Today marks the centenary of Gene Kelly's birth. The movies' song-and-dance man, who mesmerized us all with his terpsichorean skills in films like On The Town, Anchors Aweigh, Cover Girl, An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, and It's Always Fair Weather, was born one hundred years ago today. Some critics found his ear-to-ear grin a bit smarmy, but I always felt that Kelly represented a kind of brashness and earthiness that exemplifed the American spirit. And was there ever an art form as quintessentially American as that of the musical?
Kelly's turn in Singin' in the Rain will be featured as part of my Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! film series coming up on Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 P.M. at the Barrington Library, beginning on September 26th. (Look for more information about this series in a blog post next month.)
In the meantime, I offer this heartfelt recognition of one of the premier exponents of the Hollywood film musical. Happy birthday, Gene Kelly! You may be gone from our temporal world, but you live on in film--and in our hearts.