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American in Paris
American in Paris
Actors: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, Nina Foch
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     1999     1hr 53min

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 mostl...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, Nina Foch
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Creators: Alfred Gilks, Adrienne Fazan, Arthur Freed, Roger Edens, Alan Jay Lerner
Genres: Drama, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Drama, Ballet & Dance, Musicals
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/27/1999
Original Release Date: 01/01/1951
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1951
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 53min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Daniel W. from LANSING, MI
Reviewed on 12/11/2011...
Not in the same class as "Singin' in the Rain" but thoroughly enjoyable anyway. First class musical numbers are the highlights, by far. Not much in the way of plot, but then again, you are not here for the plot in the first place I would assume. If you like musicals you will love this!

Movie Reviews

Special Edition gets Ultra-Resolution Process
Dave | San Diego, CA | 07/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Warner Brothers' proprietary Ultra-Resolution process has brought new life to such classics as "The Wizard of Oz," "Gone With the Wind," Errol Flynn's "Robin Hood," and "Singin' in the Rain." By going back to the original three-strip technicolor negatives and realigning them digitally, the color and detail blows away anything that customers have seen in the past with home video. "An American In Paris" has now undergone the same process. For those that have a blu-ray player, be sure to order this version, An American in Paris [Blu-ray]. Here is a list of extras that are the same on both versions:

Disc 1:
1.33:1 Full Screen with Original Mono audio * Tech Specs for Blu-ray version: Video is 1080P 1.33:1 * Audio is English, French, Spanish (Both Castilian and Latin), German and Italian DD1.0 * Subtitles (Main Feature): English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish * Subtitles (on Select Bonus Material): English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese
1938 MGM short: Paris on Parade
1951 MGM cartoon: Symphony in Slang
Theatrical trailer

Disc 2:

2002 American Masters Documentary: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer (Gene Kelly - Anatomy of a Dancer)

`S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris, an all new documentary, produced especially for this release. A dynamic history of the making of the film, which reveals how George and Ira Gershwin's classic songs, the dazzling art of the French impressionists and the ultimate teamwork of MGM's legendary "Freed Unit" came together to create a musical masterpiece. Featuring ten new interviews, including co-stars Leslie Caron, Nina Foch, and Kelly's widow. A very enlightening piece; Caron's memories are probably the most interesting, with Foch running a close 2nd. Caron's comments about co-star Georges Guétary being handsome but not too bright seem to be echoed by Kelly's widow, who says Gene spent more time trying to teach him how to gracefully walk down a set of steps than on anything else in the film. It is unfortunate that Maurice Chevalier could not have taken that role as originally intended. You also realize just how revolutionary this movie was (artistically), especially because of the 17-minute ballet tacked on at the end of the movie. Even Irving Berlin disapproved during an on-set visit, which didn't help the confidence of Vincente Minnelli at all.

Outtakes:
Georges Guetary performing Love Walked In (not missed in the movie at all!)

Audio Outtakes: Alternate Main Title, But Not for Me (Guetary), But Not for Me (Levant Piano Solo), Gershwin Prelude #3, I've Got a Crush on You, Nice Work if You Can Get It, 'S Wonderful

Radio Interviews: Johnny Green, Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly & Leslie Caron;
Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron promotional radio interview with Dick Simmons

Not all of the original musical recording stems have survived over the years, preventing a true stereo/5.1 restoration of the soundtrack; instead, a restored mono version is being made available.

Most are familiar with the movie; storywise, it is a little creaky and hasn't necessarily survived well over the years: Kelly is an American artist living in Paris. He falls in love with a young girl (Leslie Caron) who is in a loveless relationship with one of his best friends (Guétary). Kelly is also in somewhat of a loveless relationship with his financial sponsor (Nina Foch). You can probably guess the rest.

The glowing color, fantastic music by Gershwin (arrangements by the talented Conrad Salinger), and the amazing choreography of Gene Kelly will keep this one a classic for years to come despite a predictable plot. Just the ending ballet alone is a masterpiece; the art of Toulouse Lautrec and Utrillo comes to life with Gene Kelly & Leslie Caron dancing their hearts out to some of the most imaginative choreography (Kelly's) in years. The Freed Unit at MGM was at their peak when this movie was made, and this is one of the last great ones that it created.

It is a real shame that with how fantastic the picture is (the colors literally leap off the screen, and it really adds to the appreciation of what an artistically beautiful visual feast this movie is) that the sound cannot match. Although it is clear and free of problems, the Gershwin music just begs for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround track; unfortunately, due to the age and availability of the original elements, this is not possible."
S'Wonderful
James Ferguson | Vilnius, Lithuania | 03/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A glorious movie that showcases Gene Kelly's breathtaking talent. Forget the silly story and just watch him dance and dance and dance. He does more with a turn of a shoulder than most dancers can do with their whole body. This movie also introduced the lithe and lovely Leslie Caron as the object of Kelly's affection. The film builds to its dramatic hallucinatory conclusion as Kelly dances his way across a Paris dreamscape, that brings all the elements of modern dance together in a tour-de-force that was unprecedented in musicals of that time. You can't help getting swept away in the feel-good spirit of this movie. It was another time and place."
It's Very Clear This Movie's Here to Stay
Virginia Lore | Seattle, WA United States | 08/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"1951 was a tense year in America. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of selling U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. In North Korea, truce negotiations failed. McCarthyism reigned and Hollywood suffered as many of its key players were blacklisted. It is no wonder, then, that the movie-going public sought lighter fare. With its simple script, lush color, and innovative choreography, An American in Paris was just the ticket.An American in Paris is the story of boy meets girl, boy gets girl-with not much in between. Gene Kelly plays Jerry, an ex-GI trying to make a go of it as an artist in the city of artist's garrets and cheap cheese. When he spots Lise (Leslie Caron) he knows instantly that she's the gal for him, and he sets about wooing and winning her, ignorant of the fact that she's dating Henri (Georges Guetary). Complicating things (but not much) is his wealthy patroness Milo (Nina Fochs). Another ex-patriot, Adam (Oscar Levant), plays the fifth wheel, adding comic relief to a script that doesn't need it. But people don't really watch this movie for the script, they watch it for the beautiful cinematography and the singing and dancing. The set design is gorgeously colorful, making Paris dangerously magnetic to anyone who might be making travel plans. This is the Paris of sweet children seeking bubble-gum, kind elderly Parisian ladies who break into dance in cafes, a happy nightclub scene on clean stone streets, and of course lavish flowers, safe riverbanks, and Parisian churches. It's a perfect setting for the score, which includes such songs as "Our Love is Here to Stay," "I Got Rhythm" (sung by Kelly with a team of little urchins), and "'S Wonderful". And the dancing is. Quite wonderful, culminating in a 17-minute ballet (choreographed by Kelly) at the climax. That things resolve just a little too quickly and easily thereafter will bother no dance fan-and all the moviewatchers who have a low tolerance for song-and-dance will have been flushed out of the room long before then.An American in Paris was Leslie Caron's first American film, shot when she was a just-turned 18. Her inexperience with movie making shows on the screen as kind of a gamine innocence and plays well with Kelly's confident American mien. The chemistry of all cast members (or should I say "the troupe") coalesces to make this musical a don't-miss. 4 stars for the average movie watcher; 5 if you're a big fan of dance."