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An American in Paris is a 1951 MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner. The music is by George Gershwin, with lyrics by his brother Ira, with additional music by Saul Chaplin, the music director.
The story of the film is interspersed with show-stopping dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and set to popular Gershwin tunes. Songs and music include "I Got Rhythm," "I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise," "'S Wonderful," and "Our Love is Here to Stay". The climax is "The American in Paris" ballet, an 18 minute dance featuring Kelly and Caron set to Gershwin's An American in Paris. The ballet alone cost more than half a million dollars, a staggering sum at the time.
A GI (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris after the war to become an artist, and has to choose between the patronage of a rich American woman (Nina Foch) and a French gamine (Leslie Caron) engaged to an older man. The plot is mostly an excuse for director Vincente Minnelli to pool his own extraordinary talent with those of choreographer-dancer-actor Kelly and the artists behind the screenplay, art direction, cinematography, and score, creating a rapturous musical not quite like anything else in cinema. The final section of the film comprises a 17-minute dance sequence that ...