Sign in to follow this  
Cinemascope

Gene Kelly, SOTM - 1st Day

32 posts in this topic

Mark your calendars!

 

Gene Kelly's SOTM salute kicks off March 5th, with:

Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer

For Me and My Gal

DuBarry was a Lady

Summer Stock

Thousands Cheer

Words and Music

Invitation to the Dance

 

and

 

Les Girls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am very much looking forward For Me And My Gal. I'm not so sure about Anatomy of a Dancer, Words And Music, Invitation to the Dance, and Les Girls.

 

Anyone got any reasons I should really check these out? Cause right now they are not on my list of those to record.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'd say it just depends on how much you enjoy watching Gene Kelly... some of them are possibly only for diehard fans... in other words don't expect his movies from the late 50's to be as good as those from the early 50s.

 

I like GK in just about anything, so I'm looking forward to all of them! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anatomy of a Dancer is a documentary about Kelly, and I thought it was very well made. I think you'd enjoy it, as it is both biographical and explores his career.

 

There is some fabulous and interesting dancing in Invitation to the Dance, even if it was a commercial failure. Les Girls is great fun--Kay Kendall steals the show, but the other two women are wonderful as well. Remember Gene saying that he is the Marlon Brando of dance? You've got to check out the number, "Why Am I So Gone About That Gal?"

 

And as for Words and Music: Don't you want to see the full-length version of "Slaughter on 10th Avenue," the colorful Apache dance that Gene does with Vera-Ellen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely watch/record Les Girls. Kelly plays the type of role that he does best---kind of a cad, but in the end, a stand-up guy.

 

Words and Music is one of those bio-pics where it seems as though all the musical stars at MGM have a cameo. So that's fun. And, I agree with Ayres--it's worth it to see Kelly and Vera-Ellen dance.

 

I am looking forward to Invitation to the Dance. I've never seen the whole thing, only clips.

 

Sandy K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the ones that aren't out on DVD are definitely worth recording... it might be a while before WHV gets around to the official release. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great start to the first SOTM tribute after the Oscar season! :)

 

That doc they showed certainly explains a lot about the bad blood between GK and Louis B. Meyer.

 

For Me and My Gal is a terrific choice for the first movie, GK and Judy Garland looked sooo young in that one! It sure makes you yearn for those early days of the 1940's! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just fascinated with the professional and personal relationship between Gene and Stanley Donen. The doc had Betsy Blair saying that Donen was jealous of Kelly's talent, do I have that correctly? So, was Gene jealous of Donen's creativity? Would Kelly have been the Kelly we know without Donen? You'll notice that Kelly only comes into his "own" in COVER GIRL, with that Donen assistance. Why doesn't Donen want to talk about Kelly?? Was Donen responsible for about 50 per cent of Gene's success?? Would Gene have been the creative powerhouse in COVER GIRL w/o Donen?

 

FOR ME AND MY GAL was disappointing; they had to dilute Kelly's anti-hero PAL JOEY persona for good ole family oriented M.G.M.. I mean, would his character have really not gone off with Marta Eggert? And of course the patriotism of the WWI plot tied in just dandy I suppose with 1942. Yes, Judy and Gene look lovely together, but the film doesn't have any oomph to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a spectator, I am only really concerned that Gene Kelly and Stanely Donen did some amazing work at MGM, both together and individually. Nothing can really top some of their musicals, starting with Singin' in the Rain, which they co-directed. Whatever may have gone on behind the scenes sure didn't diminish the joy for movie goers watching these great musicals.

 

For Me and My Gal holds a very special place for me because it captures both Gene Kelly and Judy Garland near their youthful prime, and they both look wonderful in it. Despite any flaws it may have, it's much more delightful to watch than Summer Stock, because Judy Garland's health problems were starting to catch up with her, and watching it today we know it was to be her last musical at MGM. So even if the musical itself is fairly upbeat, we can't help knowing that tragedy lay ahead for Judy, even if Gene Kelly still had some of his best musicals ahead of him, Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, Brigadoon.

 

There are times when a movie can have a very special meaning that goes beyond a strictly formal artistic appraisal... and for me, For Me and My Gal is such a movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just fascinated with the professional and personal relationship between Gene and Stanley Donen. The doc had Betsy Blair saying that Donen was jealous of Kelly's talent, do I have that correctly? So, was Gene jealous of Donen's creativity? >>

 

I think they were both strong, ego driven men who found themselves in a creative relationship where their work together was much more magical and profitable than their work apart.

 

Kelly, by most accounts, was a hard driven perfectionist and not the easiest guy to get along with. In later years, he was not above taking full credit for work that was, in reality, more of a collaboration between the two.

 

Don't get me wrong, Kelly was an incredible dancer, choreographer and a good actor and

Singin' in the Rain, On the Town and the others he did with Donen are classic films to cherish for the ages.

 

Donen, to his credit, in the Private Screenings he did with RO which was broadcast last fall, took the high road throughout the interview when questioned about Kelly.

 

I give Donen major credit for taking that high road. It's not always easy but perhaps Donen found peace with Kelly and the work they did or perhaps Donen realizes that there is no honor in trashing Kelly at this late date. They did not always get along and often clashed on their films. It may have taken Donen a while to find that peace and realize that his cinematic legacy is often tied to Kelly and visa versa. I suspect it was just as hard, if not harder, for Kelly to realize.

 

Together, they created some of the best musical films that will live on long after all of us are long gone. And I hope that both of them realize(d) that and that it brought them joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Together, they created some of the best musical films that will live on long after all of us are long gone. And I hope that both of them realize(d) that and that it brought them joy.

 

Absolutely! Many will always consider Singin' in the Rain the greatest movie musical ever made! And then there's all the other movies they made! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your insight. And as Arthur Laurent stated in the doc, Kelly was "successfully blocked"; therefore I think it must have been harder for him to acknowledge even to himself that it was truly a collaborative effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, again, whatever flaws they may have had as people, guys like Kelly and Donen were extremely hard-working and driven, they really worked hard and perhaps they felt they deserved some gratitude or acknowledgement... whether they had too high an opinion of themselves or were unable to share credit for collaboration is perhaps a matter of opinion; there can be no definitive answer.

 

What we do have are the results of those efforts and those collaborations, which have lived on for decades and will hopefully always be there when someone craves such entertainment. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand completely, Cinemascope, about certain movies having meaning for us beyond the creative asthetic. I've got certain ones: 1933 SON OF KONG; the A & C THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES; LASSIE COME HOME; HERE COMES MR. JORDAN; THE GHOST & MRS. MUIR; I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING (On Thursday, March 8th!!); 1933 LITTLE WOMEN; 1937 HEIDI; LOCAL HERO; WEE GEORDIE (1956 British film w/Alistair Sim); 1960 TIME MACHINE (love Alan Young's performance) And many others. The themes that seem to resonate with me are childhood, coming to terms w/adulthood...when will I grow up, I wonder...

 

By the way, I think FOR ME AND MY GAL marks the first true mature Judy. Everyone always cites MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE CLOCK as her blossoming into a woman on screen, but I really think it's MY GAL; she already has such emotion depth that was hinted at in THE WIZARD OF OZ. My favorite Judy performance has to be ST. LOUIS. She is so believable, so warm, yet also so witty, the latter a characteristic of her true personality which I believe gets short shrift. I prefer to think of her not just as some mama and studio induced pill popper, or unhappily slurping Louis B. Mayer's chicken soup in the commissary while she's starving trying to diet, or some temperamental diva slashing her wrists, but as a professional who surely must go down as also one of our greatest actressses as well as arguably our greatest American singer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a professional who surely must go down as also one of our greatest actressses as well as arguably our greatest American singer.

 

Amen to that :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, again, whatever flaws they may have had as people, guys like Kelly and Donen were extremely hard-working and driven, they really worked hard and perhaps they felt they deserved some gratitude or acknowledgement... whether they had too high an opinion of themselves or were unable to share credit for collaboration is perhaps a matter of opinion; there can be no definitive answer.>>

 

Having met Kelly and done a tribute to him back in the late 1970s, I can attest to what I wrote.

 

Yes, they created some incredible works of art but they were human. And like all humans they were flawed.

 

That doesn't take away from what they created.

 

That they did not always get along is, in fact, part of the public record.

 

Stanley Donen deserves to be recognized for refusing to bad mouth Kelly.

 

Artistic collaborations are not always easy. There is a great deal of give and take.

 

I have seen countless docs on Kelly that portray the man I met, warts and all. He had an incredible talent. There is no denying that.

 

But he often refused to share credit for the work that he created with Stanley Donen.

 

Like so many Hollywood legends, at the end of the day, he was human.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How could I also have forgotten the 1945 A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN? I can't get through that without a large box of Kleenex.

 

I have to say one more thing before going to sleep (it's 4.a.m. here) Gene Kelly was a hunk. Can't understand his insecurities on that level.

 

Okay, good night!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While there is no denying that GK was a human, and probably as flawed as any human can be, at the end of the day all I can really experience first-hand are the movies, and that's the only thing that really matters to me.

 

Everything else said about him is hearsay as far as I know, there's two sides to every story and since I can't possibly hear his side of the story, I simply forget about it and just enjoy his talent whenever I get a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Words and Music just ended - love watching the whole sequence with GK and Vera-Ellen said over at the bar... the clips they show you in That's Entertainment only have the interior sequences. It's nice to follow the action from the street and into the bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us