The music and dancing truly make this film a magical spectacle. The songs that are used in the film are from the George and Ira Gershwin songbook and each is performed rather well. Probably the most notable musical performance in the film is Georges Geutary singing "Stairway to Paradise" staged in a manner that could only be done by MGM. Other great scenes include Gene Kelly dancing with a café matron and flower seller. The dance with the flower seller is particularly moving. She is much older than Kelly and when we watch this scene, we get a sense she is reliving a special moment in her life. Kelly's version of "I Got Rhythm" teams the great dancer with the neighborhood children who are only after one thing-Kelly's American bubble gum. We see some fancy footwork by Kelly as well as amusing interactions with children. The final dance number of the film, called "The American In Paris Ballet" is probably Hollywood's best dance scene. At least MGM thinks so since it ends MGM's historical documentary THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!
While it's true that renting AN AMERICAN IN PARIS in a video store is not all that difficult, this is a film that can give enjoyment over and over again, so why not add it to your collection?
It was Gene Kelly who discovered Leslie Caron while on a vacation. She was performing in a Paris ballet. He brought her to America to star in this film. Apart from the opening sequence which sets up the film with vintage travelogue shots of Paris, the entire production was shot on a backlot at MGM. Reportedly, when Irving Berlin learned that Arthur Freed, Kelly and director, Vincente Minnelli were planning to end the film with a nearly 20 minute dance sequence and no dialogue, he curiously commented, "I guess you know what you're doing." Indeed they did. "An American In Paris" became the first musical to win Best Picture since "The Great Ziegfeld" made some twenty years before!
Warner Brothers Home Video has presented this film on DVD in an adequate looking transfer that is a direct import from the MGM/UA initial release. Colors are well defined, nicely balanced and fully saturated. Occasionally there is a noticeable change in the color depending on the film stock. Age related artifacts are tempered. There are very few instances of digital anomalies for an image that is generally smooth throughout.Read more ›