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An American in Paris

A movie directed by Vincente Minnelli

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It's easy to understand why this was an Academy Award winner!

  • Dec 16, 2008
  • by
The winner of a phenomenal 6 Academy Awards "An American In Paris" is clearly one of the great musicals of all-time.  Gene Kelly plays a an ex-GI and struggling artist named Jerry Mulligan who is barely surviving in a tiny upstairs room in post World War II  Paris.  He has fallen head over heels for a lowly shopgirl named Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) but unfortunately for Jerry the object of his affection is aleady spoken for. 

"An American In Paris" revolves around Jerry's attempts to win her love.  But the storyline necessarily plays second fiddle to the musical score by the legendary composer George Gershwin.  The film features some of the most memorable tunes ever from the Great American Songbook including "Embraceable You", "I Got Rhythm" and "Love Is Here To Stay".  Clearly, the highlight of this movie has to be a 17 minute visual love song that Gene Kelly created especially for this film and danced with Miss Caron.  Unforgettable!   We often hear the quip "They just don't make movies like that any more."   This is true.   Seems to me some amazing talent has gone to waste in recent decades.   Did you know that Gene Kelly thought enough of a young Michael Jackson to predict he would become the next great song and dance man?  Unfortunately, Michael decided to take another road. 

"An American In Paris" is not a movie I tend to watch frequently but when I do I thoroughly enjoy it.  Each time I see it I gain a new appreciation for the multi-talented Gene Kelly     Highly recommended!
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More An American in Paris reviews
review by . February 21, 2011
When I first saw An American in Paris years ago I thought it was wonderful. I agreed with all the rave reviews. Now...well, let's say I don't think it has aged well.       For me, more than any other factor, it's Gershwin's music that gives the film the charm and spontaneity it retains. Even so, the music has to fight against Minnelli's and Kelly's desire to establish that the film is "artistically significant" and that Jerry Mulligan …
review by . February 12, 2008
This movie is more than a classic, it is a masterpiece. The dancing numbers are phenomenal, Gene Kelly is an amazing dancer and the number one reason to watch this movie. Yes, the relationships seem fickle and not fitting, but who cares?! This musical is absolutely excellent. The movie includes an 17ish minute ballet choreography featuring Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly. One of my favorite performances in this movie is by Nina Foch, who plays the rich heiress who is sponsoring Kelly's character (a …
review by . July 20, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of my favorite film musicals, together with Singin' in the Rain and Chicago. It received and richly deserved six Academy Awards in 1951, including one for best film. When you think about it, there are so many musicals which also offer delightful entertainment such as Meet Me in St. Louis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Wizard of Oz, Show Boat, West Side Story, Cabaret, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Carousel, All That Jazz, and The King and I. It has been 50 years since An …
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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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 ...

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Director: Vincente Minnelli
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: January 1, 1951
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Screen Writer: Alan Jay Lerner
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2000
Runtime: 1hr 53min
Studio: Warner Home Video
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