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 »y an excuse for director Vincente Minnelli to pool his own extraordinary talent with those of choreographer-dancer-actor Kelly and the artists behind the screenplay, art direction, cinematography, and score, creating a rapturous musical not quite like anything else in cinema. The final section of the film comprises a 17-minute dance sequence that took a month to film and is breathtaking. Songs include "'S Wonderful," "I Got Rhythm," and "Love Is Here to Stay." --Tom Keogh« less
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!
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
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."
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."
Familiar Gershwin Tunes and Masterful Finale of Color and Da
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 01/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The dazzling seventeen-minute dance sequence of George Gershwin's 1928 orchestral piece, "An American in Paris", is an indisputable masterwork. Choreographed with precision and unparalleled flair by Gene Kelly, the vibrant combination of color, music and dance is still eye-poppingly startling as the piece is broken down into scenes inspired by selected master artists - Dufy in the opening Place de la Concorde piece, Manet in the flower market, Utrillo in a Paris street, Rousseau at the fair, Vincent Van Gogh in the spectacular Place de l'Opera piece, and Toulouse-Lautrec for the Moulin Rouge where Kelly wears his famous white bodysuit. The 97 minutes that precede this finale are not as exciting, not by a long shot, but there are certain charms to be had in viewing the entire 1951 Oscar-winning musical.
Director Vincente Minnelli and screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner have fashioned a surprisingly sophisticated if rather slight romantic story focused on Jerry Mulligan, a former G.I. who has remained in Paris after the end of WWII trying to make a living as a painter. With his braggadocio manner and athletic dancing style, Gene Kelly can be concurrently ingratiating and irritating as a screen personality, but he seems to find his oeuvre as the carefree Jerry. The love-triangle plot is focused on Jerry's involvement with Milo Roberts, a self-proclaimed art patron but a sexual predator when it comes to young artists. On their first date in a crowded Montmartre nightclub, Jerry unapologetically falls for Lise, a young woman who turns out to be the fiancee of Henri, a professional entertainer and friend of Jerry's pal, Adam, an out-of-work concert pianist. Romantic complications ensue until the inevitable ending but not before several classic Gershwin songs are performed.
The best of these is the most imitated - a swooningly romantic song and dance to "Our Love Is Here to Stay" along a faux-Seine River in a blue hazy mist with yellow fog lights. The way Kelly and Leslie Caron circle each other is transcendent as they approach each other tentatively at first and then synchronize beautifully to the music leading to the final clinch. Few films have so elegantly and succinctly shown two people falling in love. "I Got Rhythm" and "S'Wonderful" spotlight Kelly's nimble tap-dancing and agreeable singing, while "Embraceable You" is danced impressively by Caron in a five-scene montage of Henri's all-over-the-map description of Lise to Adam. Designed to show off Caron's dancing versatility, the sequence is similar to the one in "On the Town" where Vera-Ellen showed off her considerable dancing skills when Kelly's sailor character described his multi-faceted vision of Miss Turnstiles.
As Lise, the nineteen year-old Caron (in her first film) dances superbly throughout and handles her role with unformed charm with her acting talent not to bloom for several years. Looking quite glamorous, Nina Foch plays older as the manipulative Milo and manages to be likeable enough for us to care about her fate, while Oscar Levant is just his sardonic self as Adam. Performing an elegant "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise", George Guetary plays Henri so agreeably that you feel bad that he does lose the girl at the end. This is not the best all-around MGM musical, but there is certainly enough movie magic to make this quite worthwhile. The 2000 DVD contains a fairly pristine print but little else in terms of extras."
An excellent film
Virginia Lore | 09/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""An American In Paris" is an amazing film. It won the Oscar for Best Picture and Gene Kelly was awarded a special Oscar for his choreography. I, and I'm sure that most people would agree, feel that "Singin' In The Rain" is Gene Kelly's best film, but this is a close second.
Basic story: Kelly is an ex-GI who stuck around in Paris to become an artist. He's now an artist, but a struggling one. He meets Leslie Caron and through the wonders of movie musicals, he falls in love with her in about ten seconds. He starts his pursuit of her, but he is also being pursued by a wealthy older woman who wants to sponsor him in an art show. The woman is interested in more than Kelly's art and Caron also has her own problems. She is engaged to an older man whom she doesn't love, but rescued her during the war and so she feels indebted to him. However, even with all these complications we must remember that this is a '50s musical so there can only be one outcome, a good one. Also worth noting is Oscar Levant. He plays Kelly's best pal and brings his usual cynicism and humor to the role.
The plot is exceptionally good for a musical, but what makes a person watch this movie is the musical numbers. Gene Kelly does the dancing and George Gershwin's catalog is used for the music. What could be better? Kelly shows his "everyman" qualities by dancing in a small cafe, on a sidewalk with a swarm of French children, and in the apartment of his best friend. He also does an incredibly romantic dance with Leslie Caron to Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here To Stay". Its beautiful.
The whole movie climaxes in a 17 minute ballet finale. Yes, ballet. Now I don't like ballet, but Kelly brings such an earthy and sexy feel to it that you almost forget its ballet. There are elements of humor in the finale, but for the most part it is incredibly romantic. Its set to a beatiful orchestration of Gershwin's "An American In Paris" suite. The ballet is set on a massive scale, there are many dancers and the fact that Kelly was able to choreograph everything so flawlessly is just a testament to his genius. Everyone is different and for some this isn't a "rewatch" scene, but the first time you see it, it is breathtaking. It took me a few viewings before I think I fully appreciated everything that was going on in the scenes.
One last note, any woman who enjoys seeing good looking men must see this film. Gene Kelly is very handsome and has a strong, dancer's body. During the ballet he dons a skin-tight costume and struts across the screen. Women, keep a glass of ice water handy. Don't say I didn't warn you."