TFTMM Presents “Star Of The Month (March 2021)” Featuring Gene Kelly

Moving on from February (and Clark Gable), we next have dancer Gene Kelly to celebrate in the month of March!

Table Of Contents

Quick Film Career Bio

Birth: August 23, 1912

Death: February 2, 1996

Eugene Curran Kelly, or “Gene” as he was known, became a big hit in the Broadway show Pal Joey. After that, Hollywood started calling, and he signed with producer David O. Selznick. Selznick sold half his contract to MGM for Gene’s debut film, For Me And My Gal. The film did well, and so Gene stuck with MGM. However, it took Thousands Cheer and him being loaned out to Columbia for Cover Girl before his own abilities as a choreographer were noticed. Not long after, he joined the war effort by enlisting in the U.S. Naval Air Service. Upon his return in 1946, he was given a chance to help shore up his next film Living In A Big Way, by adding in some dance routines. This gave him greater room to work with, and he tried to convince the people at MGM to let him direct his own musical. He was finally given that chance for his third pairing with Frank Sinatra, On The Town, where he and his co-director Stanley Donen did some on-location filming and tried to breathe some fresh air into the musical genre. Over the next few years, he continued to do just that, with An American In Paris and Singin’ In The Rain being some of his most well-known works. However, things started to go downhill after that, as the rise of television left the studios scrambling to get audiences back into theatres. As a result, he didn’t get the budgets to work with, or the respect he thought he should have been getting. So, after making Les Girls, he more or less left MGM. He continued to work, both on- and off-camera, both in the movies and on television. His last film role would turn out to be in the flop Xanadu. After that, he only made a few other onscreen appearances, including co-hosting That’s Dancing and That’s Entertainment III before he passed away in early 1996.

My Own Feelings On Gene Kelly

My own introduction to Gene Kelly was the classic Singin’ In The Rain. At the time, I was still trying to figure out whether I would like musicals as a film genre or not, and that movie certainly helped solidify my fondness for it! Not only that, but watching him do that iconic dance in the rain certainly helped convince me to take up tap dancing! For a little while, Gene was my favorite dancer in the movies (at least, until I started seeing some of Fred Astaire’s stuff). Still, I’ve enjoyed seeing all of the musicals that Gene starred in! I haven’t been quite as fond of some of his non-musical films that I’ve seen (The Three Musketeers is the big exception to that rule). I have seen his lone starring role in a weekly series, Going My Way, and I enjoyed that (although I am less than thrilled with the later half of that series/season when he started to barely appear in some of the episodes). Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing what others have to say about him and his movies/ TV stuff, etc.!

Filmography

This is a list of all the films that I personally have reviewed from his filmography so far. Obviously, I will be adding to it throughout the month of March, and it is my plan to add to it as I review more and more of his films even beyond this month’s celebration.

For Me And My Gal (1943)

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

Ziegfeld Follies (1945)

The Pirate (1948)

Take Me Out To The Ball Game (1949)

On The Town (1949)

Summer Stock (1950)

An American In Paris (1951)

Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Brigadoon (1954)

Deep In My Heart (1954)

Invitation To The Dance (1956)

Les Girls (1957)

Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

Entries For This Month

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man –

Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Brigadoon (1954)

Invitation To The Dance (1956)

Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

Upcoming Schedule For 2021:

April – nothing

May – star: Cary Grant

June – star: Claudette Colbert

July – star: James Cagney

August – star: Barbara Stanwyck

September – genre: Musicals

October – nothing

November – star: Humphrey Bogart

December (1-24) – genre: Christmas films

December (25-31) – nothing

Roster For The Next “Star Of The Month” (Cary Grant)

As I indicated last month, I am only including the option to sign up for the next month (instead of two like my original plan was). However, as you can see from the schedule above, I have nothing scheduled for the month of April, as I take a month off from hosting these blogathons. Since I will not have a post next month that would otherwise allow for a sign-up, I will use this post as the opportunity for anybody interested in signing up for Cary Grant as the star for May 2021. As always, here are the rules:

  1. At this point, I am not putting any restrictions on topics related to the various stars, whether it be any of their films, or biographies, lists of favorites, etc.
  2. These celebrations are intended as tributes to these stars (even if they aren’t being done in months with birthdays, although Clark Gable, the winner of the February poll, is at least scheduled for the month of his birthday), so I would ask that any participating posts be respectful of the stars themselves. Obviously, if you don’t care for that specific star, that would probably not be a good month to join in.
  3. I’m requesting that all posts would be new material, and not any previously published ones.
  4. As previously indicated, these celebrations of the stars and genres will last a whole month each, so you will have that whole month to work with. I myself will be publishing about four or five posts per month (depending on the number of Sundays and whether there are any recent disc releases that would fit the bill), so you can decide how many you want to do (within reason).
  5. If you are interested in joining, I would certainly suggest you either comment on this post, email me at astairefan7@gmail.com, or, for the Facebook savvy, contact me at my FB page. And feel free to use the banners I have put together (I’m still unsure of how much space I will have to work with over time on pictures, so for now I am doing one each).

Thoughts From The Music(al) Man

  • Cary Grant: Ladies Should Listen (1934), Wedding Present (1936), Big Brown Eyes (1936), Room For One More (1952), Operation Petticoat (1959) and Father Goose (1964)

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