An American In Paris Reviews

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Terence Gavish


  • Dave 2 years ago
    135 of 137 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Special Edition gets Ultra-Resolution Process, July 2, 2008
    Dave (San Diego, CA) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    Warner Brothers’ proprietary Ultra-Resolution process has brought new life to such classics as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Gone With the Wind,” Errol Flynn’s “Robin Hood,” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” By going back to the original three-strip technicolor negatives and realigning them digitally, the color and detail blows away anything that customers have seen in the past with home video. “An American In Paris” has now undergone the same process. For those that have a blu-ray player, be sure to order this version, An American in Paris [Blu-ray]. Here is a list of extras that are the same on both versions:

    Disc 1:
    1.33:1 Full Screen with Original Mono audio * Tech Specs for Blu-ray version: Video is 1080P 1.33:1 * Audio is English, French, Spanish (Both Castilian and Latin), German and Italian DD1.0 * Subtitles (Main Feature): English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish * Subtitles (on Select Bonus Material): English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese
    1938 MGM short: Paris on Parade
    1951 MGM cartoon: Symphony in Slang
    Theatrical trailer

    Disc 2:

    2002 American Masters Documentary: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer (Gene Kelly – Anatomy of a Dancer)

    `S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris, an all new documentary, produced especially for this release. A dynamic history of the making of the film, which reveals how George and Ira Gershwin’s classic songs, the dazzling art of the French impressionists and the ultimate teamwork of MGM’s legendary “Freed Unit” came together to create a musical masterpiece. Featuring ten new interviews, including co-stars Leslie Caron, Nina Foch, and Kelly’s widow. A very enlightening piece; Caron’s memories are probably the most interesting, with Foch running a close 2nd. Caron’s comments about co-star Georges Guétary being handsome but not too bright seem to be echoed by Kelly’s widow, who says Gene spent more time trying to teach him how to gracefully walk down a set of steps than on anything else in the film. It is unfortunate that Maurice Chevalier could not have taken that role as originally intended. You also realize just how revolutionary this movie was (artistically), especially because of the 17-minute ballet tacked on at the end of the movie. Even Irving Berlin disapproved during an on-set visit, which didn’t help the confidence of Vincente Minnelli at all.

    Georges Guetary performing Love Walked In (not missed in the movie at all!)

    Audio Outtakes: Alternate Main Title, But Not for Me (Guetary), But Not for Me (Levant Piano Solo), Gershwin Prelude #3, I’ve Got a Crush on You, Nice Work if You Can Get It, ‘S Wonderful

    Radio Interviews: Johnny Green, Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly & Leslie Caron;
    Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron promotional radio interview with Dick Simmons

    Not all of the original musical recording stems have survived over the years, preventing a true stereo/5.1 restoration of the soundtrack; instead, a restored mono version is being made available.

    Most are familiar with the movie; storywise, it is a little creaky and hasn’t necessarily survived well over the years: Kelly is an American artist living in Paris. He falls in love with a young girl (Leslie Caron) who is in a loveless relationship with one of his best friends (Guétary). Kelly is also in somewhat of a loveless relationship with his financial sponsor (Nina Foch). You can probably guess the rest.

    The glowing color, fantastic music by Gershwin (arrangements by the talented Conrad Salinger), and the amazing choreography of Gene Kelly will keep this one a classic for years to come despite a predictable plot. Just the ending ballet alone is a masterpiece; the art of Toulouse Lautrec and Utrillo comes to life with Gene Kelly & Leslie Caron dancing their hearts out to some of the most imaginative choreography (Kelly’s) in years. The Freed Unit at MGM was at their peak when this movie was made, and this is one of the last great ones that it created.

    It is a real shame that with how fantastic the picture is (the colors literally leap off the screen, and it really adds to the appreciation of what an artistically beautiful visual feast this movie is) that the sound cannot match. Although it is clear and free of problems, the Gershwin music just begs for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround track; unfortunately, due to the age and availability of the original elements, this is not possible.

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  • James Ferguson 2 years ago
    83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    S’Wonderful, March 20, 2004
    James Ferguson (Vilnius, Lithuania) –

    This review is from: An American in Paris (DVD)
    A glorious movie that showcases Gene Kelly’s breathtaking talent. Forget the silly story and just watch him dance and dance and dance. He does more with a turn of a shoulder than most dancers can do with their whole body. This movie also introduced the lithe and lovely Leslie Caron as the object of Kelly’s affection. The film builds to its dramatic hallucinatory conclusion as Kelly dances his way across a Paris dreamscape, that brings all the elements of modern dance together in a tour-de-force that was unprecedented in musicals of that time. You can’t help getting swept away in the feel-good spirit of this movie. It was another time and place.
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  • Ed Uyeshima 2 years ago
    41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Familiar Gershwin Tunes and Masterful Finale of Color and Dance Still the Main Attractions Here, January 6, 2006
    Ed Uyeshima (San Francisco, CA USA) –
    (2008 HOLIDAY TEAM)

    This review is from: An American in Paris (DVD)
    The dazzling seventeen-minute dance sequence of George Gershwin’s 1928 orchestral piece, “An American in Paris”, is an indisputable masterwork. Choreographed with precision and unparalleled flair by Gene Kelly, the vibrant combination of color, music and dance is still eye-poppingly startling as the piece is broken down into scenes inspired by selected master artists – Dufy in the opening Place de la Concorde piece, Manet in the flower market, Utrillo in a Paris street, Rousseau at the fair, Vincent Van Gogh in the spectacular Place de l’Opera piece, and Toulouse-Lautrec for the Moulin Rouge where Kelly wears his famous white bodysuit. The 97 minutes that precede this finale are not as exciting, not by a long shot, but there are certain charms to be had in viewing the entire 1951 Oscar-winning musical.

    Director Vincente Minnelli and screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner have fashioned a surprisingly sophisticated if rather slight romantic story focused on Jerry Mulligan, a former G.I. who has remained in Paris after the end of WWII trying to make a living as a painter. With his braggadocio manner and athletic dancing style, Gene Kelly can be concurrently ingratiating and irritating as a screen personality, but he seems to find his oeuvre as the carefree Jerry. The love-triangle plot is focused on Jerry’s involvement with Milo Roberts, a self-proclaimed art patron but a sexual predator when it comes to young artists. On their first date in a crowded Montmartre nightclub, Jerry unapologetically falls for Lise, a young woman who turns out to be the fiancee of Henri, a professional entertainer and friend of Jerry’s pal, Adam, an out-of-work concert pianist. Romantic complications ensue until the inevitable ending but not before several classic Gershwin songs are performed.

    The best of these is the most imitated – a swooningly romantic song and dance to “Our Love Is Here to Stay” along a faux-Seine River in a blue hazy mist with yellow fog lights. The way Kelly and Leslie Caron circle each other is transcendent as they approach each other tentatively at first and then synchronize beautifully to the music leading to the final clinch. Few films have so elegantly and succinctly shown two people falling in love. “I Got Rhythm” and “S’Wonderful” spotlight Kelly’s nimble tap-dancing and agreeable singing, while “Embraceable You” is danced impressively by Caron in a five-scene montage of Henri’s all-over-the-map description of Lise to Adam. Designed to show off Caron’s dancing versatility, the sequence is similar to the one in “On the Town” where Vera-Ellen showed off her considerable dancing skills when Kelly’s sailor character described his multi-faceted vision of Miss Turnstiles.

    As Lise, the nineteen year-old Caron (in her first film) dances superbly throughout and handles her role with unformed charm with her acting talent not to bloom for several years. Looking quite glamorous, Nina Foch plays older as the manipulative Milo and manages to be likeable enough for us to care about her fate, while Oscar Levant is just his sardonic self as Adam. Performing an elegant “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise”, George Guetary plays Henri so agreeably that you feel bad that he does lose the girl at the end. This is not the best all-around MGM musical, but there is certainly enough movie magic to make this quite worthwhile. The 2000 DVD contains a fairly pristine print but little else in terms of extras.

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