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TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Gene Kelly [4 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Closed-Caption

Synopsis

Anchors Aweigh
This mammoth musical is at base the story of two sailors on leave in Hollywood. Brash Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) has promised his shy pal Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) that he will introduce Clarence to all the glamorous movie starlets whom he allegedly knows so well. Actually, the only actress whom Joseph meets is bit player Susan Abbott (Kathryn Grayson). He arranges for the golden-throated Susan to be auditioned by musician José Iturbi, but when she seems to want to return the favor romantically, Brady tries to foist the girl off on Clarence. But Clarence only has eyes for a fellow Brooklynite (Pamela Britton). Also involved in the plot machinations is runaway orphan Donald Martin (Dean Stockwell). Featuring Kelly dancing with such partners as a cartoon mouse (courtesy of MGM's house animators Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera), Anchors Aweigh was a huge hit in 1945, assuring audiences future Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra teamings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Brigadoon
Reportedly, Vincente Minnelli turned down the opportunity to film Brigadoon on location in Scotland insisting that MGM's studio mockups looked more Scottish than the genuine article. This lavish adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe Broadway musical stars Gene Kelly as an American tourist who stumbles upon an enchanted Scottish village. Every 100 years, the people of Brigadoon awaken for a 24-hour period, then go back to sleep for another century while Brigadoon itself vanishes in the mists. Tommy Albright (Kelly) falls in love with village lass Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse) while his hard-drinking pal, Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson), dismisses the legend -- and indeed the existence of Brigadoon as a result of delirium. Fiona's betrothed Harry Beaton (Hugh Laing), upset by Kelly's intervention, threatens to leave Brigadoon -- an act that will spell doom for its residents. When this crisis has passed, Tommy is persuaded against his better judgment to escape Brigadoon himself and return to his own fiancée (Elaine Stewart) in New York. But the love between Tommy and Fiona results in a miraculous finale. Most of the Lerner-Loewe score remains intact, including the hit songs "Almost Like Being in Love," "Heather on the Hill," and "Come to Me Bend to Me." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

On the Town
Three sailors on a 24-hour pass -- Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra), and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) -- decide to soak up the sights and sounds of New York. Each one finds romance within those 24 hours: Gabey with aspiring dancer Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen), Chip with lady cabbie Hildy Esterhazy (Betty Garrett), and Ozzie with paleontology student Claire Huddesten (Ann Miller). That's all, right? Wellll....Ivy passes herself off as a celebrity, but she's actually a kootch dancer in Coney Island. Claire and the boys inadvertently topple a dinosaur replica at the Museum of Anthropological History. And Hildy breaks any number of speeding laws attempting to get the lovers together and straighten out all misunderstandings. Adapted from the Broadway musical by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein, On the Town is one of the freshest, most exhilarating musicals turned out by the old MGM regime. The stars' verve and camaraderie are contagious, and the songs are staged by legendary musical director Stanley Donen and Kelly himself with wit and innovation. Highlights include the opening "New York, New York" number, shot on location and flat-cutting from one image to another at a dizzying pace, and Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen's ""Miss Turnstyles Ballet."" ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

An American in Paris
Gene Kelly does his patented Pal Joey bit as Jerry Mulligan, an opportunistic American painter living in Paris' "starving artists" colony. He is discovered by wealthy Milo Roberts (Nina Foch), who becomes Jerry's patroness in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Jerry plays hookey on this setup by romancing waif-like Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) -- who, unbeknownst to him, is the object of the affections of his close friend Henri (Georges Guetary), a popular nightclub performer. (The film was supposed to make Guetary into "the New Chevalier." It didn't.) The thinnish plot is held together by the superlative production numbers and by the recycling of several vintage George Gershwin tunes, including "I Got Rhythm," "'S Wonderful," and "Our Love Is Here to Stay." Highlights include Guetary's rendition of "Stairway to Paradise"; Oscar Levant's fantasy of conducting and performing Gershwin's "Concerto in F" (Levant also appears as every member of the orchestra); and the closing 17-minute "American in Paris" ballet, in which Kelly and Caron dance before lavish backgrounds based on the works of famed French artists. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra - Clarence Doolittle
  • Kathryn Grayson
    Kathryn Grayson - Susan Abbott
  • Gene Kelly
    Gene Kelly - Joseph Brady
  • Dean Stockwell
    Dean Stockwell - Donald Martin
  • Pamela Britton
    Pamela Britton - Girl from Brooklyn
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