Sunday, September 30, 2018

favorite movie #59: it's always fair weather

Favorite movies that have had an impact on me - #59 - It's Always Fair Weather (1955) - When most people think of classic Gene Kelly films, Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, and An American in Paris come to mind. But my personal favorite Kelly film is It's Alway Fair Weather. A story about three GIs who plan to meet again after ten years home from the war, it could be described as the dark side of On the Town. Ted (Kelly), Doug (Dan Dailey), and Angie (choreographer Michael Kidd, in his first onscreen role) have led very different lives since they were in the army together, and after a few minutes of being back together frankly loathe one another. A bored Ted tries to pick up Jackie (Cyd Charisse), an advertising executive who decides the boys' story is just what her late-night television show could use — some real schmaltz. The film is prophetic in its criticism and depiction of reality television and its phony host (Dolores Gray). There are some great set pieces, with the trio dancing with garbage can lids on their feet, Cyd Charisse charming the denizens of a fight club ("Baby You Knock Me Out"), and the best number of all, "I Like Myself," with Gene Kelly tap dancing on roller skates. Yes, I said that right. Gene Kelly dances on roller skates. The script (and song lyrics) are by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and the music by André Previn. Kelly co-directed with Stanley Donen, their last film together.

The only odd note in the film is that Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse didn't have any dance numbers together. I found this on YouTube. It must have ended up on the cutting room floor.


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