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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1993. See more »
Near the end of "S' Wonderful," the position of a green car changes between shots. See more »
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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And Presenting The American In Paris Ballet See more »
I felt it necessary to respond to the comments posted on the front page of this film's page because some of it was slightly misinformative.
Originally I posted quotes from the original poster, but I wasn't sure if it was proper given that this is the "comments" index and not a message board (though we used to use 'em that way back before IMDb added the film message boards) so I will edit this to make it unnecessary.
Well, first of all you may not be aware of this, but Gene Kelly first became famous for playing "Pal Joey" on Broadway in the original production. When Vincente Minnelli decided to make a Gershwin "panorama" film, he wanted Kelly's character to be more sophisticated than the "goody two shoes" roles he had been playing in most his films (with the exception of "For Me and My Gal"). Alan Jay Lerner was instructed to construct a new story set in Paris based on the story of "Pal Joey". This gave Kelly a chance to play his famous role from Broadway even though Warners had outbid MGM for the rights to "Pal Joey." In my opinion, the WB film "Pal Joey" is a wreck, though Sinatra was suitable for the role, but other problems sunk the film (script changes and poor direction. ===================================================
You complain that Kelly's pictures are not well done, even citing your art education to prove the point. But you miss the fact that Kelly's bad art was clearly designed to be bad, and it is necessary for the story/characters. The pictures are so bad, the audience knows that Kelly isn't ready for an exhibition. Even he knows it, though Milo has sort of sugared him up to the point where he almost believes her. But it's important that the audience not be sitting there saying "but, he's a great artist, if he only had the chance!". You want the audience to be fully aware of his deficiencies.
Then you complain that he sabotages his interest in the show; again you are not understanding the structure of the story. He refuses because he doesn't want to feel like a gigolo, and because he knows he's not really ready for the exhibition. His enthusiasm for the exhibition is certainly not as great as "Joey's" enthusiasm to "start a nightclub". But it serves the same function in the plot. Remember, it's essential in "Pal Joey" (the play) that Joey gives up his nightclub after he realizes that he doesn't deserve it. Same with the art show. If Kelly's paintings were actually good, it would undermine this whole point. ===================================================
Then you complain that Caron and Kelly have no "chemistry". I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I agree, the chemistry between them is not as strong as it should be, but for me it was fine. Compare it to even worse "forced" romances like the one between Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in "The Pride and the Passion". ====================================================
When you say that the big dance finale has nothing to do with anything else in this film, it just shows that you haven't dug beneath the surface of the film into its symbolism. Many elements in the dance sequence relate to the story and characters, and through the dance the plot is resolved through images and symbolism. It's about finding love, enjoying love, then losing love (he looks around and his love is gone). The movements of the symphony are constructed so that part of each dance scene mirrors a separate phase of Parisian Art and also a separate phase of their relationships. If you didn't' see that, it's not the movie's fault. It's certainly not a "load of crap". ==================================================
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