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An American In Paris (1951).rtf
An American in Paris (1951)
Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.
Gene Kelly ... Jerry Mulligan
Leslie Caron ... Lise Bouvier
Oscar Levant ... Adam Cook
Georges Guétary ... Henri 'Hank' Baurel (as Georges Guetary)
Nina Foch ... Milo Roberts
The American In Paris Ballet ... Ensemble
XVid / AC3
Vincente Minnelli directed some of the most celebrated entertainments in cinema history... He was among the first Hollywood directors to show that a profound love of color, motion and music might produce intelligent entertainment... His 'American in Paris' is a display of breathtaking colors dizzyingly romantic...
'American in Paris' is the story of an ex-GI who remains in France after the war to study and paint... He falls in love with a graceful dancer... Their romantic love affair sparkles as brightly as the City of lights itself... The whole movie brings a touch of French elegance where technique, artistic style and music all come together in perfect synchronism...
The first musical sequence introduces the exciting personality of Leslie Caron in her screen debut... She is like a diamond, a touch of class... George Guetary describes his fiancée ambiguous grace in a montage of different dance styles, sweet and shy, vivacious and modern, graceful and awesome... The number leads to an unpretentious bistro, where Kelly and his very good friends in Paris share a gentle parody of Viennese waltzes... Later Kelly celebrates a popular tap dancing with a crowd of enthusiastic children singing with him 'I Got Rhythm,' and at the massive jazz nightclub Kelly spots the girl of his dreams... He is instantly hit by her sparkling sapphire blue eyes, and only one clear thing is in his mind, to pull Lize onto the dance floor and sing to her: "It's very clear, Our love is here to stay."
To the joyful 'Tra-La-La,' Kelly provides humor, wit and talent all around Oscar Levant's room ,and even on the top of his brown piano...
When he meets his pretty Cinderella along the Seine river, Kelly is swept away by his happy meeting with Caron... He expresses all his emotions with 'Our Love Is Here to Stay.' The piece had a definite nighttime feel as the two lovers were bathed in soft, blue smoky light... They start an enchanting dance-duet juxtaposing differing elements... Caron dances with her head on his shoulder, then tries to run away in a fluid way... They move backward, away from each other, then pause to rush toward each other, for a little kiss, and a warm hug...
The film's weakest numbers were those that bear little relation to the story... In one, Georges Guetary performs an entertaining stage show with showgirls in giant ornaments floating down to the stage... In another, Oscar Levant imagines himself conducting a concert, and playing not only a piano recital, but the other instruments as well... He even applauds to himself as members of the audience...
The extravagant climactic super ballet of the film is quite an adventure, a breakthrough in taste, direction and design... It is a blaze of love, fury and vividness... It is Kelly's major fantasy of his lost love and of his feeling about Paris as viewed through the huge backdrops of some of France's most Impressionist painters...
The number starts at the Beaux Arts Ball after Kelly finds himself separated from Lise, and begins a sketch with a black crayon... It gathers the important parts of the film's story through a constantly changing locations, all in the style of the painters who have influenced Jerry... The tour, richly attractive and superbly atmospheric, includes the Place De la Concorde Fountain, the Madeleine flower market, the Place De l'Opéra, to his Rendez-Vous at Montmartre, with the cancan dancers in a representation of Lautrec's Moulin Rouge...
Kelly seems to defy the boundaries of his physical self... Caron seems to dominate her space and sweeps you away to another time and place...
Nina Foch appeared very attractive and elegant in her one-shouldered white gown... In one of the film's most famous lines, Kelly asks her: 'That's quite a dress you almost have on. What holds it up?" Nina, cleverly replies, "modesty!"
'An American in Paris' garnered six Oscars, including an honorary award to Gene Kelly... The film gave us a wealth of memories to take home...
* Gene Kelly screened The Red Shoes (1948) for the MGM executives to persuade them to back a dance film.
* Cyd Charisse discovered that she was pregnant during pre-production and was replaced by Leslie Caron.
* This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1993.
* After Arthur Freed and Ira Gershwin reached an agreement during their weekly pool game, film rights to George Gershwin's "An American in Paris - A Tone Poem for Orchestra" were purchased for $158,750, and Ira received $56,250 as a consultant to write any necessary new lyrics for songs used.
* Alan Jay Lerner began writing the screenplay in December 1949, and finished it in a 12-hour stretch in March(?) 1949 on the night before his wedding.
* There was a break in production after 1 November 1950, at which point Gene Kelly began rehearsing the ballet choreography. By the time production for that final sequence resumed on 6 December, Vincente Minnelli had finished directing another film - Father's Little Dividend (1951).
* Irene Sharaff designed a style for each of the ballet sequence sets, reflecting various French impressionist painters: 'Raoul Dufy' (the Place de la Concorde), Edouard Manet (the flower market), Maurice Utrillo (a Paris street), Henri Rousseau (the fair), 'Vincent Van Gogh' (the Place de l'Opera), and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (the Moulin Rouge). The backgrounds took six weeks to build, with 30 painters working nonstop. Three filmed solo numbers were cut from the film: "I've Got a Crush on You" (Gene Kelly), and "Love Walked In" and "But Not For Me" (Georges Guétary).
* According to Leslie Caron, her introductory dance sequence, which included a seductive dance with a chair, was considered too suggestive by some censors. Gene Kelly directed the brief fantasy dance sequences shown as Lise is introduced.
* Leslie Caron's first movie.
* Gene Kelly directed the whole "Embraceable You" sequence.
* Reputed to be Gene Kelly's favorite of all his films.
* The 17-minute dance sequence at the end took a month to film. It cost half a million dollars.
* Gene Kelly discovered Leslie Caron while vacationing in Paris where he saw her perform in a ballet.
* Leslie Caron had suffered from malnutrition during WWII and was not used to the rigorous schedule of filming a movie. Because she would tire so easily, she was only able to work every other day.
* Oscar Levant, more of a pianist than an actor, signed onto the film because he was actually a friend of George Gershwin.
* Arthur Freed originally just wanted to buy the rights to the Gershwin number "American in Paris," but Ira Gershwin made the condition that he'd only sell on the condition that if a musical were to use the song, it would use only Gershwin numbers as its other songs.
* Despite the objections of Gene Kelly who wanted to shoot on location in Paris, the movie was shot at MGM Studios in California, on 44 sets built for the film. It was reportedly difficult for the studio to secure travel arrangements or locations for shooting. Two shots in the picture are from Paris, but they don't involve Kelly.
* The ballet sequence was almost cut because the shooting was behind schedule, but MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer stood by Arthur Freed, Vincente Minnelli and Gene Kelly in withholding the release of the movie because he felt the movie wouldn't be effective without it.
* Even though Vincente Minnelli is credited as the sole director, he was sometimes tied up with his divorce from Judy Garland and other directing projects, leaving Gene Kelly to take over the directing duties.
* Vincente Minnelli first wanted Maurice Chevalier in the Georges Guétary part, and 'Celeste Holm (I)' in the 'Nina Foch' part. But Chevalier wasn't available; Minnelli was pleased with Foch's reading, and she got the part.
* A scene in which Gene Kelly dances and sings "I've Got a Crush on You" while in his pajamas was filmed but did not make final cut. Kelly created a similar number with the song "All I Do Is Dream of You" for his next movie musical, Singin' in the Rain (1952), and it also ended up on the cutting room floor.
* Oscar Levant's dream sequence may be a tribute to Buster Keaton. In the opening sequence of The Playhouse (1921), Keaton also played every role - conductor, every member of the orchestra, stage hand, all nine actors on stage, and each member of the audience.
* The movie was named as one of "The 20 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time" by Premiere.
* Producer Arthur Freed wanted Marge Champion to star in this movie, but at the time Champion didn't want to break up her dance act with her husband Gower Champion. So she persuaded Freed that he should cast a French girl in the role instead.