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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2011
Jerry Mulligan is a struggling American artist in Paris, he gets coveted by a rich heiress who can help his struggling career. However, a visit to a night club and a meeting with a delicate young, but spoken for, French girl, leads him into a battle with himself.

Winner of seven Academy Awards, An American In Paris is of course a delightful and breezy picture from the MGM vault. Said to be the personal favourite movie of Gene Kelly, it boasts wonderful tunes from George & Ira Gershwin, brilliant art direction from Cedric Gibbons, vivid Technicolor that fills the eyes, and quite stunning choreography from Gene Kelly. The film, all told, is high on production value and entertaining enough from start to finish. Yet the film's plot is showing definite age problems now, and it also lacks the ode to joy sense of purpose that, for example, Singing In The Rain has. I also feel it's a missed opportunity to actually film the picture entirely on location in Paris instead of on the MGM lot, because a bit of earthy core feels missing from the unfolding story. Leslie Caron as the love rival to the smokingly hot older woman played by Nina Foch, is majestic dance wise, but acting she's very staid, and this too is an irritation.

However, I still adore this film very much, just not as much as Gene and the Academy did, apparently! Come the grand finale it's hard to be too critical when so much energy and deftness of feet has been constructed for our entertainment. With such a production it's suffice to say that now, with all the technological advances made in home entertainment, An American in Paris is an High Definition essential. 7/10
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on 12 July 2009
I already had a copy of An American in Paris on DVD but without the extras included with this edition. So was I pleased with the extras? Yes, I think it brings out more aspects of Kelly's character which are often hidden - he must have been very difficult to work with part of the time. Stanley Donen's views on "It's Always Fair Weather" emphasises that aspect of Kelly. Turning to the film; it is difficult to disagree with Saul Chaplin on his troubles about re-arranging Gershwin's "American in Paris" suite to suit the film's ballet but surely he exaggerates? Overall, I think it is a great film and worthy of the Awards and Accolades it received. Leslie Caron makes a fine, enticing début in films and if Georges Guetary's voice grates sometimes, it is now difficult to think of anyone else in the part. So what about Kelly's choreography and dancing; surely this is a real pinnacle in his career and has been said we are lucky that he, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Leslie Caron, Vera-Ellen, the incomparable Judy Garland, Michael Kidd, Howard Keel, etc. were around with Arthur Freed, Jack Cummings, Stanley Donen, Charles Walters, Vincente Minnelli, Roger Edens, Conrad Salinger and Saul Chaplin when MGM had the money to make so many glorious, timeless musicals
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on 1 September 2000
This was Leslie Caron's screen debut and she clearly benefits from Gene Kelly's guiding hand in the film. It's typical of the great Kelly musicals, with some inventive musical numbers and a colourful dance-fest near the end. An American in Paris is not quite as bright and smiley or as funny as Singing in the Rain, but it's entertaining viewing nevertheless, with a bittersweet storyline enhanced by George Gershwin's fantastic music. A particular favourite number of mine is "I Got Rhythm" - Kelly's genuine rapport with the kids as he teaches them English words is pure magic. Definitely worth buying (when's the DVD out?).
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on 8 May 2013
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS [1951] [Blu-ray] [US Import] An Altogether Delightful Musical Holiday! What A Joy To See M-G-M’s Technicolor Musical!

Gene Kelly, producer Arthur Fred, director Vincente Minnelli and a skilled production team conjure an entertainment for the ages. Gene Kelly plays an ex-GI who loves Paris and an alluring [but engaged] perfume-shop clerk [Leslie Caron] in her beguiling screen debut. Dazzling dance sequences are spun around songs by George Gershwin. And the closing ballet sequence combining the George Gershwin title piece, Impressionist set styling's and Gene Kelly's inimitable talent telling a story in dance and lifts this winner of 6 Academy Awards® to new heights and especially now this Blu-ray has had a New Ultra-resolution Digital transfer!

FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Academy Awards®: Win: Best Picture for Arthur Freed [Producer]. Win: Best Art and Set Decoration, Colour for E. Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons, F. Keogh Gleason, and Edwin B. Willis. Win: Best Cinematography and Colour for John Alton and Alfred Gilks. Win: Best Costume Design and Colour for Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, and Irene Sharaff. Win: Best Musical Score for Saul Chaplin and Johnny Green. Win: Best Writing, Scoring and Screenplay for Alan Jay Lerner. Nominated: Best Director for Vincente Minnelli. Nominated: Best Film Editing for Adrienne Fazan. Golden Globe® Awards: Win: Best Motion Picture in a Musical or Comedy. Nominated: Best Director in a Motion Picture for Vincente Minnelli. Nominated: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Gene Kelly. Gene Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award that year for "his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film." It was his only Oscar.

Cast: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, Nina Foch, The American In Paris Ballet (Ballet Dancers), Robert Ames (uncredited), Marie Antoinette Andrews (uncredited), Felice Basso (uncredited), Rodney Bieber (uncredited), Ann Brendon (uncredited), Ralph Del Campo (uncredited), Sue Casey (uncredited), Andre Charisse (uncredited), Allan Cook (uncredited), Ralph Del Campo (uncredited), Gloria DeWerd (uncredited), Carli Elinor (uncredited), Marietta Elliott (uncredited), George Ellsworth (uncredited), Luigi Faccuito (uncredited), Ernie Flatt (uncredited), Mary Jane French (uncredited), Mary Ellen Gleason (uncredited), Shirley Glickman (uncredited), Ricardo Gonzáles (uncredited), Patricia Hall (uncredited), Betty Hannon (uncredited), Jack Harmon (uncredited), Jean Harrison (uncredited), Marian Horosko (uncredited), Don Hulbert (uncredited), Dickie Humphreys (uncredited), Harvey Karels (uncredited), Stephen Kirchner (uncredited), Tommy Ladd (uncredited), Judy Landon (uncredited), Richard Landry (uncredited), Meredith Leeds (uncredited), Eileen Locklin (uncredited), Shirley Lopez (uncredited), Ralph Madlener (uncredited), Bert Madrid (uncredited), Dudley Field Malone (uncredited), Bob Mascagno (uncredited), Charles Mauu (uncredited), Bonnie Menzies (uncredited), Roy Ossorio (uncredited), Jetsy Parker (uncredited), Ricky Ricardi (uncredited), Carol Risser (uncredited), Marilyn Rogers (uncredited), Jean Romaine (uncredited), Alex Romero (uncredited), Hayden Rorke (uncredited), Albert Ruiz (uncredited), Marilyn Russell (uncredited), Betty Scott (uncredited), Linda Scott (uncredited), Rudolph Silva (uncredited), Pat Simms (uncredited), Melba Snowden (uncredited), John Stanley (uncredited), Beverly Thompson Dorothy Tuttle (uncredited), Pat Volasko (uncredited), Dorothy Ward (uncredited), Ray Weamer (uncredited) and Lila Zali (uncredited)

Director: Vincente Minnelli

Producer: Arthur Freed and Roger Edens (uncredited)

Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner

Composers: George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin (lyrics) and Conrad Salinger (uncredited)

Cinematography: Alfred Gilks and John Alton (Ballet)

Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: English: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, 1.0 French: Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono, German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono and Italian: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish

Running Time: 113 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Home Video

Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘An American in Paris’ [1951] is one of the greatest, most elegant, and most celebrated of M-G-M's 1950's musicals, with Gershwin lyrics and musical score, plus lyrics by Ira and music by composer George from some of their compositions of the 1920s and 1930s, lavish sets and costumes, tremendous Technicolor cinematography, and a romantic love story set to music and dance. Gene Kelly served as the film's principal star, singer, athletically-exuberant dancer and energetic choreographer and he even directed the sequence surrounding "Embraceable You." The entire film glorifies the joie de vivre of Paris, but it was shot on M-G-M's sound stages in California, except for a few opening, establishing shots of the scenic city. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most optimistic American films of the post-war period, with Paris at its centre.

If you've heard of `An American in Paris,' then you already know that it's one of the top musicals ever made and one of the artistic high points in the history of the M-G-M studio. In the production unit of Arthur Freed, M-G-M bankrolled a concentration of musical and dancing talent that no smaller organisation could possibly have put together; it's one of the truly persuasive arguments in favour of the old studio system.

Inspired by the music of George and Ira Gershwin, Arthur Freed put his most creative talent into this one entertainment. The ambitious Vincente Minnelli was a meticulous design-oriented director, while the energetic star and choreographer Gene Kelly was hooked on the idea of blending dance and cinema into new, unseen forms. One of the film's highlights is its impressive finale - an ambitious, colourful, imaginative, 13 minute avant-garde "dream ballet" costing a half million dollars to produce. The pretentious sequence, featuring an Impressionistic period daydream in the style of various painters, is one of the longest uninterrupted dance sequences of any Hollywood film, and features the music of George Gershwin. Gene Kelly and John Alton collaborated in presenting a totally remarkable marathon musical and dance number that was the first for both of them to work in Technicolor.

Hollywood attempts at artistic achievement have often been met with indifference, even when they succeed. Film historians point to the "cinematic" ballet in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's `The Red Shoes' as an important precedent; many dance critics had little use for it as well. Hollywood films were expected to be escapism first and art "maybe;" Vincente Minnelli and Arthur Freed took a big risk with their consciously "arty" ballet finale.

That America accepted and celebrated `An American in Paris' perhaps marks the highpoint of post-war optimism, a time just before the anxieties of those years claimed a big piece of the culture. Alan Jay Lerner's script is as simple as any of M-G-M's formula musicals. Ex-GI Jerry Mulligan [Gene Kelly] tries to become a painter in an idealised post-war Paris that still loves Americans. He lives in the same building as Adam Cook [Oscar Levant], a pianist-slacker who lives from fellowship to fellowship grant. Mulligan meets two women on the same day. Well-heeled Baltimore divorcée Milo Roberts [Nina Foch] offers to sponsor Jerry's art, but is really looking for a new man to keep. Jerry's eye instead goes to the young Parisian Lise Bouvier [Leslie Caron]. He falls in love almost immediately. The problem is that Lise is engaged to successful singer Henri Baurel [Georges Guétary], a close associate of Adam. Jerry Mulligan's Yankee sense of humour helps win Lise's heart, but she feels too indebted to Henri to let him down.

A strong story is often irrelevant to a classic M-G-M musical. The important factors are the music, the talent and the treatment of the musical numbers. Paris glides from one jubilant George Gershwin winner to the next, none of which repeat a mood. Jerry, Adam and Henri celebrate friendship with "By Strauss" and dancing with the fat barmaid and an ancient, but cheerful lady bystander. Jerry has fun playing with the neighbourhood kids with the song "I Got Rhythm;" the kids seem genuinely amused. Georges Guétary belts out a flashy Follies Bergére type song called "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise", while the egotistical Adam daydreams of triumph as a concert pianist performing "Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra." Jerry and Lise's key romantic tune is "Our Love is Here to Stay."

`An American in Paris' is a beloved title and many fans appreciate its artistry. Most of the other top M-G-M musicals display a broader streak of comedy, and the supposed 'best musical of all time 'Singin' in the Rain' is wittier, more complex and even has relevance as an account of Hollywood history. Oscar Levant's forced cynicism plays against the mood, as the show never makes a full statement about artistic vagabonds. The sentiment and heart in Paris is really a fusion between the personalities and the music. Leslie Caron's perky smile and laugh are winning but she seems truly heartbroken only when backed by Gershwin. It's less a variety musical than a romantic fusion.

Gene Kelly's performance in the big `An American in Paris Ballet' integrates dance and music so closely together that he seems to personify the spirit of George Gershwin. Busby Berkeley and to some extent Michael Powell's big dance extravaganzas made the camera an active participant in the flow of music and dance, but Kelly's choreography unites music, dance camera and performance into a seemingly living entity. Add to that John Alton's intense colour lighting (with difficult, choreographed lighting changes) and the Ballet may be the most complicated dance ever put on film. It's an almost perfect collaboration. Vincente Minnelli's spectacular design motifs here are in much better balance. The ballet progresses through a parade of classic painting styles that mimic artists like Utrillo, Renoir and Van Gogh.

Perhaps the best compliment for the Ballet is that it does full justice to George Gershwin. The music stands alone as a supremely emotional experience, and the Ballet only heightens it. There's none of the oddball mismatches of music and visuals that one remembers from certain segments in Fantasia. `An American in Paris' is Hollywood filmmaking worthy of superlatives.

Blu-ray Video Quality – The video quality on this Blu-ray release is in a full 1080p encoded image in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The first thing that will catch your eye with this release obviously, is that residual 1950′s Technicolor looks. Perhaps it was the intention, but I do have to say at several points in the film the colour palette goes from harsh to seriously intense, not by any means "popping" off the screen in a pleasing manner. Now, don't get me wrong, scenes doused in neutrals from the wardrobe to the set design actually look very nice, though there is still the subject of the flesh tones existent. The flesh tones harbour the most blush-esque of bright orange hues, and this look continues through the entire film, fluctuating in that Technicolor way you've seen on other elder classics, as an actor moves across the screen passing the horizontal flickers all shades of the palette alternate in tones. The blaring colour palette is heightened by the definite solid black level; so solid, some scenes in which actors are clothed in an abundance of black actually gives them an appearance of animation. This solid black level may be dead on, but it tends to bring out the hard-core saturation, which is often bleeding with more bold hues, creating a near glare at the presence of such vividness, and more importantly, taking away the presence of detail. The late Gene Kelly had an extremely expressive face, and though it needs to be understood that this film has endured some aging, much of the detail of facial features is absent; this quality also applies to all other visual definition aspects of the film, from the costumes, to the set design as well. A good example of this is at the runtime of about 32 minutes and 20 seconds, where Milo is wearing an open back dress, and the scene involves some shots from behind her. Where we would normally see the contours of the shoulder blades, the bleeding/pixilation and harsh colour saturation make the visible flesh tone of her back appear as one smooth piece. Overall, you have to give credit where it is due, and it is evident that this release is what it is with special efforts, as are most classic catalogue titles that have made their way to Blu-ray recently. Keep in mind that when you see this film on Blu-ray what you are seeing was created by filmmakers over 50 years ago, and through so many different processes, this will be the best presentation you can own at this time. Purists will also surely be proud, as this release hasn't gone through significant changes, still possessing many qualities that will keep it in a very original form. Though, when comparing a film from this era to others of the genre that have made their way to Blu-ray.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The audio quality on this release is presented in 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono. It was a great choice on behalf of Warner Bros. to stick with the original mono track for this films Blu-ray release, providing a more sincere, and realistic experience connecting to a time long past, not to mention the film's content that is present would have made for a label of "overkill" if a more voluminous track had been included. There are just a few issues that occur on this audio track though. Occasionally, there is hissing present, usually during a pause in a musical number. Also, at least 2 to 3 times during the abundance of tap dancing that occurs throughout the film, the sounds of "tapping" are out of sync with what we see happening visually. On a more positive note, all of the vocals are carried out nicely, and shouts and emphasized vocals have a bit of an acoustic quality. Overall, this audio track suits the film in a justifying manner.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary: Commentary by Patricia Ward Kelly: Featuring rare, often previously unheard interviews with Gene Kelly, Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed, Alan Jay Lerner, Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin, Michael Feinstein, Preston Ames, and Irene Sharaff and new observations by Leslie Caron and Nina Foch: A patchwork track hosted by Patricia Ward Kelly that features rare interview segments with director Vincente Minnelli, stars Gene Kelly, Nina Foch, and Leslie Caron, and other key members of the cast and crew like producer Arthur Freed, screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner, co-musical directors Johnny Green and Saul Chaplin, musician Michael Feinstein, art director Preston Ames, and costume designer Irene Sharaff. The nature of the commentary makes for an uneven listen, but the enormity of the interviews on hand allows for the participants to cover the gamut of the production and for the disc's producers to be selective about the quality of all the information therein.

Special Feature: 'S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris [2008] [1080p] [42:00] This documentary features new interviews, including Leslie Caron and Nina Foch. This recently produced behind-the-scenes documentary digs into George Gershwin's original work, the genesis of the cinematic adaptation, casting, the shoot, and the eventual reception of the film.

Special Feature: American Masters: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer [2002] [89:00] This PBS documentary from the American Masters series focuses on Gene Kelly, his career, and his contributions to the film and its genre. It looks in detail at the life, the work, and the contributions of Gene Kelly to movies and movie making. The film celebrates Kelly's putting story-telling into dance and discovering, along with Martha Graham and Jerome Robbins, an American style. It examines his partnership with Stanley Dolan, his bringing of tap and ballet into musicals, his marriages and personal competitiveness, his political views, and his work on stage as well as in film. This production details his contributions as a dancer, choreographer, and director. The narration and talking heads also discuss his muscular style, his low centre of gravity, and his masculine appeal.

Special Feature: Vintage James FitzPatrick Traveltalks Short: Paris on Parade [9:00] A vintage musical segment from James FitzPatrick Traveltalks that focuses on a 1937 The Paris Exhibition. The Paris Exposition is seen as one of the most important events to take place in 1937 if only because it brought together forty-four nations side-by-side in goodwill. The Expo took place along the banks of the Seine, using many existing landmarks. Each national pavilion was provided and designed by the country in question, symbolizing some important aspect of that country. Pavilions of French colonies were also well represented. Lighter fare at the Expo included demonstrations of water skiing on the Seine, performances of cultural dances native to specific countries, and the on-going spectacle of the Fountain of Peace located at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Special Feature: Classic Cartoon: Symphony in Slang [1951] [7:00] `Symphony in Slang' is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon short directed by Tex Avery and written by Rich Hogan. It tells the story of a man John Brown, who finds himself at the Pearly Gates explaining the story of his life to a bewildered Saint Peter and Noah Webster using slang of that era. The majority of the short is made up of sight gags based on Peter and Webster's imagined, literal understandings of such phrases as "I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth" and "Outside it was raining cats and dogs."

Special Feature: Love Walked In [1951] [3:00] A musical outtake song sequence featuring Georges Guétary and Oscar Levant.

Special Feature: Audio-only bonuses: Outtake songs gallery and Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Johnny Green radio promos [14:00] A trio of interviews with Gene Kelly, Johnny Green, and a conversational chat with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

Theatrical Trailer [1951] [4:00] [1080p]

Finally, one of the high points of the M-G-M musical, `An American in Paris' makes a welcome entry into the annals of high definition in this marvellous looking Blu-ray release with a host of bonuses that make the package a must-see and for many a must-own. Warner Brothers used their patented ultra-resolution process to bring this film back to life. That means they went back to the original 3 strip Technicolor negatives and realigned them digitally. As a result, the colour and detail is unlike anything we have seen before on home video. In the dance number, where Leslie Caron takes on different personalities using different dances and colours, you will not believe the quality of colour. It really was amazingly, absolutely beautiful. If you have a Blu-ray player, make sure to choose this Blu-ray version of this film as you will experience something truly special and that is why it has gone pride of place in my ever increasing Gene Kelly Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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on 10 June 2009
An American in Paris Blu-ray by David Welford

This at present is an American only release, but the good news is that it is region free. I purchased mine through Amazon/Caiman (£15 approx) and it arrived posted in the UK in six days from ordering. This disc have been given Warner's Ultra-Resolution restoration process with a crystal clear 1.33:1 VC-1 encode from the Technicolor original, that produces a beautiful image on the screen, with appealing saturated colours, with a depth and clarity that is at times almost three dimensional. The flesh tones are a bit on the red side, but I found overall the slight pastel painting appearance of the film appears like you feel a film of this period should look like. The soundtrack is mono, a restored DD mix which sounded clear and good on my system. I am sure you are all familiar with the plot, is very lightweight. Many critics have commented that is not one of the greatest of the MGM musicals and the ballet finale is overlong, but this sequence in this Blu-ray version is to me like an artistic masterpiece come to life. What of course half a century on makes the film a lot more interesting is the backcloth of the streets of Paris in the 1950's.

On this single disc there are plenty of excellent very enjoyable extras, mostly featuring Gene Kelly such as `Anatomy of a Dancer' (90mins), which focuses on, his career, and his undoubted contributions to the film world. I particularly liked `Paris on Parade' (9min) a vintage colour segment from FitzPatrick Traveltalks that focuses on the 1937 Paris exhibition.

These extras were not on the original DVD release, which I have and it does not stand up very well when compared to this release. I believe the extras are on the recently released superior two-disc Special Edition DVD, which I understand has the restored version of the film. Highly recommended release to those who have a Blu-ray player and like the film and enjoy escapist feel good films; was this the 1950's very own `Mamma Mia'!
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on 12 August 2008
This is the new 2 disc verison which i believe has been totally remastered. As the quality of the previous DVD was pretty poor, save your cash for this verison.
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on 17 May 2005
The freed 'A team' have produced another breathtaking musical. Ok the story of an ex GI who stays on in paris to become a painter and falls in love with a women already engaged to another man, isnt the strongest storyline in history but it allows a perfect backdrop to great songs and dance.
The classic scores Ive got rythm, and s wonderful along with Kellys fantastic tap, and Carrons amazing ballet (especially in the sequence at the end) make this movie the ultimate in escapism!. Its hardly suprising this film won 6 accadamy awards.
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on 31 March 2003
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is one of my favorite Gene Kelly movies. It has so much going for it - great music, dancing and cast. The music is by George and Ira Gershwin and of course it never hurts to have Vincente Minelli as director.
The film marks the Hollywood debut of Leslie Caron and she makes the most of it. Oscar Levant is mostly himself with several memorable lines such as this particularly self-deprecating one: "It's not a pretty face, I grant you, but underneath its flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character."
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Story and Screnplay, Color Cinematography, Color and Direction, Score for a Musical Picture and Color Costume Design. The main competition for awards in 1951 came from THE AFRICAN QUEEN, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and A PLACE IN THE SUN.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 August 2015
This was made in 1951, two years before I was born; this is the first time that I had seen it! It cost a fortune back then to make it - 2.7 million dollars; they needn’t have worried, at the last count the studio had made 1.3 billion!
It won numerous gongs for its choreography and costume and direction. I felt that the lead players in the cast also deserved an Oscar, especially ‘perpetual motion,’ Gene Kelly, and the charming Leslie Caron, whom I thought a total delight to look at and watch?
Add Gershwin’s music into the mix and this just couldn’t fail. The direction by Vincente Minnelli (Liza’s dad) produced a superb spectacle.
I bought the plain DVD version (not the Bluray) but I have to say that the picture quality and colour is just amazing for a film of that age.
The final dance / ballet scenes are rather long at 16 minutes but it is a wonderful finale, apparently those scenes alone cost a half a million dollars to make!
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and as the saying goes – they certainly don’t make um’ like that anymore?
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on 7 December 2011
Very good representation of this work. Colours and sound are very good; the musical number at the end is especially impressive.
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