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A worthy salute to film legend and pioneer Gene Kelly
I taped this special off the TV when I was 14 years old and it still remains one of my treasures. As a life-long fan of Gene Kelly, this is a sweet tribute to a man who swept across the screen with his exciting and beautiful dancing and pioneered the way dance is choreographed and filmed for the movies.
Hosted by Shirley Maclaine, the AFI tribute is well-done and will certainly get anyone who sees it interested in Gene Kelly's classics, such as An American in Paris, On the Town, and, of course, Singin in the Rain. Although he should've won more than an "honorary" Oscar, this tribute certainly comes in 2nd. Many Hollywood notables give short testimonials, the funniest from Steve Martin.
I'm most touched when hearing from Debby Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathryn Grayson, and Leslie Caron--those who actually worked with him during his heydey in the 1940's and early 1950's.
The pinnacle of the evening, of course, is when Mr. Kelly actually accepts his AFI award and speaks. Always the gentleman and always generous, he reminds those watching of the many people involved in films' successes that the audience doesn't see. He also reminds people that, in making the decision to be a dancer/choreographer/director, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a "helluva shortstop!"
This special is not available on VHS or DVD yet. Hopefully the AFI will put their special tributes out on film for people to enjoy again. In the meantime, enjoy Gene Kelly's masterpieces of movies, which surpass any 90 minute tribute full of clips.
I recommend: SINGIN IN THE RAIN, ON THE TOWN, AN American IN Paris, COVER GIRL, ANCHORS AWAY, BRIGADOON, TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME, SUMMER STOCK, THE PIRATE,
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