Steffi Duna & Charles Collins in DANCING PIRATE 1936
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Touted as the first full length musical film in three-strip Technicolor, DANCING PIRATE was released on this day May 22 in 1936. Long available in truncated b&w and cinecolor prints, the film was gloriously restored in 2022 from a long-lost 35mm print and released on blu-ray in its original color glory. Starring Steffi Duna and Charles Collins, it tells the story of a Boston dance teacher who gets shanghaied by buccaneers but escapes when the pirate ship lands in Spanish California. The local authorities mistake him for a pirate and sentence him to death. His execution is delayed in order for him to give dance lessons to the local women. When disgruntled former soldiers turn to banditry, the captive teacher counters their efforts by orchestrating a revolt of the indigenous peoples of California. The film received mixed reviews upon its release and was mostly praised for its delicate color palette. This light fluff of a musical is still a delight to behold with its candy hued vistas. Historically it is the third film shot in the three strip Technicolor process and the first musical in that format.
Color enhanced image by Hollywood Pinups from the b&w original.