Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 1954. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner, based on his musical play. Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Conrad Salinger. Production Design by E. Preston Ames, Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Irene Sharaff. Film Editing by Albert Akst. Academy Awards 1954. Golden Globe Awards 1954.
Gene Kelly and Van Johnson play tourists in the highlands of Scotland who happen upon a mystical village in the middle of enchanted glade, a tiny hamlet that only comes to life for one day every hundred years. Their time spent there is mostly utilized in getting to know the charming locals, Kelly particularly becoming enamored of a young lass (Cyd Charisse) with killer dancing legs. At the end of the day Kelly and Johnson must leave and rejoin modern-day society, the two lovers doomed to be apart for all eternity. Or are they? Much of the original content (and a fair bit of music) was excised from the Broadway musical by Lerner and Loewe, leaving an adequate but hardly inspiring Hollywood musical film. “The Heather On The Hill” is a highlight, but director Vincente Minnelli and the studio decided upon indoor sets for filming instead of real locations and the overall effect dampens the charm of the material.