My liking for Gene Kelly is actually fairly recent, and due in large part to the perspicacious ArchiveGuy, who’s been very active in the musicals group. Our discussion of Daddy Long Legs, an Astaire flick, finally showed me the light.
My favorite number of his, I think, is the bit with the newspaper in Summer Stock – very simple, very creative, very elegant.
I just caught some sort of documentary retrospective of his career a few weeks ago. I never realized how innovative he was, nor how multi-talented. I mean I knew he could dance, act, and sing but I didn’t know the extent of his choreographic and directorial/cinematographic abilities.
What I like about Gene was he didn’t swish. While Fred wasn’t feminie, all the ballroom moves just didn’t look like anything I’d want to bother practicing. Gene still looks like a man, while dancing very well.
Astaire was elegant and subdued; Kelly bravura. Astaire made it look easy; Kelly sold the number.
Which you think is better depends solely on your personal preference. They are among the pantheon of greats of dance in movies (up with Busby Berkeley and Bob Fosse). No one else is at the leve of those four.
I watched Cover Girl the other day and had sweet dreams all night. What an incredible and luscious man. I’m a Fred fan, but Gene could dance the pants off anyone. Pair him with Cyd Charisse and you had magic.
P.S. Am I the only one who thinks Leslie Caron looked a little awkward when she danced? Just saying…