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Daria

" It's Always fair Weather"

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The underrated 1955 musical "It's Always Fair Weather" will be airing on TCM Friday Feb.18. It stars Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Dan Daily, Michael Kidd, and Dolores Gray. All the musical numbers are great. Gene on roller skates and Cyd's number in the boxing gym are breathtaking but my favorite is Dolores Gray's "Thanks a Lot But No Thanks".

 

 

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This has always been one of my favorite musicals. I think the sarcastic, caustic caricature of '50's TV fell flat in the eyes of the audience--who had just started a wild romance with the likes of "I Love Lucy" and "Milton Berle".

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My main complaint with this movie is that the beautiful Cyd Charisse is given only one number to perform. What a waste! I'm wondering if she had more to do originally, and then the powers that be decided to cut one of her numbers. Just wondering.

 

Terrence.

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Yes. That is exactly right. Cyd did a number with Gene called "Love Is Nothing But A Racket" and it got cut from the theatrical release along with Michael Kidd's number. Both can be seen on the outtakes on the DVD. The one routine she did sure was great though.

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Reportedly Kelly had Kidd's number cut because 1)he didn't deserve a solo because he wasn't a Movie Star like Dailey and Kelly and 2)--I like this one better-- Kidd was a better dancer than Kelly, being a star soloist for American Ballet Theatre.

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I heard that as well. That makes me wonder why one of his own numbers was cut too. There were a few personality clashes during production. This was Gene's and Stanley Donen's last time working together as a result of their disagreements. Dolores Gray and Gene also had a few problems if I remember correctly.

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I read an interview with Kelly from 1978 and he had nothing but kind words to say about Donen and what a good team they were together. Kelly said by the time they did It's Always Fair Weather they just became so used to each other that they no longer needed each other.

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It's interesting to hear that. Maybe they're differences were exaggerated during the shooting of the film or perhaps the hard feelings had mellowed over time.

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A little bit of both--but Kelly had an ego out of control at the time. And deservedly so, Donen was tired of doing half the work and staying in the shadows.

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Seems a lot of my favorite celebrities had big egos. I can understand part of Kelly's ego but also Donen wanting to strike out on his own and he was certainly very capable on his own.

 

From the interview with Kelly in 1978 I would expect there were no hard feelings between him and Donen if there ever were when their partnership ended.

 

Speaking of Donen I would love for TCM to air his private screening again because I didn't get to see it. Here is a quote from that on their partnership

 

 

Donen acknowledges that, although he and Kelly were close friends, the task of co-directing could be difficult: "Would you like somebody sitting behind you saying, 'Don't say that. No. Try it this way'? And you have to convince them. It's tough."

 

Edited by: Kinokima on Feb 14, 2011 3:39 PM

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This movie was ahead of it's time for many reasons but most noteably for the downcast feel contrary to typical musicals for the era. Like I have said the musical numbers are great. Gene kelly, Dan Daily, and Michael Kidd do an incredible dance with trash can lids on their feet that is derivative of a "Stomp" routine. Dan does a reckless number with a lampshade on his head that shows off his comedic skills. Gene's rollerskating scene is simply amazing.......such an athlete.

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Right you are. To be honest my favorite moments in the movie are the women's numbers. Cyd is stunningly beautiful and Dolores is stupefyingly vampish.

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I did finally get to see this movie and liked nearly all of it. The exception was Dolores Gray, who also was a negative in The Opposite Sex. At least she was for me; I just can't warm up to her. She can sing and dance but I can't understand her appeal.

 

The storyline was different and the premise believable. The musical numbers really went with the story rather than simply being in the film so the performers could ply their craft. I knew of Michael Kidd's choreography on other M-G-M musicals and appreciated the opportunity to see him on screen. The movie was worth the wait

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I liked the idea of the story but it didn't seem focused enough for me. The 3 friends' stories was too much for 1 movie or at least what they tried to do with them.

 

But the roller skating and trash can dance were amazing. Worth watching for that!

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I understand that you would be turned off by Dolores Gray in this movie. Like in the "Opposite Sex"

her acting may be considered over the top. In "Kismet" and "Designing Women" I think she was spot on. There can be no doubt about her voice and dancing. Some consider her very pretty and others; not so much. She does have dedicated fans though.

 

I agree with you that the musical numbers compliment the story line. It certainly seems to help the narrative.

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