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An American in Paris (1951)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 11 November 1951 (USA)
Trailer
3:36 | Trailer
Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director:

Vincente Minnelli

Writers:

Alan Jay Lerner (story by), Alan Jay Lerner (screen play by)
Won 6 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Kelly ... Jerry Mulligan
Leslie Caron ... Lise Bouvier
Oscar Levant ... Adam Cook
Georges Guétary ... Henri Baurel (as Georges Guetary)
Nina Foch ... Milo Roberts
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Storyline

Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What a joy! It's M-G-M's Technicolor musical! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

11 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American in Paris See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,723,903 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oscar Levant, more of a pianist than an actor, signed onto the film because he was actually a friend of George Gershwin. See more »

Goofs

In the café before "'S Wonderful", the level in Henri Baurel's sherry glass fluctuates wildly between shots. Also, Adam Cook knocks over his brandy glass and it falls under the table; then it reappears, then disappears. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry Mulligan: 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. And I'll tell you why: I'm a painter, and all my life that's all I've ever wanted to do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Presenting The American In Paris Ballet See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1995 a restored version was prepared for release on video/laserdisc, with the 18-minute ending ballet soundtrack reprocessed in stereo. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Vincente Minnelli (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

But Not for Me
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Played as background music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A great film that's not aging well
27 May 2009 | by info-12388See all my reviews

Don't get me wrong: the musical numbers are still top rate. Watching Kelly dance anything from the tap on the sidewalks to the full blown ballet at the end is still very much a marvel to behold. But the story? Ehhhh... not so much.

Granted, plots in MGM musicals are pretty thin affairs anyway, little more than slight variations on their Broadway cousins (who, at the time, weren't anywhere near Shakespeare themselves!): stock formulae that involved a boy and a girl and a happy ending. But in American IN Paris, we're to somehow believe that Gene and Leslie are a perfect couple from their very first glance, even though it means trampling all over the feelings of the two people genuinely in love with these two (and Lord only knows why). Poor Nina Foch gets the worst of it: her storyline doesn't even get a proper resolution... and I'm not quite sure I hold to the idea that she wanted to make Kelly a "kept man": instead, she comes across as a woman who falls in love way too easily and has the cash on hand to help her man of the moment realize his own dream with little thought of her own. Certainly she gets twisted in all directions from the moment Kelly, spurned by Caron, shows up at her apartment, seemingly ready to accept her a "real woman"... only to discover that she's just a rebound relationship -- and we all know how well those work out, right? Meanwhile, the guy who's kept Caron's body and soul together comes across as the kind of nice guy that would do *anything* to keep his wife happy... even if it means giving her up for some schmuck he (and she!) barely knows. Again, we're looking at someone with a fierce sense of devotion and the means to create a perfect world for his intended... only to find out that she never really loved him like she said she did. I have little doubt that when his act finally *did* tour the States, it was a huge disaster, because it's difficult to sing something about a stairway to Paradise through a layer of bitter cynicism.

It's interesting that we have these parallel relationships, both set up along the same dynamics of one person totally in love and happy to lay out anything his/her partner wants, no matter the cost -- and that in both cases, the wealthy one, despite the integrity of his/her feelings, get dumped for a somewhat duplicious, deceitful little affair. Maybe, in some alternate MGM universe, these two unfortunate people found each other and got their own happy ending. I sure hope so.


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