Edward M. Erdelac | Valley Village, CA | 04/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Standout production about three inseperable Army buddies with big plans who on their last drunken night together after World War II vow to reunite ten years later...and can't stand each other when they do. This really is an overlooked diamond which deserves among all others the DVD treatment for its wonderful use of 2:35:1. There is one scene which particularly suffers from the pan and scan - the musical number in which the three pals sing and dance on a tri-split screen (each thinking the same thing about the others - `Once Upon A Time I Had Two Friends...' is the song). Compositions are great all around, though. Jazzy, upbeat musical numbers and some of the greatest dance steps Gene Kelly ever pulled off (the stellar one on the roller skates `I Like Myself' which is seen briefly by Jean Reno in THE PROFESSIONAL, and a great set in the beginning where the GI's tap dance with trash can lids on their feet are particularly amazing). Cyd Charrise kicks it up with a gym full of pugs in `Baby, You Knock Me Out' and Dolores Grey for my money gives the best performance in the awesome `Thanks A Lot But No Thanks,' alternately dynamiting and gunning down her suitors...it cracks me up every time. And the story is smart and sweet too, touching on the endurance of real friendship, the benefit of hindsight, and the healing effects of true love. Granted, like a good horse it tends to sag a little in the middle, but it comes back kicking in the end. This one is a real classic. I love it too much to give it less than four stars, but it loses one for the pan and scan."
One of the best musicals of the 1950's
Elizabeth A. Navarro | Long Beach, CA USA | 09/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Besides Singin' in the Rain and 7 Brides for 7 Brothers (which always get good reviews), this is a forgotten gem. I like the movie because there is some cynicism in the characters that make their transformations that much more memorable. If you don't know the basic story line, it's about 3 guys who were the BEST of friends as war buddies, decide to meet years later, and have realized that through the passage of time...now they HATE each other. Of course, it's an MGM musical, so you should know how the ending turns out.
Gene Kelly proves again that he's not only a great dancer, but a great actor, although I do believe like the other reviews that Dan Dailey does the best acting job. Michael Kidd does a good job being the simplest of the three. And don't forget the ladies, especially Cyd Charisse--I don't think she ever does anything wrong.
2 musical sequences stand out-- one is when the 3 main characters are in 3 different locations and start singing a song and the dance choreography is the same for all of them--you see 3 different screens (so they are obviously in 3 different settings) which I think was unique in the 1950's. Just an amazing sequence that makes you realize why movies are great. And the 2nd is the Gene Kelly roller skating sequence, which I feel has a bigger emotional lift considering the circumstances in the movie than his "singin' in the rain" bit of the movie of the same title. The movie's not as good as "singin' in the rain" , but if you're looking for some great musicals that they don't make anymore, I think you'll enjoy the flick."
Kaji | 06/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely phenomenal! Gene Kelly proves once again that he was THE master at what he did. In his song and dance number "I Like Myself", it's a wonder he didn't break a bone! The story is fun, the songs are great, dances are awesome... what more could you ask for? Dolores Gray's character (Madeline Bradville) made me laugh at how high maintenance she is. And yet she can hit someone over the head just as good as Michael Kidd (Angie Valentine). "Baby You Knock Me Out" is also a great song to listen for. It's one of those fun, girls could know a lot about guy stuff too. I strongly recommend everyone who is or isn't a Gene Kelly fan to watch this. If you don't know who he is, this movie and "Singin' in the Rain" are a good introduction to his phenomenal dance and vocal talents. It's a shame there aren't more people like him around..."
Uneven, But When It's Good, It's Great
Sandy McLendon | Atlanta, GA USA | 12/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the last MGM musicals, "It's Always Fair Weather" came and went very quickly in theatres. The story of three GI's who go off to war swearing eternal friendship, only to find themselves disliking one another when they're reunited ten years later, is not so great. But when the adventures of the trio lead them to sing and dance, the movie catches fire, and it becomes a delight. Along the way, Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd perform some amazing dances (one with garbage can lids stuck to their feet) that are among the few musical numbers ever to realise the full potential of CinemaScope. Cyd Charisse is Kelly's love interest, who has an interest in boxing; she dances in a gym to "Lady, You Knock Me Out" with a bunch of grizzled boxers. Imitating their moves as she dances, Charisse never looked so feminine, and rarely looked so appealing. The vastly underrated Dolores Gray is hysterically funny as an egotistical TV hostess who reunites the GI's for her show; her "Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks" production number has to be seen to be believed. Gray once understudied Ethel Merman, and for this reviewer's money, she was the better singer by far. Ethel's brassiness pales besides Gray's, and Gray's voice has gorgeous warm viola and cello-like notes to boot. Her "Music Is Better Than Words" is something any singer would be proud to have pulled off. It doesn't hurt Gray's appeal in her numbers that she looked a lot like Lana Turner.The famous high point of the proceedings is Kelly's dance on roller skates to "I Like Myself". Kelly had long wanted to do such a dance, but he wanted to dispense with the usual movie-skating tricks- wheels welded in place, wires, etc. The number is rapturously in love with the possibilites he discovered in skating- there are long glides followed by tap-dancing followed by more glides, all without a cut, to prove that no trick work was going on. There's even one slyly funny moment when he skates along the edge of a sidewalk, to be confronted with the obstacle of a fire hydrant. Of course, he evades it by lifting a leg over it.You're not going to be crazy about every second of the movie, but when everyone stops talking and the so-so plot stops for a number, you're going to feel like you got double your money's worth on this one. Fair warning- just buy it instead of renting it. It'll grow on you, and you'll find yourself watching it repeatedly- even if you do some fast-forwarding at times."
"A Neglected Charmer"
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 08/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This musical, oddly neglected, is in fact a worthy companion to "Singing in the Rain" and "The Bandwagon." Gene Kelly is his usual brilliant self, and the underrated Dan Dailey and Michael Kidd almost rival him in elegant hoofing. Not only their opening dance sequence employing garbage can tops, but also that terrific scene in a fancy restaurant where these three World War II war buddies are later reunited and privately sing of their disappointment in each other rival in wit anything in the aforementioned musicals. Moreover, the photography in both these scenes surely ranks among the most imaginative ever put on screen in the service of that elongated band-aid, Cinemascope. Cyd Charisse, always beautiful, is here at last given something to do. Her singing and dancing scene with the boxers in Stillman's Gym shows her at her cinematic best. Dolores Gray as a TV host is wonderfully over the top, and TV itself as a new medium comes in for a wonderfully insightful drubbing remarkably early in its career as the boob tube. Finally ,then, only one question arises - When will this film be released in widescreen on DVD?"