An American in Paris
Directed by Vincente Minnelli. US. 1951. NR. 113 minutes. Warner Bros. 35mm.
Sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods
Sun., June 3, 2012
To start off our month of films which take place in the city of lights during the Springtime, when Paris is at its loveliest and romance is in bloom, we are bringing you this classic musical from MGM. Featuring the dancing talents of Gene Kelly and a 19-year-old Leslie Caron and the music of George and Ira Gershwin, and choreographed by Kelly himself, this is a glorious Technicolor tribute to that beautiful city. The plot may be a simple one, with ex-GI artist Kelly torn between lovely gamine Caron and wealthy sophisticate Nina Foch, while receiving support/advice from his neurotic friend (famed neurotic pianist/humorist and keyboard interpreter of Gershwin, Oscar Levant), but the dancing, singing and production values are superb. This was THE motion picture of 1951, winning six competitive Oscars (including Best Picture) and a special award to Kelly, for advancing the art of choreography on screen. (The latter was awarded primarily for the films stunningly mounted 17-minute ballet on the theme of French Impressionists.) If you love music and dance, and if you want to be thrilled by a beautiful evocation of Paris in the Spring, then dont miss this special movie treat. (Bill Roth)