100 Reasons to Celebrate Gene Kelly #12: His Smile

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Reasons to Celebrate Gene Kelly.

Gene Kelly has the best smile in the world. When he smiles, his whole face lights up.

His smile is sometimes one of smug self-satisfaction like the phone scene in Anchors Aweigh (right). Other times, it is a sweet, dreamy smile directed at his leading lady as when he gazes at Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) during “Would You” (Singin’ in the Rain). But most of the times, it is an expression of pure joy; see, for example, his roller-skating routine in It’s Always Fair Weather. His characters and that grin often remind me of a young child who’s viewing the world with fresh eyes, someone constantly bursting with happiness.

I think that Gene Kelly’s smile is best displayed during his famous number in Singin’ in the Rain. As he strolls down the sidewalk singing, he stops, takes his hat off, looks to the sky, lets the rain shower his face, and exultingly sings, “I’ve a smile on my face” (below).

Gene Kelly never fails to put a smile on my face. Thank you, Gene, for the joy that you bring to this world and to our lives!

— Jasmine

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