ON THE TOWN (1949)

Dir. Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

New York, New York is indeed a wonderful town when it provides the backdrop for the amorous adventures of sailors-on-leave Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin. MGM producer Arthur Freed adapted the Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green hit even though he didn't like the score and jettisoned all but four of the original numbers. He fought to give Kelly and choreographer Stanley Donen their first shot at directing and wangled a week of location shooting out of the studio, the first time a Hollywood musical had shot on location. The two maintained the Broadway show's use of modern dance as a storytelling medium, another Hollywood first. Kelly and Donen came through with a winning, lighthearted romp that ranked as the studio's second highest-grosser to that time (Freed's 1944 Meet Me in St. Louis held first place). With new songs by Roger Edens and Comden and Green, and top female performances from Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett and Alice Pearce, the film remains a fan delight. This screening is a special presentation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In attendance: Rob Marshall.

This screening is presented with a new 35mm print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

ON THE TOWN
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