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Saturday, 18 August 2012

It's Always Fair Weather (1955) - Star of the month... Gene Kelly

'It's Always Fair Weather' is a 1955 musical starring Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Dan Dailey, Dolores Grey and Michael Kidd.

Produced by Arthur Freed, the film was written by Betty Comden & Adolph Green.
Cyd Charisse in 'Baby, You Knock Me Out'

Ted Riley (played by Kelly), Doug Hallerton (played by Dailey) and Angie Valentine (played by Kidd), are three ex-GI buddies return from serving in World War II share a drink. Before going their separate ways, they promise to reunite exactly 10 years later at the same place. 10 years later, the trio are reunited and find they are very different people, and neither of them wish to remain friends. The three men are reunited once again after TV producer, Jackie Leighton (played by Charisse) secretly arranges for them to appear on a live TV program.

Musical program

Dolores Gray in 'Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks'
  • "Overture" - MGM Orchestra
  • "March, March" - Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd
  • "The Binge" - danced by Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd
  • "The Time For Parting" - Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd
  • "10 Year Montage" - MGM Orchestra
  • "The Blue Danube (Why Are We Here?)" - Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd
  • "Music Is Better Than Words" - Dolores Gray
  • "Stillman's Gym" - Lou Lubin
  • "Baby, You Knock Me Out" - Cyd Charisse & Lou Lubin
  • "The Ad Men" - Dan Dailey & Paul Maxey
  • "Once Upon a Time" - Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd
  • "Situation-Wise" - Dan Dailey
  • "The Chase" - MGM Orchestra
  • "I Like Myself" - Gene Kelly
  • "Klenzrite" - Dolores Grey
  • "Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks" - Dolores Grey
  • "The Time for Parting (Finale)" - 

Song: "I Like Myself" - Gene Kelly (dancing on roller skates)

Song: "Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks" - Dolores Gray

Song: "Baby You Knock Me Out" - Cyd Charisse

Song: "The Blue Danube (Why Are We Here?)" - Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd

Song: "The Binge" - danced by Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey & Michael Kidd

Did you know...

  • This film was originally conceived to be a sequel to 'On the Town' (1948), and to reunite Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra & Jules Munshin - MGM (now under the control of new chief Dore Schary) did not want to hire Sinatra due to his difficult working reputation, or Munshin, as he was considered unpopular with audiences
  • Gene Kelly was forced to shoot the film in CinemaScope, which he felt did not suit screen dancing
  • Madge Blake appears uncredited as Mrs. Stamper
  • Dolores Gray's film debut
  • Cyd Charisse's singing was dubbed by Carol Richards
  • Michael Kidd's singing was dubbed by Jud Conlon

Awards nominations

  • Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Scoring of a Motion Picture
  • Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Story & Screenplay
  • Writers Guild of America Award nomination Best Written American Musical

Closing remarks

Gene Kelly dances on air with a pair of rollerksates
'It's Always Fair Weather' is an entertaining MGM musical with some memorable and enjoyable songs. The choreography is excellent, and Donen & Kelly have done their best to tailor the choreography for Cinemascope, which results in a few split screen sequences.

My favourite scene is where Gene Kelly tap dances on roller skates. It's something which I've always wished I could do ever since I first saw this film when I was 14 years old. We also are treated to seeing the dynamic Dolores Gray (fresh from Broadway) shine in her film debut with her showstopping performance of "Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks".

1 comment:

  1. Good review!

    I like the trash can lid dance. It looks like the "Stomp" group in action. The best for me is Dolores Gray's "Thanks a Lot But No Thanks". The number is a precursor for increasing female power themes and male fragility in modern cinema, TV and video. The costuming and dancing is great.