Dancing Pirate


A dancing instructor is kidnapped by pirates, and manages to escape in a charming little Mexican village.

Dancing Pirate is a 1936 American musical comedy film directed by Lloyd Corrigan. It is the third film shot in the Technicolor#Three strip Technicolor process and the first musical in that format. Produced by the makers of Becky Sharp, the film was based on the December 1930 Colliers Magazine story Glorious Buccaneer by Emma-Lindsay Squier The film features the debut of stage star Charles Collins (actor) and the cast includes Rita Hayworth as one of the The Royal Cansino Dancers. Other dancers in the film were Pat Nixon and Marjorie Reynolds.

Plot summary

Set in Boston the in 1820s, the film tells of dancing teacher Jonathan Pride, Shanghaing 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 History of California#Spanish colonial period 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, California#Spanish fort and some of his soldiers visit the town to not only marry Serafina, but unbeknownst to the town has been Cashiering 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.


  • Charles Collins (actor) as Jonathan Pride
  • Frank Morgan as Mayor Don Emilio Perena
  • Steffi Duna as Serafina Perena
  • Luis Alberni as Pamfilo (the Jailer)
  • Victor Varconi as Don Balthazar (Monterey Captain of the Guards)
  • Jack La Rue as Lt. Chago (Baltazar's Aide)
  • Alma Real as Blanca (Serafina's Maid)
  • William V. Mong as Tecolote (Old Indian)
  • Mitchell Lewis as Pirate Chief
  • Julian Rivero as Shepherd
  • John Eberts as Mozo
  • The Royal Cansino Dancers as Dancers
  • Rita Hayworth as Specialty Dancer (uncredited)


  • Charles Collins, Steffi Duna and chorus - "When You're Dancing the Waltz" (By Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart)
  • Steffi Duna - "Are You My Love?" (Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart)


Category:1936 films
Category:American films
Category:English-language films
Category:1930s musical films
Category:RKO Pictures films
Category:Films based on short fiction

More Public Domain Movies