseless Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
85
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2162
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

One evening in 1820, dancing master Jonathan Pride, who specializes in teaching the waltz, is ambushed by pirates on the streets of Boston. Forced into hard labor, Jonathan sails around South America with the pirates and ends up on the coast of California, where he eventually tricks his way to freedom. Possessing only his aunt's umbrella and music box, Jonathan wanders into a Spanish village, whose alerted inhabitants greet him with cannon fire and gunshots. Caught hiding in the bedroom of Serafina, the alcalde's beautiful daughter, Jonathan is arrested and sentenced to hang without a trial. Despite Jonathan's protestations of innocence, the buffoonish alcalde, Don Emilio, and the jailer, Pamfilo, insist on the execution until Serafina hears that Jonathan is a dancing teacher who knows the waltz. With the other women behind her, Serafina forces a stay of execution for Jonathan, who gratefully offers to teach her the waltz. After overcoming an initial misunderstanding concerning the placement of hands, Jonathan mesmerizes Serafina, herself an accomplished dancer, with his waltz lessons. Before Jonathan can win permanent freedom, however, Don Baltazar and his men, renegade soldiers from Monterey, arrive and make him their prisoner. Don Emilio, who believes that Baltazar is still a respected military leader, treats him as an honored guest, and Serafina encourages his amorous affections in order to delay Jonathan's departure. Eventually, Baltazar strikes a lucrative marriage deal with Don Emilio and is about to wed Serafina when Jonathan, who has escaped his captors, shows up with a band of rope-wielding Indians. Once Baltazar and his men are tied up and revealed, Serafina continues her wedding, with Jonathan as her groom. ... +


One evening in 1820, dancing master Jonathan Pride, who specializes in teaching the waltz, is ambushed by pirates on the streets of Boston. Forced into hard labor, Jonathan sails around South America with the pirates and ends up on the coast of California, where he eventually tricks his way to freedom. Possessing only his aunt's umbrella and music box, Jonathan wanders into a Spanish village, whose alerted inhabitants greet him with cannon fire and gunshots. Caught hiding in the bedroom of Serafina, the alcalde's beautiful daughter, Jonathan is arrested and sentenced to hang without a trial. Despite Jonathan's protestations of innocence, the buffoonish alcalde, Don Emilio, and the jailer, Pamfilo, insist on the execution until Serafina hears that Jonathan is a dancing teacher who knows the waltz. With the other women behind her, Serafina forces a stay of execution for Jonathan, who gratefully offers to teach her the waltz. After overcoming an initial misunderstanding concerning the placement of hands, Jonathan mesmerizes Serafina, herself an accomplished dancer, with his waltz lessons. Before Jonathan can win permanent freedom, however, Don Baltazar and his men, renegade soldiers from Monterey, arrive and make him their prisoner. Don Emilio, who believes that Baltazar is still a respected military leader, treats him as an honored guest, and Serafina encourages his amorous affections in order to delay Jonathan's departure. Eventually, Baltazar strikes a lucrative marriage deal with Don Emilio and is about to wed Serafina when Jonathan, who has escaped his captors, shows up with a band of rope-wielding Indians. Once Baltazar and his men are tied up and revealed, Serafina continues her wedding, with Jonathan as her groom. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.