Only now does it occur to me... that Gene Kelly has an enthusiasm for explosions that may even surpass Michael Bay's!
These undeniably insane screen captures come from one of the musical numbers in THE PIRATE, directed by Vincente Minnelli (Liza's dad). Gene Kelly and Robert Alton were the "dance directors," however, which leads me to believe that this sensational frenzy of pyrotechnics may have been Kelly's brainchild. He gyrates, kicks, fires pistols, twirls a sword, stabs with a spear, and tosses torches that detonante on impact like Molotov cocktails.
All of this while a flurry of explosions erupt in the not-so-distant background, curling into dangerous mushroom clouds of flame. I find myself wishing that Jean-Claude Van Damme had been around for the Louis B. Mayer era. Oh, well.