7.4/10
15,133
107 user 60 critic

On the Town (1949)

Trailer
2:58 | Trailer
Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Writers:

Adolph Green (screenplay), Betty Comden (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two sailors, one naive, the other experienced in the ways of the world, on liberty in Los Angeles, is the setting for this movie musical.

Directors: George Sidney, Joseph Barbera, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three soldiers meet ten years after their last meeting in New York, and find out that they have little in common now.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two turn-of-the-century baseball players, who work in vaudeville during the off-season, run into trouble with their team's new female owner and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant
Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak
Brigadoon (1954)
Certificate: Passed Fantasy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse
Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant
High Society (1956)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A spoiled heiress must choose among three suitors: her jazz musician ex-husband, a stuffy businessman, and an undercover tabloid reporter.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra
Top Hat (1935)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Gabey
Frank Sinatra ... Chip
Betty Garrett ... Brunhilde Esterhazy
Ann Miller ... Claire Huddesen
Jules Munshin ... Ozzie
Vera-Ellen ... Ivy Smith
Florence Bates ... Mme. Dilyovska
Alice Pearce ... Lucy Shmeeler
George Meader George Meader ... Professor
Edit

Storyline

Three sailors - Gabey, Chip and Ozzie - let loose on a 24-hour pass in New York and the Big Apple will never be the same! Gabey falls head over heels for "Miss Turnstiles of the Month" (he thinks she's a high society deb when she's really a 'cooch dancer at Coney Island); innocent Chip gets highjacked (literally) by a lady cab driver; and Ozzie becomes the object of interest of a gorgeous anthropologist who thinks he's the perfect example of a "prehistoric man". Wonderful music and terrific shots of New York at its best. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Championship Musical of Them All! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

On the Town See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,111,250 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When On the Town premiered at Radio City Music Hall, the line to get in was the largest in that theater's history. After its initial success, Arthur Freed, the producer of the film recalled, his unit was in the MGM commissary passing the Joe Pasternak unit (which made less expensive musicals); one member of the Pasternak unit said, "There goes the royal family." Indeed, this movie was, at the time, the second largest-grossing in MGM history, next to Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). See more »

Goofs

In the dance studio when Gaby tells Ivy what time to meet him, they both mouth "seven-thirty", but a voice overdub corrects both to "eight-thirty", which is the time Gaby set with the rest of the group. See more »

Quotes

Officer Tracy, Car 44: [to his patrol car partner, after hearing about the dinosaur collapsing] Collapse? That's terrible. She's my favorite singing star, that Dinah Shore!
[the other officer rolls his eyes]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the actual credits the film opens with an embossed card on a silver dish, reading: "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Silver Anniversary Picture." Most of the studio's 1949 releases opened with this. See more »

Connections

Featured in New York at the Movies (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Prehistoric Man
(uncredited)
Music by Roger Edens
Lyrics by Adolph Green and Betty Comden
Sung by Ann Miller
Danced by Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Betty Garrett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Hard to resist going out 'On The Town' with *this* cast!
3 July 2002 | by gaityrSee all my reviews

I've rewatched both these movie musicals in the space of a week, and ON THE TOWN is no SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. I mean, what is? By 1952, the sheer technical mastery of Gene Kelly had melded perfectly with an entire soundtrack of classics and a clever, satirical plotline with some of the best film characters ever created (Lina Lamont, anybody?).

Having got *that* out of the way, however, there is simply no denying that ON THE TOWN is essential viewing in the Kelly oeuvre. It tells the story of three lonely sailors who finally get shore leave in New York for 24 hours. Of course, they're on the prowl to paint the town red, preferably with girls on their arms. (Though for a brief while Sinatra does charmingly play a skinny little geek bent on seeing the sights of New York, flinging facts from his guide book and appearing unaffected by Betty Garrett's streetwise cabbie flinging herself at him.) Gabey (Gene Kelly) falls for 'Miss Turnstiles' or Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen), and spends the day trying to track her down from information on the poster. Chip (Frank Sinatra) meets cabbie Hildy (Garrett) who teaches him how to have a little fun while they romp gaily through two great duets together ('Come Up To My Place' and 'You're Awful'). Ozzie (Jules Munshin), in the meantime, gets entangled with the Claire Huddesen (an absolutely delightful Ann Miller), who likes how much he resembles her ideal 'Prehistoric Man'. They dance and sing their way through a series of misunderstandings between Gabey and Ivy, but all comes right in the end as the girls bid their fellows farewell from the dock.

So what's so good about ON THE TOWN, you ask? Well, first of all, it's brilliant fun and very amusing--from the dancing to the singing to the snappy dialogue. It takes a while to get used to the *very* forward New York women (played with marvellous wit and charm by Garrett and Miller), but once you get over their throwing themselves at Chip and 'Specimen' respectively, you really appreciate ON THE TOWN for what it is: pure, unadulterated, and unpretentious entertainment.

Granted: The songs aren't as catchy as in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. But there are definitely some minor classics to be heard here--'You're Awful', Frankie's serenading of Betty, and 'Count On Me' being among them. I thought it was a really nice touch to have Bern Hoffman singing a lazy-morning song, 'I'm Feeling Like I'm Not Out Of Bed' to bookend the film beginning and end, to give the sense of a full day having passed.

It should probably also be granted that there isn't quite enough dancing, especially not from Gene Kelly (who is always a delight to watch, even when mostly playing the bystander as he was in the 'Count On Me' number) and Ann Miller, who got the chance to show off her amazing tap-dancing skills and gorgeous gams in the wildly energetic 'Prehistoric Man'. (It only whetted my appetite to see *more* of her dancing and singing! I'd have liked it if Miller's role was expanded, period. She gave her character an indescribable life and vivacity in the limited screen time she had and overshadowed Vera-Ellen easily.). I'd have loved it if Kelly had danced properly with Miller too, the latter being one of the best female tap-dancers in the business. All the same, the sweet ballad 'Main Street' that Gabey sings to Ivy is accompanied by a beautiful dance routine that shades naturally and easily from dancing to walking and back again--a perfect example of Gene Kelly's ability as both dancer and choreographer to present and capture movie magic with no special effects. I actually much prefer the 'New York Ballet' in this film to the one in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, mostly because it fits the plot beautifully, and is smaller and more intimate and more focused on Gene Kelly the dancer rather than Gene Kelly the choreographer. It gives Kelly the opportunity to shine as both dancer *and* actor: the scenes when he dances with the Miss Turnstiles poster are achingly believable in the way they could only be if Kelly were dancing in them. The shadow sequence at the ballet barre with Vera-Ellen is also something incredible to behold and perfectly-staged.

ON THE TOWN is a great night at the movies, and is time well-spent with a few characters you really get to know, an excellent cast (Alice Pearce practically steals the entire show as Lucy Schmeeler, for example--not an easy task considering who she was playing against!), and a great soundtrack. It's probably one of the best precursors you could have to Kelly's much more ambitious musical undertakings in the form of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. But on its merits, it is definitely worth watching. Perhaps again and again. 8/10.


42 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 107 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed