by Alexandra Jessome
This week, let’s take another trip down musical lane by checking out An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Georges Guetary and Oscar Levant. The 1951 film was based on George Gershwin’s orchestral composition of the same name and was directed by Vincente Minnelli.
Jerry Mulligan (Kelly) is an American living in Paris. He is a struggling painter who is discovered by Milo Roberts (Nina Foch), a woman of society. When Jerry takes Milo to a restaurant to thank her for purchasing some of his pieces, he meets Lise (Caron) whom he immediately falls for, much to the dismay of Milo. Jerry becomes completely infatuated with Lise, who is actually dating Jerry’s friend, Henri Baurel (Guetary), unbeknownst to him. Milo continues to support Jerry’s artistic endeavors, despite his lack of romantic interest in her, and is given three months to prepare for an exhibition. Will Jerry win over Lise? Or will Henri walk away with her by his side instead?
Definitely seen as one of the best musicals ever made, An American in Paris showcases the great talent of George Gershwin. His songs mixed with the fantastic choreography of Gene Kelly, it is no wonder why it is considered a classic. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you are likely to recognize at least one song, such as ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Our Love is Here to Stay’ or ‘S Wonderful’, which was recently featured in the Volkswagen Golf ads ‘Sunday Drive’.
The film is also seen as a truly great romantic film as well, and has won several awards including Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture.
This is definitely a film I would recommend for movie lovers, pop culture junkies, classic film lovers and even romantic film fans.
Did You Know?
Only two shots in the entire film are of Paris, the rest of the movie was filmed in Hollywood.
With a price tag of $500 000, the 17-minute dance sequence at the end took a month to film.
Gene Kelly wanted to have a real French girl play the role of Lise, rather than an American actress and thus Leslie Caron was given the role.
Gene Kelly was actively involved with directing the film alongside Vincent Minnelli.