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4.1 out of 5 stars55
4.1 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 December 2009
On the Town - the movie

This is a story of three sailors (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munchin) and their escapades while on shore leave for 24 hours in New York - a much worked Hollywood theme! It was originally a Broadway hit with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, itself a reworking of a Jerome Robbins ballet called Fancy Free. Gene Kelly directed and choreographed the film with Stanley Donen. Some of the Bernstein tunes were dropped in the film to be replaced by others composed by Roger Edens, Conrad Salinger and Lennie Hayton. But the rousing opening number, `New York, New York, It's a wonderful town' was retained as were some of the ballet sequences. In fact, the whole film was very balletic, which reflects its origins. The girls after whom the sailors chased were Vera-Ellen (`Miss Turnstiles'), Ann Miller (an anthropologist, would you believe), and Betty Garrett (as a lady cab driver). Though the storyline is somewhat overworked, the film as a whole is thoroughly entertaining for most of its 98 minutes. It was released in 1949 and is in Technicolor.
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on 3 June 2015
A great film, one of MGM's best-ever musicals, but a disappointment as a Blu-ray production. It just doesn't look like Blu-ray at all. In fact, I compared it with my old pre-BR copy, and I could see no difference.. However, maybe I should make allowances for the fact that I played this latest version on a 6-foot screen -- on an average-size one the less than high definition might not detract what is basically a hugely enjoyable film. As for the sound, that is fine, although on my copy of the disc there was a ten- second black-out of both sound and vision at the beginning of the 'You Can Count on Me' number. This is not the first poor Blu-ray disc I've had of another great MGM musical. Another was 'The Band Wagon' although in that case it wasn't quite as disappointing. I imagine that Amazon, as sellers of the 'On the Town' disc will probably dislike this disappointed review of it, but I can't help advising prospective purchasers that they might just as well stick with the old pre-BR version.
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As would be tradition, the story at the core of On the Town isn't anything to sing from the roof tops, but it plays out as one of MGM's most memorable slices of froth. Propelled by talented stars and singers, it's a musical of comedic delights.

Adapted from the successful stage production, charges of being dated and that not all the songs are great, is correct. The dated thing is not always a viable debating tool, but certain stereotype and sexist elements here will ring a little hollow with some folk.

Yet if you can just run with it and accept the era of film making it comes from, then this is mostly a joyous and uplifting picture. So roll with the boys and girls, with the wonderful dances and the wonderful singing, for New York New York, A Wonderful Town. 8/10
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on 17 September 2011
I remember seeing this film as a child. The impression it made on me then still dominates today. My DVD is an import from South Korea. The quality is first-class and the sub-titles may be erased by using the menu on the remote. A good film is timeless and this mesmerising musical has all the ingredients to make it eminently watchable. The cast is superb. The only weak links are Jules Munshin whose attempts at comedy are somewhat dated by today's standards and Betty Garrett whose impersonation of a taxi-driver is an insult to all yellow-cab drivers in the Big Apple. But watch the dancing of Gene Kelly, Vera-Ellen and Ann Miller and listen to 'Old Blue-eyes' singing. Whether sailors on leave in New York would be as congenial and well-behaved as this trio is questionable. As for the plot, forget it. 'Singin' in the Rain' and 'Showboat' are the only MGM musicals with a decent plot. The rest, such as 'Du Barry was a Lady' and 'Take me out to the Ball-Game' are merely vehicles for talented dancers and singers. But that is why we watch musicals. We like the music and the dancing. We want something that appeals to our senses, not to our brains.
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on 11 March 2001
Forget 'Singing in the Rain' for one moment and see Kelly and Sinatra at their freshest. Location filming for a musical for the first time blends fiction with reality and songs that will make you wonder why they don't make films like this any more. A Perfect cast in a perfect musical. Don't miss it!
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on 7 May 2014
A complete musical triumph. The undoubted highlight for me is the reunion of top of the Empire State and the climax of New York, New York. The bursting out of the elevator at ground level is one of the greatest climaxes of any musical I know.
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on 21 January 2016
Even for less than £5, this imported DVD copy of the classic 'On The Town is extremely poor quality, and not worth the money. The picture looks like its been recorded from either an old 4:3 video cassette, or from an old 4:3 tv signal. Its easy to spot that the image has been stretched horizontally, which distorts everything - most notably faces and bodies. Certainly doesn't do this classic the justice it deserves. Very disappointed. Going to try to get a refund. Seriously, don't bother!
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on 25 August 2004
I love this movie! frank and Gene are a great combo! Great songs, great stars and great story!! Buy it! I also recommend Take Me Out To The Ball Game.
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on 6 October 2015
Old fashioned feel good movie.Not that keen on picture quality,looks like someone has pressed a button and came out faded and tripled the film grain.Its still watchable but i would have spent more knowing in advance.Cheap is what you get here,cheap it was.subtitles can be switched off.
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on 7 June 2014
The movie was actually a gift for someone so was ok for me as It was not actually for me. However, I have seen the film and it is one of the classic films that we no longer see on TV or around these days, hence the import version. Still a good film to while away a wet afternoon.
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