An American in Paris (film)

An American in Paris (film)

name = An American in Paris

image_size = 215bx
caption = theatrical poster
director = Vincente Minnelli
producer = Arthur Freed
writer = Alan Jay Lerner
starring = Gene Kelly
Leslie Caron
Oscar Levant
Georges Guétary
Nina Foch
music = George Gershwin "(music)"
Ira Gershwin "(lyrics)"
Saul Chaplin
cinematography = Alfred Gilks
John Alton "(ballet)"
editing = Adrienne Fazan
distributor = Metro Goldwyn Mayer
released = 4 October fy|1951
runtime = 113 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = $2,723,903 "(est.)"
gross =
imdb_id = 0043278

"An American in Paris" is a fy|1951 MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, and Oscar Levant, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner. The music is by George Gershwin, with lyrics by his brother Ira, with additional music by Saul Chaplin, the music director.

The story of the film is interspersed with show-stopping dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and set to popular Gershwin tunes. Songs and music include "I Got Rhythm," "I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise," "'S Wonderful," and "Our Love is Here to Stay". The climax is "The American in Paris" ballet, an 18 minute dance featuring Kelly and Caron set to Gershwin's "An American in Paris". The ballet alone cost more than half a million dollars, a staggering sum at the time.



Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam (Oscar Levant) is a struggling concert pianist who's a long time associate of a famous French singer, Henri Baurel (Georges Guétary). A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art. Jerry remains oblivious to her feelings, and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron), a French girl he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well, but she is already in a relationship with Henri, whom she feels indebted to for having saved her family during World War II.

At a raucous masked ball, with everyone in black-and-white costumes, Milo learns that Jerry is not interested in her, Jerry learns that Lise is in love with him, but is marrying Henri the next day, and Henri overhears their conversation. When Henri drives Lise away, Jerry daydreams about being with her all over Paris, his reverie broken by a car horn, the sound of Henri bringing Lise back to him.


*Gene Kelly as "Jerry Mulligan"
*Leslie Caron as "Lise Bouvier"
*Oscar Levant as "Adam Cook"
*Georges Guétary as "Henri "Hank" Baurel"
*Nina Foch as "Milo Roberts"

Cast notes
*Hayden Rorke, best known for playing "Dr. Bellows" on the TV series I Dream of Jeanie has a small part as a friend of Nina Foch's character.
*Noel Neill, later to portray "Lois Lane" on the TV series The Adventures of Superman, has a small role as an American art student who tries to criticize Jerry Mulligan's paintings.



The film was shot on Hollywood sets, so it features some quirks in the occasional French dialogue. Notably, near the beginning of the "I Got Rhythm" number, one of the "French" kids says "Jerry, parle anglais à nous", which sounds rather curious. In the French soundtrack, which switches to the original sound for the duration of the songs, the "à nous" is masked through a "plop" sound, to make the sentence more palatable.

Hollywood movies set in France seldom used location shooting or native speakers. However, great care was sometimes put into reproducing Paris surroundings, as in "An American in Paris" or "Irma La Douce". Ironically, a lot of older French Paris-based movies were studio work as well and the same art directors (e.g. Alexandre Trauner) were sometimes working on both sides of the ocean.


*Academy Award for Best PictureArthur Freed, producer
*Academy Award for Best Art — Set Decoration, ColorE. Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons, F. Keogh Gleason, and Edwin B. Willis
*Academy Award for Best Cinematography, ColorJohn Alton and Alfred Gilks
*Academy Award for Best Costume Design, ColorOrry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, and Irene Sharaff
*Academy Award for Best Musical ScoreSaul Chaplin and Johnny Green
*Academy Award for Best Writing, Scoring and ScreenplayAlan Jay Lerner

*Academy Award for Best Director — Vincente Minnelli
*Academy Award for Best Film EditingAdrienne Fazan

*Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

*Golden Globe Award for Best Director - Motion Picture — Vincente Minnelli
*Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or ComedyGene Kelly

Other awards

Gene Kelly received an honorary Academy Award that year for "his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film." It was his only Oscar.

In 1993, "An American in Paris" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

In 2006 this film ranked #9 on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.

tage adaptation

A stage version of the musical has been adapted by Ken Ludwig, and began previews at the Alley Theatre (Houston) on April 29, 2008, officially opening on May 18 through June 22. The production, directed by Alley artistic director Gregory Boyd with choreography by Randy Skinner, stars Harry Groener and Kerry O'Malley. The musical has many of the film's original songs, and also incorporates other Gershwin songs, such as "They All Laughed," "'S Wonderful," "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Love Walked In." [ [ playbill] ] [ [ Alley Theatre] ]


External links

* ['s Greatest Films "An American in Paris"]
* [ Combustible Celluloid's review of "An American in Paris"]


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