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Boy, Gene Kelly Was A Real Jerk!!


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My issue with Gene Kelly has nothing to do with his personal life, because anything I hear or read about his personal life is hearsay and really has no impact on what is on the screen. For me, his ego is quite apparent in his film roles, and I find it very off putting. I never like whatever character he's playing. I don't understand the critical praise of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, for example. I like it, and find it very entertaining, but a film that is stopped dead in its tracks, for a complete vanity piece like the "Gotta Dance" sequence, is far from a perfect picture. Lots of examples of that in Kelly's films. I just don't like his screen personality. Can he dance? Of course he can dance, but that's rather beside the point. I you like him, you like him. I don't.

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My issue with Gene Kelly has nothing to do with his personal life, because anything I hear or read about his personal life is hearsay and really has no impact on what is on the screen. For me, his ego is quite apparent in his film roles, and I find it very off putting. I never like whatever character he's playing. I don't understand the critical praise of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, for example. I like it, and find it very entertaining, but a film that is stopped dead in its tracks, for a complete vanity piece like the "Gotta Dance" sequence, is far from a perfect picture. Lots of examples of that in Kelly's films. I just don't like his screen personality. Can he dance? Of course he can dance, but that's rather beside the point. I you like him, you like him. I don't.

 

I don't mind Kelly's screen personality, but what you're describing is exactly the same way I feel about Spencer Tracy. Everything about his screen persona gives me the creeps, even though I realize he's a terrific actor. But nearly every one of his screen characters seems to walk around with no other purpose in life other than to boss around women or pick arguments with men, and usually for absolutely no reason that would make much sense to any normal human being not afflicted with his enormously overstuffed ego. I know we're all supposed to humor him and love the Big Hearted Fella underneath the bluster, but after seeing him play about the 15th such character it really begins to wear thin.

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>I don't understand the critical praise of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, for example. I like it, and find it very entertaining, but a film that is stopped dead in its tracks, for a complete vanity piece like the "Gotta Dance" sequence..

 

WHAT?!

 

And deprive ME of the great joy I receive every time I peer at Cyd's gams here???!!! drooling-5.gif

 

broadwaymelody.jpg

 

(...bite your tongue, dude!!!)

 

LOL

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>And deprive ME of the great joy I receive every time I peer at Cyd's gams here???!!!

 

I hear there is a remix in the wings with Jerry (of Tom and Jerry fame) dubbed in over all of Gene's parts. He's already passed the audition, with Gene himself, no less. So.. we'll still get the gams but gone will be Gene.

 

NOT! :P

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The "Gotta Dance" number is not a "vanity piece"; it's a production number. Typically, most standard movie musicals end with a production number, and since this is a movie about making a movie musical, and the number is the last number that's to appear in the film within a film, it fits within that context. Also, the number doesn't just focus on Gene, but also on the other dancers and the storyline of the number. It's also the only time Gene has a big number with a female dancer at his level in the movie. Gene's number with Debbie Reynolds is simple and abbreviated, and the Good Mornin number is a trio. And as a another poster mentioned, would we deprive audiences of Cyd Charisse?

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XANADU is indeed a hideous movie with cheesy special effects and another lousy performance by Kelly. But the film does have several good songs ,,, all sung by the lovely Olivia Newton-John.

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>The "Gotta Dance" number is not a "vanity piece"; it's a production number. Typically, most standard movie musicals end with a production number, and since this is a movie about making a movie musical, and the number is the last number that's to appear in the film within a film, it fits within that context. Also, the number doesn't just focus on Gene, but also on the other dancers and the storyline of the number. It's also the only time Gene has a big number with a female dancer at his level in the movie. Gene's number with Debbie Reynolds is simple and abbreviated, and the Good Mornin number is a trio. And as a another poster mentioned, would we deprive audiences of Cyd Charisse?

 

VERY well stated, rosebette! And of course, as you make note of with your last sentence here, I would most heartily agree. ;)

 

(...though I always thought this particular sequence in THE best musical-comedy movie ever made was known as "The Broadway Melody" and not "Gotta Dance")

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"Xanadu"....is it really as bad as people say it is?

 

Actually it is probably the best movie musical about a muse sent to earth to inspire the creation of a roller disco ever made.

 

And, while it is no GREASE 2, it does have its moments:

 

*You have to believe we are magic.*

*Nothin' can stand in our way.*

*You have to believe we are magic.*

*Don't let your aim ever stray.*

*And if all your hopes survive,*

*Destiny will arrive.*

*I'll bring all your dreams alive*

*For you . . .*

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HoldenlsHere wrote:

<< Actually it is probably the best movie musical about a muse sent to earth to inspire the creation of a roller disco ever made. >>

 

Disco died officially on July 12, 1979...someone forgot to tell those involved with "Xanadu" *1980*

 

Edited by: hamradio on Nov 30, 2013 8:51 AM

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(...though I always thought this particular sequence in THE best musical-comedy movie ever made was known as "The Broadway Melody" and not "Gotta Dance")

 

A plot-stopping sequence by any name remains a brick wall in an otherwise fun movie.

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Well John, it appears this will just have to be one of those cases where I and rosebette will just have to agree to disagree with you here, then.

 

Because while I can KIND'A see your point, I still believe rosebette's well-stated explanation as to how the "Broadway Melody" segment fits into the movie is much more valid than your point about it somehow being a "vanity piece" for Kelly.

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Jamesjazz - i feel the same re: enjoying the talent regardless of the person behind the talent. Otherwise it would be hard to enjoy listening to Sinatra sing or watch Kelly dance.

 

However I think one can form an opinion of public personalities based on what is written about them to the extent that the source is reliable. That has to be in the judgement of the individual reader. Most people don't "know" celebrities so knowledge will invariably be hearsay. It's when more than one source has similar stories that a picture emerges - stories of Kelly's enormous ego in a town of large egos are legion. Can one believe the words of one who DOES know them? Apparently that too is not necessarily accepted as the "truth" (ask Christina Crawford

or Gary Crosby). Let's face it every person has many facets to their personality, so even those who do know them, only know what they have witnessed and base much of their opinion on their own unique experience.

 

To use the favorite extreme example of politicians lately - I don't have to have known Hitler to form an opinion. The same is true of O.J.Simpson or maybe even Robert Blake. Be it president or movie star public personalities invite some scrutiny and the public often is interested in the

lives and true personas of the famous. Nearly everyone who worked with Audrey Hepburn or Doris Day adored them. Many who worked with Glenn Ford or George Peppard couldn't stand them. It adds up after awhile. Even the famously "nice" are not always so nice - see Maureen O'Hara's comments on the selfishness of James Stewart when acting opposite him - or Gregory Peck's insistence that filmed scenes with the children that did not focus on his "Atticus" character be cut from the final edit of "To Kill a Mockingbird". Sometimes we fans don't like hearing the negative stories,but the sum total is part of Hollywood lore and legend and makes for some fascinating insights into the making of the movies and the various egos behind the scenes.

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P.S. i am in total agreement with you and Rosebette on "Broadway Melody" a magnificent number that is a musical climax well before the film's actual climax. That the number includes references to the characters within the movie only adds to its greatness as one more in the many of SITR 's many "pastiche" numbers that make the whole film such an homage to all the musicals that came before it. That "Singin'" has such a fun plot to be "stopped" says more about what a great total package that movie is, as opposed to so many lesser musicals where the plot is just filler between the numbers.

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Disco died officially on July 12, 1979...someone forgot to tell those involved with "Xanadu" 1980

 

I think part of the charm of XANADU is that it was released a bit too late.

The 2007 hit Broadway musical adapted from the movie XANADU satirized the plot of the film (including an explanation as to why the Muse spoke with an Australian accent). There was also a new subplot added (a la CLASH OF THE TITANS) about two evil Muse sisters.

 

As for the supposed "death of disco": although the term "disco" ceased to be used (since it was considered "uncool") this music was repackaged in the 1980s as "dance" music, with artists like Madonna reinterpreting disco and, in fact, surpassing the commercial success of the 1970s music. Dance music continues to thrive to this day with many subforms (techno,house, trance).

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>That "Singin'" has such a fun plot to be "stopped" says more about what a great total package that movie is, as opposed to so many lesser musicals where the plot is just filler between the numbers.

 

And I believe yet another good point to bring up about this segment of the film, Vertigo. Yep, I too have always thought it added, lets say, "depth" to the film and yet never felt it slowed its pace nor seemed out of step with the movie at all.

 

I dunno, but maybe John's impression about it being a "vanity piece" somehow all stems from its final shot and with Kelly's big toothy grin here...

 

9228-17429.gif

 

(...yeah, maybe THAT'S it, EH?!...whaddaya say John ol' boy...could THAT be it?) ;)

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Well John, it appears this will just have to be one of those cases where I and rosebette will just have to agree to disagree with you here, then.

 

Oh, that goes without saying. I wouldn't even list RAIN in my top 10 best musical films. I like it. I think it's a fun movie, with some very entertaining songs and dances, but that's it. It certainly isn't in the same category, for me, as THE WIZARD OF OZ, WEST SIDE STORY, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE MUSIC MAN or many other, perfectly crafted musical films. It only contains one original piece of music, and that's a rip-off of another song.

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Well John, maybe the reason I feel the way I do about this movie and why you don't could stem from the fact that other maybe "Wizard" and "the Music Man", the other musicals you mentioned are so "earnest" in their presentations, and because I've always much more enjoyed musicals which don't take themselves all that seriously(c'mon now, GANG members dancing around in unison...REALLY??? LOL ;) ) and because "Singin'" so masterfully pokes fun at its very source(Hollywood), it just appeals to me more.

 

(...and yes, maybe THIS is why "The Music Man" would be MY second favorite musical, as it also pokes fun at the provincialism to often be found in small town America)

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