Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator can’t stop dancing as it lands on An American in Paris.
Here’s what happens: After his time in the service is over, an American GI relocates to Paris to become a painter. (Finally, a character we can all relate to.) He hangs out with his friends and pursues a romance with a lovely young lady.
Why it’s famous: There’s not a lot of plot here, but it’s Gene Kelly singing and dancing up a storm.
Get your film degree: The movie ends in a 17-minute wordless dance sequence, with Kelly and others kicking and flipping their way through the movie’s sets. It’s a literal show-stopping number, and a showcase in storytelling via movement and imagery, without dialogue.
Movie geekishness: Gene Kelly is an interesting figure. He’s well aware of his status as the movie’s star and, as such, makes himself the center of attention. Rather than coast on his image, however, he works damn hard to make sure the audience is having a good time.
Thoughts upon this viewing: The big finale is certainly impressive, but the rest of movie is pretty forgettable. How do you say “a mixed bag” in French?
Next week: I’m trying to drive you to the store.
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