Theme Times – Gene Kelly

I Use the following resources to compile the bios
Wikipedia Bio
YouTube Trailer Clips
Theme Times Directory

Gene Kelly By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 – February 2, 1996) was an American actor, dancer, singer, filmmaker, comedian and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likable characters that he played on screen.

Best known today for his performances in films such as On the Town (1949) which was his directorial debut, An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945)— for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor—and Singin’ in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. He starred in, choreographed, or co-directed some of the most well-regarded musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, debuting with Judy Garland in For Me and My Gal (1942), and followed by Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Pirate (1948), and It’s Always Fair Weather (1955), among others. Later, he starred in two films outside the musical genre: Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go! (1964). Kelly directed films without a collaborator (in some of which he starred), including Hello, Dolly! (1969), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

On The Town – 1949
Fun-loving sailors Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) have 24 hours of shore leave in New York City, and they want to make every second count. While Chip hooks up with loudmouth cab driver Brunhilde (Betty Garrett) and Ozzie swoons for prim anthropologist Claire (Ann Miller), Gabey falls in love with an actress he sees in an advertisement, Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). Leonard Bernstein, with lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green, provides the music.

This afternoon l watched the film On The Town and after enjoying it thoroughly, l sat back and thought .. had l covered Gene Kelly in Theme Times? The answer was no – so l thought – let’s dedicate the next few weeks to some of the true greats of our times!

It’s the first time l have sat down on a Saturday afternoon and watched an old movie from start to finish for about six years and it was fantastic. I used to do it regular as clockwork in my early to later teens, but then life sort of got in the way.

Things in life got in the way – work, business, women, career, life, hobbies everything you can imagine – got in the way. No regrets, everything that did get in the way of watching old movies was great fun! But, you only tend to take stock of these things when you sit back down and watch an old film again.

It wasn’t the first time l had watched On The Town, l think maybe today was the 5th from my first time at 14 till now. But it was good fun, good clean simple fun. I think l have seen all of Gene’s film, bar maybe a handful – anyway below are what l consider are 9 of his best performances.

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Singing in the Rain – 1952 – 1

When the transition is being made from silent films to `talkies’, everyone has trouble adapting. Don and Lina have been cast repeatedly as a romantic couple, but when their latest film is remade into a musical, only Don has the voice for the new singing part. After a lot of practise with a diction coach, Lina still sounds terrible, and Kathy, a bright young aspiring actress, is hired to record over her voice.

An American in Paris – 1951 – 2

A struggling American artist in Paris is discovered by an influential heiress with an interest in more than his art. He has to choose between her and the young French girl he is drawn to.

Anchors Aweigh – 1945 – 3

Joe (Gene Kelly) and Clarence (Frank Sinatra) are two young Navy sailors on leave in glitzy Los Angeles. The two men at first plan to use their layover as an opportunity to relax, but they soon find themselves in a complicated web of comic secrets. When the two buddies find a runaway boy and return him to his fame-hungry Aunt Susan (Kathryn Grayson), both men find themselves falling for the wannabe singer, setting off a series of misadventures that unfold in comedy and song.

It’s Always Fair Weather – 1955 – 4

Ex G.I’s vow to meet at New York. On meeting they realize that their friendship isn’t what it used to be. Will they set aside differences to be on a T.V show?

For Me And My Gal – 1942 – 5

Jo Hayden (Judy Garland) and Harry Palmer (Gene Kelly) are a struggling vaudeville act with hopes of making it big. When success seems right around the corner, Palmer is drafted into the army at the advent of World War I. Thinking quickly, Palmer injures his hand to avoid being called to duty, but Hayden — whose brother died in the war — finds his action cowardly and breaks up the duo. Now, Palmer must figure out a way to bring them back together, even if it means going to war.

The Three Musketeers – 1948 – 6

The Three Musketeers is a 1948 film directed by George Sidney, written by Robert Ardrey, and starring Gene Kelly and Lana Turner. It is a Technicolor adventure film adaptation of the classic 1844 novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

Inherit The Wind – 1960 – 7

In the 1920s, Tennessee schoolteacher Bertram Cates (Dick York) is put on trial for violating the Butler Act, a state law that prohibits public school teachers from teaching evolution instead of creationism. Drawing intense national attention in the media with writer E. K. Hornbeck (Gene Kelly) reporting, two of the nation’s leading lawyers go head to head: Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March) for the prosecution, and Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) for the defense.

The Young Girls of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort) – 1967 – 8

Twin sisters Delphine and Solange realise their dream of working for the stage when they are discovered by a couple associated with a carnival and find love in the process.

Cover Girl – 1944 – 9

Rusty, a redhead dancer at a night club, aspires to be a Broadway star. She participates in a contest to be a ‘Cover Girl’, with the hope of fulfilling her dreams. Will she succeed?

Bonus Feature

Fan? Not a fan? What were his best films in your eyes and who else would you like to see in this series?

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9 thoughts on “Theme Times – Gene Kelly

  1. I love old Movies too! When my girls were younger we would watch old movies together every Sunday.
    You already know I love the Bing & Bob “road” movies, I also like the Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin movies… Audrey Hepburn… Jimmy Stewart

    And yes, Gene Kelly!!🥰😍💖


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