While searching for Cover Girl images, I found this adorable photo of Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth, circa 1979-ish. In trying to find out more about it, I came across an even more adorable story about their friendship around this time.
Patricia Ward Kelly starts her one-woman show, “Gene Kelly: The Legacy,” by addressing a few pertinent questions about her late husband: he was 5′ 8″; he got his distinctive facial scar from a tricycle accident as a kid; and they met while filming a TV documentary series about the Smithsonian. She also candidly addresses the question perhaps most on the mind of curious audience members expecting to see a frail, 90-year-old woman, instead of the vibrant young speaker before them: when they met, she was 26 and Gene was 73.
Judging by its lofty pedigree on paper, For Me and My Gal should really be one of cinema’s most enduring and classic musicals. Not only was it directed by Busby Berkeley and produced by Arthur Freed, but it was Judy Garland’s first “adult” role, and, furthermore, Gene Kelly’s film debut. And yet it remains one of the more underseen Garland and/or Kelly and/or Berkeley pictures of the era, in part because, well… it’s a bit dark.
I’m taking a step back from a somewhat overwhelming stockpile of musicals in my DVR to get back to the basics, continuing on my “That’s Entertainment” list and just generally being open to watching new things, without the threat of Warning! Your DVR is currently 98% full!. That’s not the most conducive environment for watching films, so I’m going to go through my list and identify those that are most important to my overall education.
I recently got into a bit of trouble with a joke I made in my review for Anchors Aweigh, in which I’d cheekily noted that my favorite film genre was “Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra as girl-chasing sailors on leave.” Of course, this is a “genre” that spans exactly two films–Anchors Aweigh and On the Town–so I felt bad when someone eagerly commented seeking a watch-list of other films they thought they had overlooked.