On The Town (1949)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB

USA, 1949.  .  Screenplay by , , from their musical play and an idea by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by Helen Rose.  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1949.  Golden Globe Awards 1949.  

One of the most enjoyable of Gene Kelly‘s musicals is this terrific (though loose) adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s play. Kelly,  and Frank Sinatra play three sailors on leave in New York City for twenty-four hours, who intend on making all their dreams come true in this very short time. Before long they’ve each got a girl (, , ) and have undergone some fun adventures. Most of Bernstein’s brilliant score was excised by the studio for not being commercial enough, with songs by Roger Edens written in to replace them (though not all of them), but some of the originals (such as “New York, New York” and “Come Up To My Place”) still remain (albeit with tamer lyrics rewritten in). New songs include the fabulous “You Can Count On Me”. Kelly choreographed all the wonderful dance numbers, plus co-directed the film with burgeoning master filmmaker Stanley Donen.

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