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Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 26 November 1953 (USA)
Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (book) (as Samuel Spewack) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Van ...
Tex Callaway
Ann Codee ...
Carol Haney ...
Specialty Dancer


Fred and Lilly are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great deal like the characters they play. A fight on the opening night threatens the production, as well as two thugs who have the mistaken idea that Fred owes their boss money and insist on staying next to him all night. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

26 November 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bésame, Catalina  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|


(Ansco Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally filmed in 3D which is why the actors often throw things (including themselves) at the audience. See more »


At the time he wrote this musical, far from being a healthy man, Cole Porter (represented by Ron Randell in this movie) was a wheelchair-bound cripple who needed constant medical care. His legs had been crushed in a riding accident when the horse fell on him. See more »


Bianca: [after Fred Graham kisses her to shut her up] I was just saying "Thank you"!
Slug: How do you suppose she says "You're welcome"?
See more »


Version of The Taming of the Scoundrel (1980) See more »


I Hate Men
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Sung by Kathryn Grayson
See more »

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User Reviews

Ann Miller Deserved an Oscar
30 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Total delight from start to finish, this witty, musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. This show within a show is bright and splashy and boasts terrific performances, songs, dancing, and costumes. Howard Keel plays the egotistic Fred Graham who us mounting this new musical with ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (Kathryn Grayson) as his leading lady. The battling couple mirrors the battling couple in the play. All very clever.

As good as Grayson and Keel as however, Ann Miller totally steals the show as Lois Lane, the brassy chorus girl Fred has given a part (the younger sister) in the play. Mills is fantastic as she sings and dances her way through some great numbers: It's Too Darn Hot, From This Moment On, Always True to You, and Tom, Dick or Harry. Her opening number of Too Darn Hot is astounding as she swirls and taps around Cole POrter's living room and across his table tops. The skin tight tassled red outfit is probably the sexiest outfit Miller ever wore and she looks great. She was always denied the starring roles in MGM musicals which is a shame. MGM preferred the more demure types like Grayson or Judy Garland, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds for starring roles and Miller always got stuck playing the flashy friend or other woman.

Also good in this great musical are Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore as the thugs who get to sing Brush Up Your Shakespeare. Bob Fosse, Bobby Van, and Tommy Rall are the three dancers. Carol Haney and Jeanne Coyne show up for the From This Moment On number with Miller and the Boys. Ann Codee is the maid, Claude Allister is the butler, Willard Parker is Tex, Dave O'Brien is the stage manager, Kurt Kaznar is the stage father, and Ron Randell plays Cole Porter.

Originally done in 3-D, Kiss Me Kate is shock full of great songs and some of the best lyrics ever heard. For those of us growing up in the 50s, most of the songs from this musical are familiar hits, including Wunderbar, From This Moment On, Always True to You, and So In Love.

Kiss Me Kate is a textbook musical that works on all levels. Keel and Grayson were never better, Miller is outstanding, Whitmore and Wynn are fun, and Tommy Rall gets a couple of dance numbers (My Can't You Behave) that prove him to be one of the best dancers of his generation. The short dance solo with Fosse and Haney also presages much of Fosse's later groundbreaking choreography.

Not a false step in this film, which ranks as one of the great musicals.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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