Happy 100th birthday, Gene Kelly!

I’m strictly an Astairean, but archive guy (or whatever the hell he’s calling himself these days) finally persuaded me that the fact that most of Kelly’s characters came across as somewhat cocky or caddish might mean that he was a good actor at portraying those characteristics, not that Kelly himself was a jerk.

So, pull out Singin’ in the Rain or another favorite, and raise a glass to one of America’s greatest film dancers.

I’ll always remember him in Kelly’s Heroes.
That was him- right?

No, that was Emmett. The makeup was great!

Wow, and here I thought he was already dead. Sorry Gene, you livin’ machine. Won’t make that mistake again.

He is – died in '96. But he was born 100 years ago today.

No, you’re just trying to trick me. Like I said I’m not making that mistake again.

Happy Birthday, inventor of the machine gun!

I’m a huge Gene Kelly fan. Sorry, twickster, but Kelly trumps Astaire every time in my book.

I saw Singin’ in the Rain for the umpteenth million time last night at one of those Fathom Event showings in movie theaters. I’ve never seen it on the big screen before, and it was even more delightful this time around. Plus, until you’re in a crowd of people laughing their heads off, it’s easy to underestimate how hilarious that movie is. Sure, the musical numbers are fantastic, but it’s gut-bustingly funny as well.

Other Kelly essentials: On the Town, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh, For Me and My Gal (his movie debut, an underrated little gem also starring Judy Garland and directed by Busby Berkeley, this time minus the kaleidoscope patterns made out of showgirls).

Don’t forget It’s Always Fair Weather, a kind of melancholy sequel to On the Town.

No offense (or should I say ‘nothing personal’) to modern-day Americans but you are hastening the demise of institutions like Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I think Hollywood has lost their kind completely. You now have trash talkers who sing lyrics meant to make young girls horny and lust for celebrities and athletes. Well, if that’s how you want your society to run, fine. Some good might come out of it. I’m just the kind of guy who likes to get stuck somewhere 60- to 70- years back.

Whew, I thought you were going to have to rely on gross, inaccurate generalizations to make your point. Thank goodness you didn’t have to resort to that, right?

Erm… right.

I liked his film noir-y pic they showed. The Black Hand. Very different.

Interesting biography…growing up in the gritty steel city of Pittsburgh; ironically, in order to get to his “sissy” dance classes (required by his showbiz wannabe parents) he had to fight off the would-be bullies, which he did quite well. Family took over a failing dance studio during the Great Depression, Gene becomes instructor, gets to Broadway, etc. etc.