An American in Paris

An American in Paris

DVD - 1999
Average Rating:
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Ex-G.I. painter Jerry Mulligan resides in post-war Paris and falls in love with a young dancer who is engaged to another man.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Turner Entertainment : Warner Home Video [distributor], [1999]
ISBN: 9780792841524
0792841522
9780790744414
0790744414
Branch Call Number: 7.914 Am
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (114 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Américain à Paris

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c
CloudyPepper
Jul 29, 2016

As with most musicals, the romance is weak and its progression feels emotionally unconvincing: Kelly's aggressively persistent pursuit of Leslie Caron's character comes off obnoxious rather than charming/sincere (this irritating aspect crops up in plenty of Hollywood movies, though, especially older ones); and her random change of tune and inexplicable reciprocation of his advances feels forced. The fact that the romantic element is more central to the story than in, say, Singin' in the Rain - on top of the leads' lack of chemistry - adds to the problem (SitR at least had a lead actress who was able to imbue her role with a lot of natural sunniness & charm to compensate for some of these same issues). That said, whenever the film isn't focusing on the characters' romantic entanglements or straining to find a dramatic/emotional center & breaks out into a musical number, it's lively, creative, and joyous stuff. The final 17-minute ballet sequence set to the titular Gershwin piece is truly stunning (and where Leslie Caron makes up for her lackluster acting skills by showing off her dancing chops alongside Kelly).

Like with a lot of Hollywood productions, especially from the time, it has an overly romanticized, picture-postcard view of Europe/Paris, but that slight artificiality just adds to its Old Hollywood charm.

It's just too bad the film doesn't have a story and characters equal to its magnificent music, choreography, and production design/art direction.

t
ThomasJWhiting
Jun 12, 2016

OUTSTANDING 1951 American musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition An American in Paris by George Gershwin. This is only third film I've given 5 stars to.
Fabulous color film with terrificly filmed Parisian setting, talented stars, musical material by Gershwin brothers - everything.
I particularly enjoyed seeing Leslie Caron at age 20 in her first major role. She looks a little different facially (more teethey) than in her later roles in 'Daddy Long Legs' (1955) and 'Gigi' (1958), both also available from KCLS. Interesting that they romantically paired her with twice as old Gene Kelly (almost 40).
The Stairway to Heaven dance staging was particularly great (among others).
Gene Kelly is always great; now I immediately notice that small scar on his left cheek.
The film is like a great French meal - where all the pieces/parts come together.

g
garycornell
Feb 16, 2016

A magnificent film that may be the best musical film ever made. The cinematography is simple spellbinding. The colors are so rich and Paris never looked more beautiful. Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly do some of the finest dancing I have ever seen. I will remember "An American in Paris" my entire life!

v
vonnyb
Feb 27, 2015

This has never been my favourite musical, despite the star Gene Kelly. The story is weak, at best, and the characters are generally unlikeable. But the music, all Gershwin, is unforgettable.

A great part of this two-disk set is the documentaries on the second disk: one about the making of An American in Paris, and another about Gene Kelly's career. Very interesting.

n
Nursebob
Jan 03, 2015

An ex-GI decides to follow his dream of becoming a famous artist while living in the fabled City of Lights. Along the way he is wooed by a rich cougar, falls in love with his friend’s fiancee, and finds ample opportunities to sing and dance. This is certainly a technicolor delight filled with postcard cinematography and a famous soundtrack of hummable Gershwin tunes. Some highlights include a one-man orchestra performance by Oscar Levant, a sequence of whirling solos by Leslie Caron, and an extended dance routine played out against vibrant cardboard cut-outs of Paris complete with misty fountains and glowing archways. Unfortunately it soon becomes apparent that Caron and Kelly are performers, not actors. While the choreography is technically on the mark and the vocals are pitch-perfect, there is no chemistry between the two leads and therefore no depth to the story itself. Their tearful romance is little more than a colourful prop meant to bridge the gaps between song and dance numbers. Worth a look, but file it under “light entertainment”.

d2013 Jan 11, 2014

A delightful and fun movie!

y
ychsing
Jun 11, 2012

Gershwin+Gene Kelly, no more to say!

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Dani
Jun 15, 2008

Dani thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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