New on Blu-ray: An American in Paris

New on Blu-ray: An American in Paris

If you never watch An American in Paris in its entirety, at least watch the final dance number. And if possible, see it in high-def. Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an ex-GI-turned-painter who fell in love with Paris and decided to live there after the war. One day he is “discovered” by an influential heiress […]


If you never watch An American in Paris in its entirety, at least watch the final dance number. And if possible, see it in high-def.

Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an ex-GI-turned-painter who fell in love with Paris and decided to live there after the war. One day he is “discovered” by an influential heiress (Milo Roberts) with an interest in more than just Jerry’s art. But Jerry almost simultaneously falls for Lise (Leslie Caron), a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer (Georges Guétary). And the only one who’s followed all the lines of complication is Jerry’s best friend and acerbic would-be concert pianist, Adam (Oscar Levant).

Kelly is a wonderful dancer and choreographer. He had the smoothest moves in Hollywood, appearing to glide rather than step. In addition to the aforementioned sequence which is 20 minutes in itself, there is a tangibly romantic dance between Kelly and Caron. It is simply beautiful. With its sexual undertone and star-crossed love story, the dance is a tribute to their relationship.

Meanwhile, the film skillfully alludes to a gigolo-type relationship between the heiress and Jerry. However, the Academy Award best picture filmmakers also had to make it very clear nothing was actually happening between the two to abide by production code standards, which means Jerry gets to look like the white knight taking the high road.

The Blu-ray features are the same as the previous two-disc DVD release. There is a concerto feature commentary hosted by Kelly’s wife Patricia Ward Kelly, featuring previously unheard interviews with Kelly, director Vincente Minelli, producer Arthur Freed, writer Alan Jay Lerner, Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin, Michael Feinstein, Preston Ames and Irene Sharoff, as well as new observations from Caron and Foch – with this many voices, you should have most of the behind-the-scenes story. “’S Wonderful: The Making of An American in Paris” is a new documentary about the extensive work put into creating the musical classic and new interviews with Caron and Foch. There’s also an hour-long featurette profiling the life of Kelly, from his early days on stage to his final days, when the man that could dance for miles had difficulty simply walking. There’s an outtake song sequence and audio-only features with song samples and radio promotions. And for fun, the disc includes the short Paris on Parade and the Warner Bros. cartoon “Symphony in Slang.”