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This is a movie where three entirely different stories are told though dancing. Words are not used and the style of dancing is different for each part. Kelly is a clown in the 'Circus'; a Marine in 'Ring Around the Rosy'; and Sinbad in 'Sinbad the Sailor'. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Gene Kelly's original intention was to make a film that would educate mainstream audiences about professional dancing in the world. To this end, he wanted to cast the greatest dancers in Europe for the four segments in leading roles. He himself would only appear in one - the Popular Song sequence, which ended up being cut. But MGM refused to allow the picture unless he appeared in all of them. Many of the professionals who worked in the film agreed that this was one of the film's great weaknesses. See more »
The first two segments of this film may or may not impress you, but do watch the third: "Sinbad the Sailor". Kelly plays an American sailor in an exotic Oriental market. He rubs an old lamp and a genie appears, played by an amazingly talented kid. After a bit of messing around,the genie gets a sailor suit, too. Then they open a book to a picture of a wonderous land. The genie transports them inside and all the rest features the two dancers (mostly Kelly alone) dancing with animation.This segment is much longer than any other live-plus-animation sequence until Mary Poppins excepting, possibly Song of the South whose sequences were nowhere near so complex as this. Kelly dances with an animated dragon (that wraps around him), into a harem, is chased by the Sultan's guards, has a long sequence with one harem girl, and then a very long sequence with the guards. This is amazing work for 1952, especially when you remember that every bit of the animation is hand-painted on cels. Hanna-Barbera (then with MGM doing Tom and Jerry directed the animation. (Kelly also did a famous dance number with Jerry in Anchors Aweigh eight years earlier.) Walt Disney advised. This is swell stuff and any fan of animation should give it a look.
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