Today, the 23rd August, is a special day. Mr Gene Kelly would have been 101 today! We realise that there’s not much we can tell you that you don’t already know. Singer. Dancer. Director. Actor. All round good guy. Friend to the stars. So what can we do to make his birthday special? Well I scoured my DVD collection, flicked determinedly through all my relevant books and decided to tell you about my top 5 Gene Kelly Musical Dancey moments.
1. Let’s start Gene’s birthday off with a moment from his first ever film… with the wonderful Judy Garland. Here’s For Me and My Gal (1942)
See the chemistry between them? Such a stunning screen couple that bring us to number 2 on my list…
2. The Pirate (1948) This is quite frankly a fantastic film and maybe one of Gene’s most extravagant films. Here he play’s a (very sexy) pirate who hypnotises Judy. They sing, they dance, they have a massive fight. There’s also a song about Chicken Hawks.
This is the trailer. You must watch the trailer then go watch the entire film. You won’t regret it.
3. On The Town (1949) sees Gene Kelly partner up with Frank Sinatra again along with Jules Munshin. This is a great film for those just getting into musicals. It has classic songs and some great music names. It is a musical with some great romance and adventures running through it. Here’s New York, New York.
4. Number 4 is quite a treat. In 1945 a film called Ziegfeld Follies was released. This was a film bringing together acts from many different stars including Lucille Ball, Kathryn Grayson, Judy Garland and William Powell. More importantly to us Gene Kelly partnered up with Fred Astaire to do a dance and song number called The Babbitt & the Bromide. It’s one of those moments that all Kelly and Astaire fans know about and here it is.
Oh and just look at those Gentlemanly moustaches.
5. You should all know this film. In 1952 aged 40 Kelly played Don Lockwood against a 20 year old Debbie Reynolds who played Kathy Selden. This film was Singin’ In The Rain. It became one of his most well known films and is one that is still on every Christmas, Easter and other national holiday. We love this film. The song we love most from Singin’ In The Rain isn’t one of the well known ones. Here we see Gene and Donald (O’Connor) take elocution lessons singing style. Try and learn all the words and dance moves… It’s FUN!
There we have it. 5 Gene Kelly musicals for you to try. Sing along! Dance along! Just give them a try, you’ll be smiling and singing along before you know it.
Happy Birthday to a man who knew what he wanted from show business. He could be harsh to work with but all his films were successes.