An American In Paris (1951)

Part of the Decades of Musicals

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Certificate: BBFC U
Format: 35mm
Language: English, some questionable French

"An American in Paris, one of the most successful and popular musicals in the history of film, is also one of the few Technicolor musicals to be taken seriously by critics during the Golden Age of Hollywood when many such films were made."


"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… Back home everyone said I didn't have any talent. They might be saying the same thing over here, but it sounds better in French."

We push on through to the fifties with this Gene Kelly / Vincente Minnelli classic. The story of ex-G.I. Jerry's (Gene Kelly) sojourn in Paris, this has everything you could ask for in a musical. Gems such as 'I Got Rhythm', Embraceable You and Nice Work If You Can Get It, glorious Technicolor (as ever) and an 18 minute long mini-ballet. Quite possibly why celluloid was dreamt up.


The film is an unmissable classic of the shitory of cinema, and won many awards when it was released:

ACADEMY AWARD WINNER FORBest PictureBest ArtBest CinematographyBest Musical ScoreBest Costumre DesignBest WritingGOLDEN GLOBE FORBest Picture

Other films in the Decades of Musicals:


Film: Show Boat (1936)

3 May 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Sing-a-long-a-Sunday! The first stop on our monthly jazz-hands journey through the decades via the glorious medium of musical film.


Film: 42nd Street (1933)

7 Jun 2009, 7:30 p.m.

The quintessential "backstage" musical


Film: Ziegfeld Follies (1946)

5 Jul 2009, 7:30 p.m.


Film: Jailhouse Rock (1957)

4 Oct 2009, 7:30 p.m.

1950s musical


Film: Kiss Me Kate (1953)

1 Nov 2009, 7:30 p.m.

"The Greatest of all Great MGM Musicals!" Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew meets Cole Porter in this play within a musical within a film. Originally filmed in 3D - expect a surfeit of objects thrown at the camera as well as classic ditties 'So In Love', 'Too Darn Hot' and (in canny preparation for next week's festival of the same name!) 'Wunderbar'. Keep your eyes peeled for the Bob Fosse cameo.


Film: The Proud Valley (1940)

6 Dec 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Musical or manifesto?


Film: Les Demoiselles De Rochefort (1967)

10 Jan 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy collaborate directing the charming Catherine Deneuve and Gene Kelly. Its a companion piece to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg 1964 using the same magical combination of a Michel Legrand score, immaculate kitsch art direction and a romantic story line to make the heart sing too.


Film: The Sound Of Music (1965)

7 Feb 2010, 7:30 p.m.

'The Hills are alive with the sound of music, with songs they have sung for a thousand years'. Come and see this ever-favourite Hollywood musical. Every song is a classic that you will want to belt out, or whistle, or hum, or mime while you watch the story of love, fun and song unfold on screen.


Film: New York, New York (1977)

4 Apr 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Scorsese's homage to the 1940's MGM musical and to the titular city.


Film: Fame (1980)

5 Sep 2010, 7:30 p.m.

We sashay into the questionable world of 80s musicals with this tale of unadulterated, grabbing ambition. Come and remember the leg warmers, remember the routines, remember the songs and, most importantly, remember…my name. Because if they've really got what it takes, it's going to take everything they've got.


Film: Top Hat (1935)

9 Dec 2010, 7:30 p.m.

For the last Decades of Musicals film we are throwing chronology to the wind and going back to the 1930s where, let's be honest, all the best musicals live. Astaire and Rogers partner up again and croon such classics as 'Cheek to Cheek' and, of course, 'Top Hat…'.