The fifties classic MGM musical “An American in Paris” returns to theaters this week only, thanks to Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies’ Big Screen Classics program! Turn back the clock to 1951 and see the movie of the year on the big screen. Winner of six Academy Awards including Best Picture, this exuberant musical transports cinema audiences to Paris and back in time to the 1950’s.
The plot revolves around what its title describes; Jerry — played by Gene Kelly — an American former soldier, is making a poor living in Paris as a struggling painter. All he has for company and encouragement are his fellow artist friends, pianist Adam and singer Henri. A rich American woman Milo is struck by his work and his looks, but Jerry’s affections are quickly stolen by mysterious French girl Lise — played by Leslie Caron. However, when Henri reveals his plans to marry Lise and take her on a honeymoon in America, Jerry has to choose between his career and his heart.
Kelly’s best known film is probably “Singin’ in the Rain” from next year, 1952. But when first released, “An American In Paris” was a sensation, earning over $3 million and cementing Kelly’s place as one of the biggest movie stars in the world. And boy, does he show it in this production! This is Kelly’s movie through and through, and it features some of his best dancing ever.
Kelly separated himself from the pack of movie dancers by creating a unique style of dance. Incorporating the elegance of ballet and the rough and tumble athleticism of his body, Kelly danced with seeming reckless abandon. But he made it look so good that it’s no wonder he became one of the biggest stars of his kind.
But beyond Kelly’s dancing, the movie features timeless songs from George and Ira Gershwin on the soundtrack. From “Embraceable You,” to “I’ve Got Rhythm,” even audiences of today will leave the theater humming. And the filmmakers took full advantage of the movie being shot in color. The visuals are like a painting of Paris come to life, especially in the show stopping ending ballet sequence.
Time has been friendly this the movie as well. On the list of the twenty five best movie musicals by the American Film Institute, it ranks 9th, ahead of such classics as “The King and I” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
“An American in Paris” already showed on Sunday January 19th, but has a repeat screening on Wednesday, January 22. So you still have a chance to catch this old winner in cinemas. Tickets are available at www.FathomEvents.com.