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An American in Paris (1951)

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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

Writers:

Alan Jay Lerner (story by), Alan Jay Lerner (screen play by)
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Popularity
3,505 ( 213)
Won 6 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Jerry Mulligan
Leslie Caron ... Lise Bouvier
Oscar Levant ... Adam Cook
Georges Guétary ... Henri Baurel (as Georges Guetary)
Nina Foch ... Milo Roberts
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Storyline

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What a joy! It's M-G-M's Technicolor musical! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

11 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Amerikaner in Paris See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,723,903 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Costume designer Irene Sharaff used 25 different shades of yellow for the Toulouse-Lautrec segment of the final ballet. See more »

Goofs

During the ballet dance sequence just before the girls are all on their toes, Lise is in the background with Jerry...then in an instant appears in the front of the scene with most of the other dancers not showing as she waits for him. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Mulligan: This is Paris, and I'm an American who lives here. My name is Jerry Mulligan, and I'm an ex G.I. In 1945 when the army told me to find my own job, I stayed on. And I'll tell you why: I'm a painter, and all my life that's all I've ever wanted to do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Presenting The American In Paris Ballet See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995 a restored version was prepared for release on video/laserdisc, with the 18-minute ending ballet soundtrack reprocessed in stereo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Charade (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Nice Work if You Can Get It
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by Georges Guétary
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Response to comments
3 March 2005 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

I felt it necessary to respond to the comments posted on the front page of this film's page because some of it was slightly misinformative.

Originally I posted quotes from the original poster, but I wasn't sure if it was proper given that this is the "comments" index and not a message board (though we used to use 'em that way back before IMDb added the film message boards) so I will edit this to make it unnecessary.

Well, first of all you may not be aware of this, but Gene Kelly first became famous for playing "Pal Joey" on Broadway in the original production. When Vincente Minnelli decided to make a Gershwin "panorama" film, he wanted Kelly's character to be more sophisticated than the "goody two shoes" roles he had been playing in most his films (with the exception of "For Me and My Gal"). Alan Jay Lerner was instructed to construct a new story set in Paris based on the story of "Pal Joey". This gave Kelly a chance to play his famous role from Broadway even though Warners had outbid MGM for the rights to "Pal Joey." In my opinion, the WB film "Pal Joey" is a wreck, though Sinatra was suitable for the role, but other problems sunk the film (script changes and poor direction. ===================================================

You complain that Kelly's pictures are not well done, even citing your art education to prove the point. But you miss the fact that Kelly's bad art was clearly designed to be bad, and it is necessary for the story/characters. The pictures are so bad, the audience knows that Kelly isn't ready for an exhibition. Even he knows it, though Milo has sort of sugared him up to the point where he almost believes her. But it's important that the audience not be sitting there saying "but, he's a great artist, if he only had the chance!". You want the audience to be fully aware of his deficiencies.

Then you complain that he sabotages his interest in the show; again you are not understanding the structure of the story. He refuses because he doesn't want to feel like a gigolo, and because he knows he's not really ready for the exhibition. His enthusiasm for the exhibition is certainly not as great as "Joey's" enthusiasm to "start a nightclub". But it serves the same function in the plot. Remember, it's essential in "Pal Joey" (the play) that Joey gives up his nightclub after he realizes that he doesn't deserve it. Same with the art show. If Kelly's paintings were actually good, it would undermine this whole point. ===================================================

Then you complain that Caron and Kelly have no "chemistry". I guess it's in the eye of the beholder. I agree, the chemistry between them is not as strong as it should be, but for me it was fine. Compare it to even worse "forced" romances like the one between Cary Grant and Sophia Loren in "The Pride and the Passion". ====================================================

When you say that the big dance finale has nothing to do with anything else in this film, it just shows that you haven't dug beneath the surface of the film into its symbolism. Many elements in the dance sequence relate to the story and characters, and through the dance the plot is resolved through images and symbolism. It's about finding love, enjoying love, then losing love (he looks around and his love is gone). The movements of the symphony are constructed so that part of each dance scene mirrors a separate phase of Parisian Art and also a separate phase of their relationships. If you didn't' see that, it's not the movie's fault. It's certainly not a "load of crap". ==================================================


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