Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comden and Green and James A. FitzPatrick

Five Star Final isn't airing in a double bill with His Girl Friday, as I mentioned in my previous post. Instead, the movie that's following it is On the Town, at 11:45 AM ET tomorrow.

There's not much of a plot. Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin play three Navy sailors whose boat docks in New York City, giving them 24 hours of leave. The three are determined to see as much of the city as possible in those 24 hours. Along the way, they meet three nice young ladies (Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen, and Betty Garrett), who accompany them on the rest of the day, on what comes across less as a movie with a story and more a James FitzPatrick Traveltalks turned into a musical.

It's based on a Broadway musical by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, although there's really only the one memorable song:
New York, New York
It's a hell of a town
The Bronx is up
And the Battery down

Instead, this is one that should be watched for its dance sequences. Gene Kelly co-directed with Stanley Donen, but had creative control over the dances, which, being Gene Kelly, are good as always. That, and the fact that MGM did a surprising amount of location shooting, now that World War II was over and location shooting was easier. One other note is that Betty Garrett, who is nominally the love interest of the Sinatra character, died over the weekend at the age of 91.

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