American G.I. Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris after the war to become a painter. There he falls in love with Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron), only to discover that she is engaged to his friend Henri Baurel (Georges Guetary). With music and songs by George and Ira Gershwin, including 'I Got Rhythm' and 'Embraceable You', the film went on to win six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
An American In Paris
has always been a feature that looks glorious on the biggest screen possible. However, as a second best to seeing it on a cinema screen, this Blu-ray release is a rather good consolation. The film stars, of course, Gene Kelly, here playing a GI who remains in the French capital once the Second World War is over, wanting to be an artist. But love is in the air, in this case with Leslie Caron's Lise, although as it turns out, she's otherwise engaged.
It's an astounding production, even if its narrative does seem slightly frayed around the edges now. An American In Paris not only boasts world class song and dance sequences, but there's also George and Ira Gershwin's sumptuous songwriting to enjoy, with the peerless 'I Got Rhythm' one of the many highlights. And there's Gene Kelly, a genuine Hollywood great in indomitable form. His performance in this film has been enjoyed for many decades, and will be for many more to come.
The benefits of the high definition upgrade, in the first instance, are twofold. Firstly, the clarity of the picture is quite superb, and there's a real improvement on the early DVD release. Secondly, the audio, while hardly home cinema reference material, is also crystal clear, and a treat for the ears.
The Blu-ray is also rounded out with some interesting and worthwhile supplements, including a diverting audio commentary, and a look behind the scenes of the making of the film. It's a smashing package, for a film that very much deserves it. Recommended. --Jon Foster