I’m so excited! The new print of An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli, 1951), which opened the 2011 TCM Film Festival, is being released here in the UK!
What’s more, the British Film Institute is showing the Oscar-winning film for an entire month. With a a focus on MGM until Christmas, fans will also have the opportunity to take in On the Town (1949), Singin’ in the Rain, Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1949) and It’s Always Fair Weather (1955).
I’m also thrilled that on November 2, I’ll be there to hear Leslie Caron take part in a ‘conversation’ before the screening of An American in Paris. I have never seen AAIP, my favorite Gene Kelly film, on a big screen; in fact, I’ve not seen any GK film in a theatre other than Singin’ in the Rain. Needless to say, I will be making several trips to London before Christmas!!
I find the difference between Debbie Reynolds and Leslie Caron interesting, especially in Gene’s interaction with the two teenagers. Leslie says he was her protector and mentor, like a big brother who loved her a lot (I hope for some more on that theme when I hear her speak), yet he was also strict and demanding, something which she did not find at all unusual, having been a disciplined ballet dancer for many years.
On the other hand, Debbie must have seemed like a spoilt whinging brat in comparison, and I am sure Gene was aware of her innate toughness and resilience or he would not have been so hard on her. He always seemed to cut to the chase, being able to read characters so well — most of the time anyway. Encouraging her ‘poor little me’ attitude would not have been helpful, either to Debbie or to the finished product.
And I never heard it said that Leslie complained about the way Gene kissed her!