Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wendy's Films of 2010 #42: On the Town (1949)

The classic Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly combination, seen before in Singin' in the Rain, doesn't let you down here. Donen's past musicals include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Funny Face, both are among my favourites and On the Town ranks pretty strongly among them. I love watching musicals and discovering the origin of songs you've known your whole life, like On The Town's "New York, New York." Though the movie is about 3 young sailors on day leave in New York, my favourite character is by far Betty Garrett's Brunhilde Esterhazy. She's a sassy cab driver with the guts to go after what she wants, which just happens to be the boyish and somewhat clueless Chip (Frank Sinatra). She's boisterous, funny and clever - not the kind of woman you typically see in old Hollywood musicals. The boys are charming, and their quest for love in 24 hours is adorable. The music is fun, with great numbers by Kelly, Sinatra and their fellow sailor played by Jules Munshin, and I can see how some consider it one of their favourites.

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