A winner of six Oscars® including Best Picture, An American in Paris
(1951) was Vincente Minnelli's love letter to the City of Lights and to the music of George Gershwin. Gene Kelly plays Jerry Mulligan, a former American GI trying to make a living in France as an artist after the war. He's taken on by an American patron of the arts (Nina Foch) who has other intentions, but he falls in love with a local girl (Leslie Caron in her debut) who happens to be the intended of a Parisian cabaret performer (Georges Guetary). The music of George and Ira Gershwin sparkles throughout the film, including Kelly and Guetary's ironic duet "'S Wonderful," Kelly's simple ballad "Love Is Here to Stay," Guetary's flamboyant "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," and Kelly's tour-de-force "I Got Rhythm" dance with a bunch of kids. Oscar Levant plays his usual acerbic self as Jerry's friend and pianist, and performs the final movement of the Concerto in F--accompanied by an orchestra of himselves. The movie famously concludes with a 17-minute fantasy ballet set to the tone poem the movie is named after. While its scope and placement might seem a little odd to viewers decades later, it's an elaborate showcase of Kelly's dancing and choreography (he received an honorary Oscar that year for it), and started a trend that would be followed by similar numbers in Singin' in the Rain
! --David Horiuchi
The dancing of Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, a classic score by George Gershwin, and the romantic settings of the City of Lights make for a timeless musical delight that garnered six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Songs include "Embraceable You," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," and "Our Love Is Here to Stay." 114 min.