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An American in Paris (1951)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 11 November 1951 (USA)
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Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

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(story by), (screen play by)
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Won 6 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Henri Baurel (as Georges Guetary)
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The American In Paris Ballet ...
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Storyline

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | french | artist | pianist | art | See All (66) »

Taglines:

Adventures Of An Ex-GI In The City Of Romance. Art Students' Ball Biggest, Most Daring Ever Filmed. Screen's Most Spectacular Musical! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

11 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Amerikaner in Paris  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,723,903 (estimated)

Gross:

$4,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the two-disc special edition DVD released in 2008 by Warner Home Video, footage of one musical scene has been restored as a bonus: Georges Guétary, accompanied by Oscar Levant at the piano, singing "Love Walked In" to Leslie Caron in a café. Audio extras include Gene Kelly crooning "I've Got a Crush on You," plus two versions of "But Not for Me": a Georges Guétary vocal and an Oscar Levant piano solo. See more »

Goofs

In the "By Strauss" waltz, Jerry is dancing with two ladies in the café, and his cap falls off while he is kneeling. He briefly attempts to retrieve it, then leaves it where it is. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Mulligan: This is Paris, and I'm an American who lives here. My name is Jerry Mulligan, and I'm an ex G.I. In 1945 when the army told me to find my own job, I stayed on. And I'll tell you why: I'm a painter, and all my life that's all I've ever wanted to do.
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Soundtracks

Nice Work if You Can Get It
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Georges Guétary
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Cardboard Paris in Hollywood
23 January 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Take an accomplished director, one of the world's most famous dancers, a dreamily romantic setting and music from none other than George Gershwin and what do you have? In the case of An American in Paris, you have a film which, for me, falls flat on its face.

The winning combination of talent and reputation thrilled the critics, back in 1951 and the film was showered with awards including six Oscars. But, looked at coldly and in retrospect, it's difficult to understand why . Right from the opening scene, when Gene Kelly – who is supposed to be starving in a Paris garret – wakes up looking prosperous, over-confident and heavily made-up, you can already hear the turkey feathers starting to rustle.

The story falters and bumbles its way through yawning intervals which separate the big numbers and the characters become less convincing with every scene. Leslie Caron, when she finally turns up, looks terrified and toothy and though she dances superbly, seems too timid to bring magic to any of her scenes. She and Kelly dance pretty well together, technically, but without the slightest sense of partnership. Watching them, I got the impression that each would rather have been somewhere else.

The music, despite such great numbers, seems to have been shoe-horned into the narrative and often, doesn't fit. The scene where Gershwin's rattlingly wonderful Concerto in F is performed, for instance, has nothing to do with anything else in the film. It does, however, provide moments of sweet relief from the limping story and embarrassingly stilted scenes.

It's hard to believe that Oklahoma was released only four years later, in 1955 and yet, seems to belong to a different era. Oklahoma succeeds in every respect where An American in Paris fails. The acting is convincing, the story works well, the casting is faultless, the choreography - apart from the disappointing dream sequence - is sublime. But above all, the characters in Oklahoma perform with zest and sparkle in overdrive. That makes the film overflow with a sense of freshness, excitement and overflowing 'joy de vivre'. What a difference!


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