After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon...
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After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rashomon (1950)-style narrative presents the story from three points of view. Sybil accuses Angele of having an affair with Barry (Gene Kelly), while Angele insists that it was actually Sybil who was having the affair. Finally, Barry gives his side of the story. Written by
Mitzi Gaynor breaks her picture over Gene Kelly's head, and storms out the door. As he gets up to go after her, the frame is still clearly around his neck. But as he goes out the door, the frame is gone. See more »
As the glory days of M-G-M as Hollywood's preeminent manufacturer of musical treasures entered the sunset years, this very stylish bit of fluff, under George Cukor's very astute guidance, graced the CinemaScope/Metrocolor screen. Cole Porter contributed a score quite a bit more slender than his best, with only one standout, "Ca c'est l'Amour" briefly delivered by Taina Elg. Gene Kelly wasn't permitted any extensive opportunities to display his more athletic dancing skills, possibly because Jack Cole seems to have been the sole credited choreographer. Some viewers, reading other IMDb comments on this one, were rather annoyed by the Rashomon-like structure of John Patrick's very clever, in my view, screenplay. But it's all quite sophisticated, at least for 1957, and the "Ladies In Waiting" production number, in which Porter indulges his penchant for the risque, is hilariously reprised as the story progresses, making naughty use of the three leading ladies' attributes.
Robert Surtees lensed the entire production within the confines of M-G-M's soundstages but, with Cukor's favorite collaborator, Hoyningen-Huene, helping to apply the visual gloss, the whole enterprise is much more elegant looking than Hollywood's usual musical output. Orry-Kelly won a well-deserved Oscar for his color costume design, with one gorgeous gown worn by Mitzi Gaynor that probably accounts for most of the votes cast in his favor.
Finally mention must be made of Henry Daniell's drily witty incarnation of a judge whose patience is sorely tried by the frivolity of the case before him and, of course, Kay Kendall's terrifically funny romp as Lady Wren. What a loss to the cinema when she died so suddenly. Her fans, and I am certainly in their forefront, do so regret her early departure. (If you add this one to your video library, the widescreen DVD is the only way to do it.)
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