About a week ago, I learned that on Friday, July 30, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) would air Black Hand (Richard Thorpe, 1950), a little-known film noir that stars my favorite song-and-dance man, Gene Kelly. Even though Kelly and his screen persona are completely un-noirish, I set the DVR anticipating the best.
Let’s just say that I my excitement was short-lived; within the first 15 minutes, I was simultaneously amused, embarrassed, and bored. Mostly laughing while watching, I tweeted that Kelly’s character, an Italian seeking vengeance on the mobsters who murdered his father, spoke like not like an Italian but an Italian-Pittsburgian (Gene’s from Pittsburgh, PA). The accent’s not great, lemme tell ‘ya, which makes it rather difficult for me to believe that Kelly and his co-star were apparently “so convincing at playing men of Italian descent in this film that audiences were fooled over their true ancestry” (TCM). Oh, surely not. Long story short, I only made it through one hour before stopping it and then deleting it from the DVR for good. My apologies, Gene.
But as a little red-headed orphan sings in one of my favorite childhood musicals (Annie, 1982), “The sun’ll come out tomorrow.” And, boy, did it! Waiting for me on Twitter this morning was the following video, “a dance tribute to Gene Kelly” set to Robert Palmer’s song “Simply Irresistible.” Enjoy, all, and thank your lucky stars that Gene didn’t stay long in the film noir genre.
Btw, if you’re a fan of Gene, feel free to follow us on Twitter at Gene Kelly Fans.