The Pirate opens nationally to mixed reviews and disappointing box office, 1948. Vincente Minnelli directed Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers in the fanciful tale of a young woman betrothed to the mayor of the town while dreaming of romance with bad-boy pirate Macoco. Based on a 1942 non-musical Broadway play starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, the film was originally envisioned as a vehicle for Gary Grant and Greer Garson. When that idea fell through, MGM hired Cole Porter to write songs and brought in Kelly and Garland to star. It was not an easy production, with Garland missing 99 of the 135 shooting days due to illness. The picture is memorable primarily for the “Be a Clown” number that concludes the movie as well as Gene Kelly’s enormously muscular thighs.