An American in Paris (1951) / Musical-Romance
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably G< suitable for all audiences
Running Time: 113 min.
Cast: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, Nina Foch
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner
Review published June 16, 1998
Gene Kelly (Singin' in the Rain, Xanadu) stars as Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter and artist living in Paris who catches the eye of a rich heiress (Foch, Spartacus) feigning an interest in his work, although probably more interested in a relationship with him. Unfortunately for her, Jerry takes an interest of his own in a young Parisian girl (Caron, Le Divorce), who also in turn is engaged to a popular singer who is also a friend of a friend. At first she wants nothing to do with him, but Jerry stalks her until she eventually wears down.
One of the flaws of many musicals is that the musical pieces frequently overshadow the drama, to the point where all one remembers is the music and not the story. Such is the case of An American in Paris, the highly acclaimed (Academy Award winner for Best Picture of 1951) musical that delivers some truly memorable Gershwin songs, including "It's Very Clear" and "I Got Rhythm". As a drama, it's enjoyable, if predictable fluff, with good performances from the leads.
An American in Paris retains a likeability throughout, and is especially recommended for all fans of musicals and classic Gershwin
©1998 Vince Leo