Gene Kelly completely dominates An American in Paris, the story of a Yank painter living in the City of Light. With assistance from the wizards of the effects department, director Vincente Minnelli’s cinematic love letter to Paris was shot on the back lot of MGM, except for a half dozen background shots. But nobody could be more of a special effect than Kelly, whose easy athleticism and immense personal charm leap off the screen. He goofs with the urchins during “I Got Rhythm” and romances newcomer Leslie Caron — she’s a fine dancer, but her gamine allure lacks fire — in “Love Is Here to Stay.” He wows us all in the colorful “American in Paris” ballet sequence, which took two months to film and cost a whopping half million dollars in 1951.
The film won Best Picture and Best Musical Score (Saul Chaplin and Johnny Green’s adaptations of George and Ira Gershwin’s compositions), as well as four other Academy Awards and a special citation for Kelly, “for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.”
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11:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday. River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-866-8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
Fri., June 15, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., June 16, 11:55 p.m., 2012