An American in Paris

The title encapsulates a recipe for pretension, culminating in an endless eighteen-minute "ballet." (A Gershwin musical score could not be expected to impose some restraint.) Vincente Minnelli would further overreach himself, in the same general direction, in Lust for Life. With Gene Kelly (dazzling dancing and choreography), Leslie Caron (her first film role), Oscar Levant, and Nina Foch. 1951.

2.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

  • Rated NR

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Dragonfly Sept. 1, 2013 @ 11:04 p.m.

It surprises me greatly that Duncan Shepherd prefers The Band Wagon, also directed by Minnelli, to An American in Paris. While The Band Wagon is no doubt one of the better MGM musicals, the song and dance numbers are often disjointed and silly, and sometimes embarrassingly clumsy. An American in Paris moves much more smoothly, with noticeably better material, better editing and choreography, and better use of space. More bluntly, one stars Gene Kelly in his prime while the other stars Fred Astaire in obvious decline. The "ballet" is perhaps overlong, but the imaginative, colorful set design is delightful, and there’s nothing in The Band Wagon that comes close to matching it.

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