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Favorite Gene Kelly Movies

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I am SOOO loving these photos! Thanks for posting them. GK is incredibly handsome - I never tire of looking at that face. Whenever somebody is going on and on about some current modern heartthrob I always want to say, hey, he's no Gene Kelly!


I love Donald too, but I've never seen a Francis movie. I know -- 50 lashes with a wet haystraw.


SITR is on next Sunday - YAAAY! I still don't have the DVD and don't even have it on tape. What is wrong with me. :-)



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Even though he would seem to be miscast, and the film is void of location settings, I still really like BLACK HAND. It does nothing to romanticize the mob, like so many films (i.e., THE GODFATHER) have done, and presents the story, with stark, engrossing realism. I would rank it as his most underrated film. Gene is very good in his role and, along with FOR ME AND MY GAL, it is a favorite of mine.

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[nobr]Gather 'round, brothers & sisters, let me bear witness for you so that you might avoid a similar fall from cinematic grace as I experienced recently:[/nobr]


[nobr]The sight and sound of Gene Kelly in An American in Paris last night on TCM was never more welcome to me. This entire month has been a joy on a par with the SOTM tribute for Cary Grant last year. I particularly liked Christopher Walken's appreciation of Mr. Kelly--it was beautifully and carefully edited, and Walken's admiration seemed genuine and spontaneous.[/nobr]


[nobr]The main reason that Kelly's presence in An American in Paris gave me such solace was, of course, the sublime Gershwin score and Minnelli skill,but it was also seeing Gene at the height of his powers---an impossibly graceful athlete and dancer, who could make me believe he was just a regular guy who happened to express his thoughts and feelings in dance and song seamlessly.[/nobr]


[nobr]An American in Paris was an especially glad sight because, just before dawn yesterday, I was trying to awaken with my morning tea, when, what should assault my bloodshot eyes, but Xanadu* (1980). I'd never seen this final feature film of Gene Kelly's and despite the lightweight, doe-eyed presence of Olivia Newton-John, (as Terpsichore on a pass from Mt. Olympus) and the equally faun-like Michael Beck, (who looked like a BeeGee without any musicality), Gene is still the only compelling sight.[/nobr]


[nobr]Older, slower, and with little of the joyously exuberent lifeforce that characterized his work in his prime---he still had moments of bounce. If only the film had been worthy of him. Playing a big band era clarinetist coaxed out of retirement by Beck, he yearns for his earlier love (who, omigosh, looked just like a WWII Olivia! what a coincidence!), but even when they have Mr. Kelly dance a bit gingerly, and skate a bit, the music was some godawful pastiche of big band music, not the real thing, and it was always counterpointed with some of the worst disco crap to ever come down the pike. Don't get me wrong, I actually like alot of mindless '80s music, but this stuff--oy! And I won't get into the hideous spandex & lycra costumes that everyone--yep, even Gene, mercifully, very briefly--wore.[/nobr]


[nobr]The only saving graces of the film: the use of the Art Deco Pan-Pacific Auditorium (now gone, I'm told) in LA as the roller disco hq and Gene Kelly's still endearing smile.[/nobr]




*The producers based the title on the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem about the corruption of a lush kingdom, that was written as the Romantic poet began his descent into opium addiction. Maybe the filmmakers forgot to "just say no" to whatever drugs compelled the whopping bad taste on display here too.

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