An American in Paris


1h 53m 1951
An American in Paris

Brief Synopsis

An American artist finds love in Paris but almost loses it to conflicting loyalties.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Nov 11, 1951
Premiere Information
New York opening: 4 Oct 1951; Los Angeles opening: 9 Nov 1951
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Paris,France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,192ft (14 reels)

Synopsis

American Jerry Mulligan, a former G.I. and fledgling painter who stayed in Paris after World War II, loves his life as a struggling artist on the Left Bank. He is friendly with his neighbors, especially the local children and cynical American Adam Cook, a concert pianist living on a succession of fellowships. One day, when Jerry is particularly low on money, he goes to Montmarte and sets up an impromptu exhibit of some of his work, hoping to sell something to a tourist. He has little success until Milo Roberts, an American heiress living in Paris, admires his paintings and buys two. Because she does not have enough cash with her, she invites Jerry to her hotel to get the money. Jerry shows little enthusiasm for her chauffeur-driven car and expensive hotel room but accepts an invitation to a party she is giving that night. When he returns, the provocatively dressed Milo reveals that the party is only for herself and Jerry. Thinking that she wants a gigolo, Jerry is insulted and wants to return the money for his paintings, but she convinces him that she is a patron of the arts and only wants to help him. With his pride intact, Jerry agrees to take her to dinner, but only if they go to a café he can afford. She suggests a jazz club in Montmarte, where they talk about their lives and his paintings. While Milo dances with Tommy Baldwin, a friend she runs into at the club, Jerry, who is attracted to a pretty girl he has spotted at the next table, overhears her name, Lise Bourvier, and calls to her, pretending to know her. After whisking the annoyed Lise onto the dance floor, Jerry gets her phone number from one of her companions. Observing this, Milo is hurt and lashes out at Jerry while they drive back to her hotel. He responds by getting out of her car and determining he wants nothing to do with her. The next morning, Jerry telephones Lise at the perfumery where she works and asks her out. She brusquely turns him down and tells him not to call again. A few moments later, Milo shows up at the Flodair, Jerry's neighborhood café, and apologizes for her outburst the previous night. Again insisting that she is only interested in promoting his work, she invites him to lunch to meet a well-known art dealer she knows. Jerry agrees to meet her later, then goes to the perfumery to see Lise. When he charms a middle-aged American customer into selecting a perfume, Lise is amused and agrees to meet Jerry at 9:00 o'clock that night at a café near the Seine. Unknown to Jerry, Lise is loved by popular music hall entertainer Henri Baurel, a close friend of Adam and the man who became her guardian when her parents were killed during the war. Henri is debuting a new number that night and wants Lise to be in the audience. Although Lise is torn, she meets Jerry that evening, and as they walk along the Seine, the couple begins to fall in love. When Lise suddenly realizes that it is 11:00, she rushes off after agreeing to meet Jerry again on Saturday. At the theater, Henri does not realize that Lise missed the number and introduces her to American impresario John MacDowd, who wants Henri to tour America. Assuming that Lise loves him as much as he loves her, Henri suggests that they get married and go together to America. The next day, when Milo calls for Jerry, he dismisses Adam's suggestion that he is becoming a kept man. Later, when Milo takes Jerry to a studio she has rented for him and informs him that she has arranged for an exhibition, he is angry but agrees to work hard if she promises to let him pay her back for everything. For the next few weeks, Jerry paints constantly, highlighting the people and sights of Paris, often using Lise as his model. One day, while Lise and Jerry are riding in a taxi, they talk about how little they know about each other's lives and realize that they have both been evasive. Later, at the Flodair, Jerry tells Adam about Lise, and when he mentions her name, Adam chokes on his coffee, knowing that she is the young woman whom Henri loves. When Henri arrives, he and Jerry talk about being in love while Adam nervously tries to change the subject and hopes the men will not mention the names of their respective loves. Henri convinces Jerry that he must tell his girl friend how much he loves her, so when Jerry later meets Lise, he reveals his feelings. Although she feels the same, Lise confesses that she is marrying Henri because he loves her and she owes him her life. Hurt, Jerry then says that he has been seeing a woman he does not want to lose. After they part, Jerry rushes to Milo's apartment, passionately kisses her for the first time and asks her to the art student's costume ball that night. At the raucous ball, Jerry dances with Milo, pretending that he is happy, but after they run into Henri and Lise, Jerry admits to Milo that he is in love with Lise. Milo then leaves, after which Jerry walks out onto the balcony, where he is joined by Lise. She says that she and Henri are marrying the next day, but before returning to the party admits that it is painful to be near Jerry and not hold him close. Unknown to Lise and Jerry, Henri has been smoking a cigarette near by and has overheard everything. Without saying a word to Lise, he drives her from the party while a despondent Jerry fantasizes about Lise and imagines himself dancing with her throughout Paris. A short time later, he is startled to hear the horn of a car and looks down to see Lise being brought back in Henri's car. While Jerry runs down the Montmarte steps, Lise rushes up to meet him. The lovers embrace and walk down the steps hand-in-hand.

Cast

Gene Kelly

Jerry Mulligan

Leslie Caron

Lise Bourvier

Oscar Levant

Adam Cook

Georges Guetary

Henri [Hank] Baurel

Nina Foch

Milo Roberts

Eugene Borden

Georges Mattieu

Martha Bamattre

Mathilde Mattieu

Mary Young

Old woman dancer

Ann Codee

Therese

George Davis

Francois

Hayden Rorke

Tommy Baldwin

Paul Maxie

John MacDowd

Dick Wessel

Ben Macrow

Don Quinn

Honeymooner

Adele Coray

Honeymooner

Lucien Plauzoles

"Bubble gum" boy

Christian Pasques

"Bubble gum" boy

Anthony Mazola

"Bubble gum" boy

Charles Bastin

Smiling young man

Jeanne Lafayette

Nun/Artist/French girl

Louise Lareau

Nun/Woman at table

Captain Garcia

Man at shutters

Charles Millsfield

Man with books

Louise Colombet

Woman with cats

Alfred Paix

Postman

Leonard Mazola

Young man at mirror

Noel Neill

American girl

Nan Boardman

Maid

John Eldredge

Jack Jansen

Anna Q. Nilssen

Kay Jansen

Albert Pollet

Man at table

Wanda Lucienne

Woman on phone

Madge Blake

Customer at perfumiere

George Dee

Waiter

Albert D'arno

Waiter

Art Dupuis

Driver

Peter Camlin

Artist

Marie Antoinette Andrews

News vendor

Sam Strangis

G.I.

Herb Winters

G.I.

Dudley Field Malone

Painter

Louis Laurent

Bearded painter

Greg Mcclure

Rugged G.I.

Leo Mostovoy

Audience member

Jack Chefe

Audience member

Maya Van Horn

Audience member

Isabel Lamal

Audience member

Monique Chantal

Audience member

Michele Lange

Audience member

Ralph Blum Jr.

Patron at Flodair Café

Viola Daniels

Patron at Flodair Café

Suzanne Toffel

Patron at Flodair Café

Andre Charise

Patron at Flodair Café/Dancing partner

Ruth Lewis

Girl at ball

Judy Hall

Girl at ball

Dino Bolognese

Bartender

Paul De Corday

Bartender

Mary Menzies

Fury

Svetlana Mclee

Fury

Florence Brundage

Fury

Dee Turnell

Fury

Janet Lovis

Fury

Sheila Meyers

Fury

Phyllis Sutton

Fury

Alex Romero

Dancing G.I.

Ernest Flatt

Dancing G.I.

William Chatham

Dancing G.I.

Dick Humphries

Dancing G.I.

Sue Casey

Specialty dancer

Meredith Leeds

Specialty dancer

David Carlin

Strongman

Monica Bucky

Girl

Janine Bergez

Girl

Marie Francoise

Girl

Jeannine Ducasse

Girl

Numa Lapeyre

Girl

Peter Troiekouroff

Boy

Claude Guy

Boy

Andre Guy

Boy

Rene Delofre

Boy

Yves Troendle

Boy

Pierre Plauzoles

Boy

Anne Belle Rasmussen

Madeline Gradin

Joan Anderson

Linda Heller

Pamela Wells

David Kasday

John Gardner

Dennis Ross

Richard Robinson

Pat Sims

Betty Hannon

Marion Horosko

Shirley Lopez

Betty Scott

Eileen Locklin

Lila Zali

Dick Lerner

Don Hulbert

Harvey Karels

Bob Chase

Bert Madrid

Ralph Madlener

Richard Landry

Robert Ames

Ray Weamer

Rudolph Silva

Stephen Kirchner

Eric Freeman

Allan Cooke

John Stanley

Tommy Ladd

Felice Basso

Rodney Bieber

Albert Ruiz

Ricky Ricardi

Eugene Faccuito

Roy Ossorio

Ralph Del Campo

Ricardo Gonzales

Bob Mescagno

Jack Harmon

George Ellsworth

Dorothy Tuttle

Linda Scott

Marilyn Russell

Bonnie Menzies

Gloria Dewerd

Dorothy Ward

Carol Risser

Jetsy Parker

Jean Harrison

Shirley Glicksman

Pat Volscko

Pat Dean Smith

Melba Snowden

Joan Bayley

Carli Elinor

Charles Mauu

Crew

John Alton

Ballet Photographer

Preston Ames

Art Director

Kenton Andrews

Research

Alan Antik

Technical Advisor

Peter Ballbusch

Montage Sequence

Dick Borland

Grip

Hugh Boswell

Assistant Director

Saul Chaplin

Music Director

J. J. Cohn

Unit Manager

Jeanne Coyne

Dance-in

Howard Dietz

Unit Publicist

Adrienne Fazan

Film Editor

Arthur Freed

Producer

George Gershwin

Composer

Ira Gershwin

Composer

Cedric Gibbons

Art Director

Alfred Gilks

Director of Photography

Keogh Gleason

Associate (Sets)

James Gooch

Technicolor Color Consultant

Gene Grant

Gene Kelly's paintings by

Johnny Green

Music Director

Sydney Guilaroff

Hair styles Designer

Carol Haney

Assistant Dance Director

Henry Imus

Technicolor tech

Henri Jaffa

Technicolor Color Consultant

Gene Kelly

Choreography

Standish Lambert

Sound

Al Lane

Camera Operator

Alan Jay Lerner

Story and Screenplay

William Levanway

Editing Supervisor

Jane Loring

Production Assistant

Jay Marchant

Unit Manager

Mack Mclean

Baritone singing voice double for Oscar Levant

Rudi Monta

Legal Department

Sid Moore

Electrician

Warren Newcombe

Special Effects

Orry-kelly

Costume Design

Walter Plunkett

Beaux Arts Ball Costume Designer

Al Raboch

Assistant Director

Irving G. Ries

Special Effects

Conrad Salinger

Orchestration

Albert Sendrey

Orchestration

Wes Shanks

Gaffer

Irene Sharaff

Ballet Costume Designer

Douglas Shearer

Recording Supervisor

Howard Strickling

Director of Publicist

Walter Strohm

Production Manager

William Tuttle

Makeup created by

Frank Whitbeck

Trailer prod

Edwin B. Willis

Set Decoration

Edward Woehler

Assistant Director

Photo Collections

An American in Paris - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's An American in Paris (1951), directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

Videos

Movie Clip

American In Paris, An (1951) - Our Love Is Here To Stay On the banks of the (MGM soundstage) Seine, painter Jerry (Gene Kelly) and ingenue Lise (Leslie Caron) do their romantic number set to Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here To Stay," in An American In Paris, 1951, from producer Arthur Freed.
American In Paris, An (1951) - I Got Rhythm Gene Kelly (as "Jerry") with his own choreography and the neighborhood kids, does some language instruction with George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm," in An American In Paris, 1951.
American in Paris, An (1951) - A Simple Girl Variations on Gershwin's "Embraceable You" support Henri (Georges Guetary) as he describes his girlfriend Lise (Leslie Caron) to Adam (Oscar Levant) in a fantasy musical sequence in An American In Paris, 1951.
American in Paris, An (1951) - Opening, This Is Paris The opening sequence from Vincente Minnelli's An American in Paris, 1951, which offers a brief tour of Paris and introduces "Jerry," the Gene Kelly character.
American in Paris, An (1951) - Third Year Girls Jerry (Gene Kelly), an ex-G-I and sidewalk artist, meets art patron Milo (Nina Foch) on the street in Vincente Minnelli's An American In Paris, 1951, Noel Neill the derided American student.
American In Paris, An (1951) - Adam's Fantasy Probably the only time the ubiquitous wit and piano virtuoso Oscar Levant (as "Adam") ever got five minutes alone on screen, in a fantasy of himself conducting and playing (his pal George) Gershwin's "Concerto in F," from An American In Paris, 1951.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Nov 11, 1951
Premiere Information
New York opening: 4 Oct 1951; Los Angeles opening: 9 Nov 1951
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Paris,France

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 53m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,192ft (14 reels)

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1951

Best Cinematography

1951

Best Costume Design

1951
Walter Plunkett

Best Costume Design

1951
Irene Sharaff

Best Music Original Dramatic Score

1952

Best Picture

1951

Best Writing, Screenplay

1952

Award Nominations

Best Director

1951
Vincente Minnelli

Best Editing

1951
Adrienne Fazan

Articles

The Big Idea - An American in Paris


The idea for An American in Paris came to producer Arthur Freed when he attended a concert of George Gershwin's An American in Paris, which is best described as a tone poem as opposed to a collection of songs. Freed liked the title and from that he built a musical with Gershwin tunes after months of negotiations with brother Ira Gershwin, estate trustees, and two different music publishers.

The concept of an extended, extravagant dance sequence was nothing new in the film musical genre and had been utilized in various forms in Yolanda and the Thief (1945) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946). But nothing on the scale of Freed's grand finale in An American in Paris - presented in the styles of several great French painters - had ever been attempted before at MGM.

The unexpected box office success of Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell's Technicolor dance fantasy, The Red Shoes (1948), indicated that audiences might respond quite enthusiastically to a 17-minute climactic ballet sequence.

The MGM brass were hesitant at first to throw nearly a half a million dollars into filming one musical number, the 17-minute ballet. Fortunately, studio mogul Louis B. Mayer (soon to be replaced by a new regime of studio management under Dore Schary) played a key role in green-lighting the production, regardless of its costs.

by Scott McGee
The Big Idea - An American In Paris

The Big Idea - An American in Paris

The idea for An American in Paris came to producer Arthur Freed when he attended a concert of George Gershwin's An American in Paris, which is best described as a tone poem as opposed to a collection of songs. Freed liked the title and from that he built a musical with Gershwin tunes after months of negotiations with brother Ira Gershwin, estate trustees, and two different music publishers. The concept of an extended, extravagant dance sequence was nothing new in the film musical genre and had been utilized in various forms in Yolanda and the Thief (1945) and Ziegfeld Follies (1946). But nothing on the scale of Freed's grand finale in An American in Paris - presented in the styles of several great French painters - had ever been attempted before at MGM. The unexpected box office success of Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell's Technicolor dance fantasy, The Red Shoes (1948), indicated that audiences might respond quite enthusiastically to a 17-minute climactic ballet sequence. The MGM brass were hesitant at first to throw nearly a half a million dollars into filming one musical number, the 17-minute ballet. Fortunately, studio mogul Louis B. Mayer (soon to be replaced by a new regime of studio management under Dore Schary) played a key role in green-lighting the production, regardless of its costs. by Scott McGee

Behind the Camera - An American in Paris


Both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were under consideration for the part of Jerry Mulligan, but Kelly's more balletic style of dancing gave him the edge.

The studio originally wanted Maurice Chevalier to play the part of Henri Baurel, but he was not available. However, some insiders believe that MGM decided against him because of rumors that he entertained the Third Reich during the French occupation. Yves Montand was also considered but he was quickly dismissed because of his leftist politics, a scarlet letter in Hollywood during the Communist witch-hunt days. Popular French performer Georges Guetary was cast in what would be his only American film.

After Vera-Ellen and Cyd Charisse were considered, Gene Kelly chose a real Parisian for his romantic counterpart. Kelly had seen Leslie Caron dancing two years earlier in Paris's Ballets des Champs Elysees. He flew back to Paris, summoned Caron to a screen test, and two weeks later, she received a notice to report to Hollywood for the production of An American in Paris.

The $450,000,17-minute, eye-popping ballet was filmed after the rest of the picture was completed. In fact, director Vincente Minnelli filmed Father's Little Dividend (1951) before the sets and choreography were completed for the final ballet. Ironically, it took two days longer to film the ballet than the feature-length comedy.

A final scene between Oscar Levant and Nina Foch that resolved some important plot details was excised in order to make room for the climactic ballet.

Because of a natural anemia, aggravated by long stretches of malnutrition during World War II, Leslie Caron was often physically exhausted after long rehearsals and shooting. Gene Kelly was so concerned about her health that he arranged for her to have numerous breaks and rest periods during filming, often giving her an entire day off.

According to some sources, Leslie Caron's "Embraceable You" sequence - the one where she is depicted via different period settings - created a stir with the censors. The problem derived from Caron's skirt in the American jazz segment that left little to the imagination. Fortunately, a female censor showed up on set and subsequently fell under Gene Kelly's powerful charm. The sequence was approved, with only the slightest trimming of the jazz segment.

by Scott McGee

Behind the Camera - An American in Paris

Both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were under consideration for the part of Jerry Mulligan, but Kelly's more balletic style of dancing gave him the edge. The studio originally wanted Maurice Chevalier to play the part of Henri Baurel, but he was not available. However, some insiders believe that MGM decided against him because of rumors that he entertained the Third Reich during the French occupation. Yves Montand was also considered but he was quickly dismissed because of his leftist politics, a scarlet letter in Hollywood during the Communist witch-hunt days. Popular French performer Georges Guetary was cast in what would be his only American film. After Vera-Ellen and Cyd Charisse were considered, Gene Kelly chose a real Parisian for his romantic counterpart. Kelly had seen Leslie Caron dancing two years earlier in Paris's Ballets des Champs Elysees. He flew back to Paris, summoned Caron to a screen test, and two weeks later, she received a notice to report to Hollywood for the production of An American in Paris. The $450,000,17-minute, eye-popping ballet was filmed after the rest of the picture was completed. In fact, director Vincente Minnelli filmed Father's Little Dividend (1951) before the sets and choreography were completed for the final ballet. Ironically, it took two days longer to film the ballet than the feature-length comedy. A final scene between Oscar Levant and Nina Foch that resolved some important plot details was excised in order to make room for the climactic ballet. Because of a natural anemia, aggravated by long stretches of malnutrition during World War II, Leslie Caron was often physically exhausted after long rehearsals and shooting. Gene Kelly was so concerned about her health that he arranged for her to have numerous breaks and rest periods during filming, often giving her an entire day off. According to some sources, Leslie Caron's "Embraceable You" sequence - the one where she is depicted via different period settings - created a stir with the censors. The problem derived from Caron's skirt in the American jazz segment that left little to the imagination. Fortunately, a female censor showed up on set and subsequently fell under Gene Kelly's powerful charm. The sequence was approved, with only the slightest trimming of the jazz segment. by Scott McGee

An American in Paris: The Critics Corner - The Critics' Corner on AN AMERICAN IN PARIS


Variety hailed An American in Paris as "one of the most imaginative musical confections turned out by Hollywood in years."

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times thought it "the most commendable enchantments of the big, lavish musical" ever put to screen.

Film critic Jeanine Basinger wrote "An American in Paris is frequently criticized as being too sentimental, too romantic and, because of the ballet, too pretentious. Nevertheless, the film undoubtedly contributed to the maturing process of the musical genre. By challenging the idea that audiences would not understand or accept a long ballet deeply linked to the narrative of the film it helped to free the dance visually and to expand the horizons of viewers as well as the creative possibilities for the artists making musical films."

Gene Kelly looked forward to altering some preconceptions about Hollywood movie musicals when it came Oscar time. "There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas," he stated. "It's a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy."

No musical from Arthur Freed's unit at MGM had ever been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar prior to An American in Paris.

Gene Kelly and company smashed the perceived prejudice against musicals by winning big at the Academy Awards. An American in Paris won Oscars for Best Picture, Writing (Story & Screenplay), Cinematography, Art Direction (Color), Best Score of a Musical Picture, and Costume Design (Color). Also nominated was Vincente Minnelli's direction. Gene Kelly was given an Honorary Award for his "versatility" and "his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography on film."

Because most critics and Hollywood insiders expected A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or A Place in the Sun (1951) to sweep the Oscars, many were shocked when An American in Paris won in six categories. Sycophantic critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who had put the musical on his top ten list, was aghast that the Academy had "so many people so insensitive to the excellencies of motion-picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical picture over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." It's unclear whether Crowther was referring to A Streetcar Named Desire or A Place in the Sun.

by Scott McGee

An American in Paris: The Critics Corner - The Critics' Corner on AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

Variety hailed An American in Paris as "one of the most imaginative musical confections turned out by Hollywood in years." Bosley Crowther of the New York Times thought it "the most commendable enchantments of the big, lavish musical" ever put to screen. Film critic Jeanine Basinger wrote "An American in Paris is frequently criticized as being too sentimental, too romantic and, because of the ballet, too pretentious. Nevertheless, the film undoubtedly contributed to the maturing process of the musical genre. By challenging the idea that audiences would not understand or accept a long ballet deeply linked to the narrative of the film it helped to free the dance visually and to expand the horizons of viewers as well as the creative possibilities for the artists making musical films." Gene Kelly looked forward to altering some preconceptions about Hollywood movie musicals when it came Oscar time. "There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas," he stated. "It's a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy." No musical from Arthur Freed's unit at MGM had ever been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar prior to An American in Paris. Gene Kelly and company smashed the perceived prejudice against musicals by winning big at the Academy Awards. An American in Paris won Oscars for Best Picture, Writing (Story & Screenplay), Cinematography, Art Direction (Color), Best Score of a Musical Picture, and Costume Design (Color). Also nominated was Vincente Minnelli's direction. Gene Kelly was given an Honorary Award for his "versatility" and "his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography on film." Because most critics and Hollywood insiders expected A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or A Place in the Sun (1951) to sweep the Oscars, many were shocked when An American in Paris won in six categories. Sycophantic critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who had put the musical on his top ten list, was aghast that the Academy had "so many people so insensitive to the excellencies of motion-picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical picture over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." It's unclear whether Crowther was referring to A Streetcar Named Desire or A Place in the Sun. by Scott McGee

An American in Paris


The prelude and aftermath of the mammoth An American in Paris (1951) shoot made for many a sweaty palm: controversy, fear, uncertainty - curious emotions for one of cinema's most charming and delightful all-time classics. The core of the movie's exuberance in taste and style is the winning combination of director Vincente Minnelli, star/choreographer Gene Kelly, the music of George and Ira Gershwin, the lilting Alan Jay Lerner script, the brilliant black and white in color camera of John Alton (called in specifically to lens the final ballet sequence) and, perhaps most importantly, the man who pulled it all together: producer Arthur Freed.

Freed had long ago purchased the title from Ira Gershwin, as he correctly deemed that An American in Paris was a great moniker for a musical. Vincente Minnelli, who hadn't worked in the genre since The Pirate (1948), felt the studio was punishing him for the movie's less than outstanding grosses. Nothing could be further than the truth; Freed was simply waiting for the proper project to utilize the master director's extraordinary talent.

With the selection of Gene Kelly over Fred Astaire, the On the Town (1949) star, as full of energy off screen as on, immediately set about designing the lavish numbers working in close and harmonious collaboration with Minnelli. One of Kelly's first requests was the casting of teenager Leslie Caron as the female lead, whom he had seen dance two years earlier. Freed agreed. The casting of Georges Guetary, in what would be the French entertainer's only American motion picture appearance, proved a bit more difficult.

Originally the part of Caron's benefactor had been slotted for Maurice Chevalier, who was unavailable. This sparked the interesting possibility of Yves Montand - a decision squelched when Louis B. Mayer made a pro-HUAC speech on the embryonic An American in Paris sets during pre-production. Montand's politics threw him out before he was in. More astonishing was the East coast office's demand to axe the final ballet - the culmination of the picture's entire sequence of events. Freed, who knew that the word "ballet" was poison to a Hollywood production, and, that at a cost of a half a million dollars, would be one of the most expensive numbers ever filmed, wisely kept his cool and went directly to the source - Mayer himself. L.B., on his way out (PARIS would be his last production), and in constant in-house battles with newly appointed liberal-minded executive Dore Schary (fresh from his profitable track record at RKO), had faith in Freed's abilities and okayed the budget. Concurrently, the New York boys worked on Schary to intercede, but Mayer's successor threw them for a loop and also pronounced the excising of the ballet as preposterous, vowing to assure its inclusion even at the exorbitant cost. In the movie, Kelly plays a struggling painter living in France. The ballet represents his fantasies as depicted by the great French artists (Renoir, Rousseau, Lautrec, Dufy) he admires. Cognizant of France's love affair with American films, both Kelly and Freed were likewise aware of their contempt of any foreign depiction of their country. Arranging a screening for the then ailing Raoul Dufy, the actor and producer ducked out until the end credits. There, relieved, they found the artist, moved to tears, requesting a second helping of the sumptuous finale.

Oscar multiplied the nervous jitters when An American in Paris aced Best Picture against such heavyweights as A Place in the Sun and A Streetcar Named Desire. Confident of its win in the color, art direction and music departments (a total of seven nominations in all), MGM was pleasantly shocked at this coup - a rarity for a musical (only twice before had this happened: 1929's The Broadway Melody and in 1936 for The Great Ziegfeld, both for Metro!) The shock turned to outrage in critical circles when the less than insightful Bosley Crowther, reviewer for The New York Times, vented his wrath upon voters "so insensitive to the excellencies of motion picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." Contemporary Sidney Skolky simply skulked demanding a recount. MGM, by now 100% Schary-run, responded with good humor - placing an ad in the trades featuring a cartoon Leo, holding an Oscar with the caption: "Honestly, I was just standing IN THE SUN waiting for A STREETCAR."

Producer: Arthur Freed
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner
Cinematography: Alfred Gilks, John Alton (ballet photography)
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, Irene Sharaff
Film Editing: Adrienne Fazan
Original Music: George Gershwin (songs)
Principal Cast: Gene Kelly (Jerry Mulligan), Leslie Caron (Lise Bouvier), Oscar Levant (Adam Cook), Georges Guetary (Henri Baurel), Nina Foch (Milo Roberts)
C-114m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

by Mel Neuhaus

An American in Paris

The prelude and aftermath of the mammoth An American in Paris (1951) shoot made for many a sweaty palm: controversy, fear, uncertainty - curious emotions for one of cinema's most charming and delightful all-time classics. The core of the movie's exuberance in taste and style is the winning combination of director Vincente Minnelli, star/choreographer Gene Kelly, the music of George and Ira Gershwin, the lilting Alan Jay Lerner script, the brilliant black and white in color camera of John Alton (called in specifically to lens the final ballet sequence) and, perhaps most importantly, the man who pulled it all together: producer Arthur Freed. Freed had long ago purchased the title from Ira Gershwin, as he correctly deemed that An American in Paris was a great moniker for a musical. Vincente Minnelli, who hadn't worked in the genre since The Pirate (1948), felt the studio was punishing him for the movie's less than outstanding grosses. Nothing could be further than the truth; Freed was simply waiting for the proper project to utilize the master director's extraordinary talent. With the selection of Gene Kelly over Fred Astaire, the On the Town (1949) star, as full of energy off screen as on, immediately set about designing the lavish numbers working in close and harmonious collaboration with Minnelli. One of Kelly's first requests was the casting of teenager Leslie Caron as the female lead, whom he had seen dance two years earlier. Freed agreed. The casting of Georges Guetary, in what would be the French entertainer's only American motion picture appearance, proved a bit more difficult. Originally the part of Caron's benefactor had been slotted for Maurice Chevalier, who was unavailable. This sparked the interesting possibility of Yves Montand - a decision squelched when Louis B. Mayer made a pro-HUAC speech on the embryonic An American in Paris sets during pre-production. Montand's politics threw him out before he was in. More astonishing was the East coast office's demand to axe the final ballet - the culmination of the picture's entire sequence of events. Freed, who knew that the word "ballet" was poison to a Hollywood production, and, that at a cost of a half a million dollars, would be one of the most expensive numbers ever filmed, wisely kept his cool and went directly to the source - Mayer himself. L.B., on his way out (PARIS would be his last production), and in constant in-house battles with newly appointed liberal-minded executive Dore Schary (fresh from his profitable track record at RKO), had faith in Freed's abilities and okayed the budget. Concurrently, the New York boys worked on Schary to intercede, but Mayer's successor threw them for a loop and also pronounced the excising of the ballet as preposterous, vowing to assure its inclusion even at the exorbitant cost. In the movie, Kelly plays a struggling painter living in France. The ballet represents his fantasies as depicted by the great French artists (Renoir, Rousseau, Lautrec, Dufy) he admires. Cognizant of France's love affair with American films, both Kelly and Freed were likewise aware of their contempt of any foreign depiction of their country. Arranging a screening for the then ailing Raoul Dufy, the actor and producer ducked out until the end credits. There, relieved, they found the artist, moved to tears, requesting a second helping of the sumptuous finale. Oscar multiplied the nervous jitters when An American in Paris aced Best Picture against such heavyweights as A Place in the Sun and A Streetcar Named Desire. Confident of its win in the color, art direction and music departments (a total of seven nominations in all), MGM was pleasantly shocked at this coup - a rarity for a musical (only twice before had this happened: 1929's The Broadway Melody and in 1936 for The Great Ziegfeld, both for Metro!) The shock turned to outrage in critical circles when the less than insightful Bosley Crowther, reviewer for The New York Times, vented his wrath upon voters "so insensitive to the excellencies of motion picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." Contemporary Sidney Skolky simply skulked demanding a recount. MGM, by now 100% Schary-run, responded with good humor - placing an ad in the trades featuring a cartoon Leo, holding an Oscar with the caption: "Honestly, I was just standing IN THE SUN waiting for A STREETCAR." Producer: Arthur Freed Director: Vincente Minnelli Screenplay: Alan Jay Lerner Cinematography: Alfred Gilks, John Alton (ballet photography) Costume Design: Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, Irene Sharaff Film Editing: Adrienne Fazan Original Music: George Gershwin (songs) Principal Cast: Gene Kelly (Jerry Mulligan), Leslie Caron (Lise Bouvier), Oscar Levant (Adam Cook), Georges Guetary (Henri Baurel), Nina Foch (Milo Roberts) C-114m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. by Mel Neuhaus

Critics' Corner - An American in Paris


Variety hailed An American in Paris as "one of the most imaginative musical confections turned out by Hollywood in years."

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times thought it "the most commendable enchantments of the big, lavish musical" ever put to screen.

Film critic Jeanine Basinger wrote "An American in Paris is frequently criticized as being too sentimental, too romantic and, because of the ballet, too pretentious. Nevertheless, the film undoubtedly contributed to the maturing process of the musical genre. By challenging the idea that audiences would not understand or accept a long ballet deeply linked to the narrative of the film it helped to free the dance visually and to expand the horizons of viewers as well as the creative possibilities for the artists making musical films."

Gene Kelly looked forward to altering some preconceptions about Hollywood movie musicals when it came Oscar time. "There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas," he stated. "It's a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy."

No musical from Arthur Freed's unit at MGM had ever been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar prior to An American in Paris.

Gene Kelly and company smashed the perceived prejudice against musicals by winning big at the Academy Awards. An American in Paris won Oscars for Best Picture, Writing (Story & Screenplay), Cinematography, Art Direction (Color), Best Score of a Musical Picture, and Costume Design (Color). Also nominated was Vincente Minnelli's direction. Gene Kelly was given an Honorary Award for his "versatility" and "his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography on film."

Because most critics and Hollywood insiders expected A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or A Place in the Sun (1951) to sweep the Oscars, many were shocked when An American in Paris won in six categories. Sycophantic critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who had put the musical on his top ten list, was aghast that the Academy had "so many people so insensitive to the excellencies of motion-picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical picture over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." It's unclear whether Crowther was referring to A Streetcar Named Desire or A Place in the Sun.

by Scott McGee

Critics' Corner - An American in Paris

Variety hailed An American in Paris as "one of the most imaginative musical confections turned out by Hollywood in years." Bosley Crowther of the New York Times thought it "the most commendable enchantments of the big, lavish musical" ever put to screen. Film critic Jeanine Basinger wrote "An American in Paris is frequently criticized as being too sentimental, too romantic and, because of the ballet, too pretentious. Nevertheless, the film undoubtedly contributed to the maturing process of the musical genre. By challenging the idea that audiences would not understand or accept a long ballet deeply linked to the narrative of the film it helped to free the dance visually and to expand the horizons of viewers as well as the creative possibilities for the artists making musical films." Gene Kelly looked forward to altering some preconceptions about Hollywood movie musicals when it came Oscar time. "There is a strange sort of reasoning in Hollywood that musicals are less worthy of Academy consideration than dramas," he stated. "It's a form of snobbism, the same sort that perpetuates the idea that drama is more deserving of Awards than comedy." No musical from Arthur Freed's unit at MGM had ever been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar prior to An American in Paris. Gene Kelly and company smashed the perceived prejudice against musicals by winning big at the Academy Awards. An American in Paris won Oscars for Best Picture, Writing (Story & Screenplay), Cinematography, Art Direction (Color), Best Score of a Musical Picture, and Costume Design (Color). Also nominated was Vincente Minnelli's direction. Gene Kelly was given an Honorary Award for his "versatility" and "his brilliant achievement in the art of choreography on film." Because most critics and Hollywood insiders expected A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or A Place in the Sun (1951) to sweep the Oscars, many were shocked when An American in Paris won in six categories. Sycophantic critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who had put the musical on his top ten list, was aghast that the Academy had "so many people so insensitive to the excellencies of motion-picture art that they would vote for a frivolous musical picture over a powerful and pregnant tragedy." It's unclear whether Crowther was referring to A Streetcar Named Desire or A Place in the Sun. by Scott McGee

Quotes

Back home everyone said I didn't have any talent. They might be saying the same thing over here but it sounds better in French.
- Jerry Mulligan
I'm a concert pianist. That's a pretentious way of saying I'm... unemployed at the moment.
- Adam Cook
That's... quite a dress you almost have on.
- Jerry Mulligan
Thanks.
- Milo Roberts
What holds it up?
- Jerry Mulligan
Modesty.
- Milo Roberts
It's not a pretty face, I grant you, but underneath its flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character.
- Adam Cook
"You only find the right one once."
- Henri Baurel
"That many times?"
- Adam Cook

Trivia

'Kelly, Gene' screened Red Shoes, The (1948) for the MGM executives to persuade them to back a dance film.

Cyd Charisse discovered that she was pregnant during pre-production and was replaced by Leslie Caron.

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1993.

After Arthur Freed and Ira Gershwin reached an agreement during their weekly pool game, film rights to George Gershwin's "An American in Paris - A Tone Poem for Orchestra" were purchased for $158,750, and Ira received $56,250 as a consultant to write any necessary new lyrics for songs used.

Alan Jay Lerner began writing the screenplay in December 1949, and finished it in a 12-hour stretch in March 1949 on the night before his wedding.

Notes

Following the cast list in the opening credits, a title card reads: "And presenting The American in Paris Ballet." After the opening credits, the three principal male characters are introduced through successive voice-over narrations that are heard while the camera pans through the Parisian neighborhood in which "Jerry Mulligan" lives: First, Gene Kelly explains who Jerry is and why he is in Paris; then Oscar Levant, as "Adam Cook," introduces himself, followed by Georges Guetary, as "Henri Baurel," who talks about himself.
       Contemporary news items, reviews and studio records in files on the film in the M-G-M Collection and the Arthur Freed Collection at the USC Cinema-Television Library reveal the following information about An American in Paris: M-G-M announced that it had acquired the film rights to late composer George Gershwin's musical suite "An American in Paris" on June 1, 1949. The suite had its premiere on December 13, 1928 at Carnegie Hall in New York. At that time, the studio also contracted with Gershwin's brother and lyricist Ira for rights to use their songs. Additionally the studio hired Ira Gershwin to write new lyrics for "certain unpublished George Gershwin music." The first script for the film was submitted by Alan Jay Lerner on June 12, 1950. While several revisions were made over the next few months, the completed film was very much the same as the first script.
       According to a July 5, 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item, artist Saul Steinberg met with producer Arthur Freed, possibly to discuss the film, possibly to create the paintings for Jerry, but he was not hired for the production and Jerry's paintings were created by artist Gene Grant. Memos in the M-G-M files reveal that Kelly had requested copies of two films to use as background for An American in Paris, the French film L'Orange ete and a 1934 French cartoon entitled La joie de vivre, which featured extensive dancing.
       In a October 4, 1949 letter in the Arthur Freed Collection, Maurice Chevalier's representative, agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar, wrote to Freed, mentioning that Chevalier was being considered for a role in the film. At that time, Chevalier had not made a film in the U.S. since 1934 (see entry for Folies Bergere in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). Although there were no additional mentions of Chevalier in the Freed or M-G-M files, modern sources have speculated variously that M-G-M May have been concerned over lingering ill sentiment toward Chevalier after charges of collaboration had been made against him following World War II or that Chevalier May have declined to be involved in the picture because he did not want to portray an older man.
       Tests were made for actresses Sarah Churchill for the role of "Milo Roberts" and actor Carl Brisson for Henri. Although some modern sources have speculated that Fred Astaire was initially under consideration for the lead, no information in the Freed or M-G-M collections mentions anyone other than Kelly as the lead. M-G-M contract player Sally Forrest was tested for the role of "Lise Bourvier," as were French actresses Jeanine Charrat and Odile Versois. Modern sources note that Minnelli and Kelly wanted someone "fresh" for the role of Lise and Kelly had been impressed by Leslie Caron, a then seventeen-year-old ballerina in the company of French ballet impresario Roland Petit. Caron was signed for the picture on May 29, 1950, according to the M-G-M files.
       The files indicate that musician Benny Carter and his group were to perform on the "Our Love Is Here to Stay" number, but their participation in the completed soundtrack has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items include Jeane Romaine, Mary Gleason, Judie Landon, Mary Jane French, Marilyn Rodgers, Ann Brennan, Beverly Thompson, Marietta Elliott, Pat Hall, Joan Barton, Beverly Baldy, Lorraine Crawford, Madge Joureay, Ann Robin, Angela Wilson, Lola Kendrick and Marlene Todd in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       A December 26, 1950 news item in Hollywood Reporter indicated that Grahame Johnson, a leading male dancer in the Los Angeles Negro Ballet was signed for a role in the production, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Pre-production memos in the M-G-M collection indicate that James Basevi was initially to be the film's art director with M-G-M art department head Cedric Gibbons and that conductor Andre Kostelanetz was at one time being considered to work on the production.
       Memos in the M-G-M Collection indicate that the title An American in Paris had been registered with the PCA on December 17, 1948 by Roberts Productions, but that the issue of rights to the title were settled in early 1951. A memo to M-G-M studio head Louis B. Mayer from the PCA informed Mayer that the PCA had only one objection to Lerner's recently submitted script. The memo advised that it should be made clear that "no illicit sex affair" existed between Jerry and Milo. No additional censorship problems were encountered with the script, although, according to a 1955 memo from M-G-M international distribution executive Robert Vogel to studio production head Dore Schary and Freed, "French Indo-China censors have banned An American in Paris in part because 'It depicts friendly amoral Franco-American relations and glorifies France.'"
       Although most of the film was shot on M-G-M's Culver City, CA lot, some location filming was done in Paris, France. According to memos an initial estimate of the film's location shooting schedule was for several days of atmospheric backgrounds and establishing shots, with two days of shooting in Paris featuring Kelly and Leslie Caron. Actual second unit work began on September 2, 1950, but memos in the files indicate that rainy weather caused considerable delays and reshoots. Filming in Paris ended on 22 Sep; montage sequence director Peter Ballbusch, who was in London, gave final approval for the Parisian footage on 26 September 1950.
       An opening montage, some longshots of Parisian landmarks, a tracking shot of Milo's car driving up to her hotel and atmospheric backgrounds were the only Parisian footage retained in the released film. Although modern sources have indicated that Kelly and Minnelli originally wanted to shoot the entire ballet sequence in Paris, there is no indication in the M-G-M files that this was a serious consideration once pre-production began on the film. Other memos in the files indicate that the studio had been in negotiations with the owners of La Moulin de la Galette in Paris to use exteriors and possibly interiors for the film, but negotiations fell through.
       According to an American Cinematographer article by director of photography Alfred Gilks, the "Our Love Is Here to Stay" number set on the Quai along the Seine near Notre Dame, was accomplished through use of a one-hundred-foot cyclorama set up on an M-G-M sound stage. The final scene of the film, which captures Kelly and Caron running toward each other on the multiple flights of stairs below Sacre Couer in the Montmarte section of Paris, was actually made by Gilks shooting one staircase built on the studio backlot that was enhanced by Warren Newcombe and his special effects unit.
       Although M-G-M records indicate that the film was in production without interruption from August 1, 1950 through January 8, 1951, filming stopped at various intervals to allow for preparation of the "American in Paris Ballet" sequence. According to Hollywood Reporter news items and production charts, because of the length of time required for the ballet, Minnelli left the production on September 15, 1950 and directed M-G-M's Father's Little Dividend; after that film was completed at the end of Oct, Minnelli returned to An American in Paris.
       In the American in Paris Ballet, a story is told through various settings in which the characters Jerry and Lise intermittently dance. Although in his autobiography, Minnelli, who was an artist himself, described coming up with the idea for the dance, outlines and other memos in the M-G-M files were submitted jointly by Minnelli and Kelly from the earliest stages. The final outline and description of the dance, co-signed by Kelly and Minnelli, was submitted to Freed on September 6, 1950. Introductory remarks to the outline, describe the vision of the ballet as follows: "The decor of the ballet will be its most distinguishing feature as to uniqueness and originality, for each individual scene will be done in the styles of different painters which we will denote in the synopsis of the libretto...the ballet visually should reflect an artist's viewpoint and both the scenery and the costumes should be done as they painted....In essence, the entire ballet is a representation of a painter thinking about Paris."
       Many aspects of the dance have been discussed at length by critics, including the iconographic use of the red flower in the opening and closing scenes of the ballet and the reappearance in different guises of Jerry and Lise. Each sequence in the ballet was shot in a different color scheme, with costumes, sets and choreography of the large company of dancers reflective of the mood of the various sections of Gershwin's musical suite, which runs almost twenty minutes. In the first sequence, Jerry's sketch of a gate floats away and turns into a backdrop that is reminiscent of the painting style of Raoul Dufy (1877-1953); the next scene is set like a Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) painting; this is followed by a Montmarte setting inspired by several paintings of Maurice Utrillo (1883-1955). The next sequence was inspired by the paintings of Henri Rousseau (1844-1910); after the Rousseau setting, there is a switch to a sound stage recreation of the Alexandre III bridge in Paris, followed by a brief recreation of a painting reminiscent of the work of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890).
       The last artist represented is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). Kelly appears in costume as the black dancer in Toulouse-Lautrec's "Chocolat dansant dans un bar." Caron appears dressed as Moulin Rouge dancer Jane Avril, who was featured in various Toulouse-Lautrec paintings. The final sequence, a dance featuring many of the characters who had appeared earlier in the ballet, is set around a fountain reminiscent of the fountain in the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
       In addition to the American in Paris Ballet, several other musical numbers were highly praised by critics and have been included in documentaries on American motion pictures: "Dance in the Mirror," a montage of Lise appearing in different costumes and dancing in different styles to represent aspects of her personality as described by Henri, appears in early in the picture. In the "I Got Rhythm" number, Kelly, dressed in casual clothes and a baseball cap, uses the song to give some Parisian children an English lesson. At various points throughout the song, children call out the words "I got" when Kelly points to them, after which he completes the lyrics. According to modern sources, this number was reshot by Hal Rosson following the film's initial preview. In "Stairway to Paradise," as Guetary sings the number, stairs appear behind a curtain. As he ascends the stairway, individual stairs light up, then go dark and light up again later.
       Another well-received number was a dream sequence in which Levant's character imagines himself playing Gershwin's 1925 "Concerto in F" before an audience in a large concert hall. As the music continues, Levant is variously seen as the orchestra's conductor, the kettle drummer, xylophonist, several violinists, concert master and finally as a member of the all-Levant audience who yells "Bravo, encore!" Levant, who was a close personal friend of Gershwin, has often been hailed by critics as one of the best interpreters of his music. Gershwin's original piece runs thirty minutes. In An American in Paris, only the concert's third movement is performed, which is about 4-1/2 minutes in length.
       In addition to the main songs used in the film, a number of other Gershwin tunes were used as background, among them "How Long Has This Been Going On?," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Liza" and "Lady Be Good." Numbers initially planned for the film but not included were "Love Walked In," which was performed by Guetary but cut from the picture and "I've Got a Crush on You," which was planned for Kelly but not filmed.
       Frank Whitbeck produced and narrated the trailer for the picture. At a September 25, 1951 special screening of the picture at the Academy Award Theatre on Melrose Avenue, Ronald Reagan, who was then head of the Screen Actors Guild, was the moderator for a forum discussion on the picture. A gala premiere was held for the film in Los Angeles on November 9, 1951 and broadcast overseas by the Armed Forces Radio Services.
       The film opened to excellent reviews. In addition to winning the Academy Award for Best Picture of the Year, An American in Paris garnered awards for Best Story and Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Color), Best Art Direction (Color), Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and Best Costume Design (Color). Kelly also won an honorary Oscar at the 1952 ceremonies for his versatility as an actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer. Minnelli was nominated in the Best Director category but lost to George Stevens for A Place in the Sun (see below) and Adrienne Fazan was nominated for Best Film Editing but lost to William Hornbeck, also for A Place in the Sun. The film also won a Golden Globe as "Best Hollywood Picture Produced" in 1951 and was variously listed in Hollywood trade publications as either the first or third highest box office film of the year.
       An American in Paris was voted number sixty-eight on AFI's list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. A news item in New York Times on January 13, 1989 announced that a Broadway adaptation of the film was being planned; however, a stage version was not produced. On September 4, 1992, M-G-M and Turner Entertainment released a restored version of the film that opened at the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles and subsequently played in about thirty theaters nationwide. The new print was a restoration following a 1978 fire at the George Eastman House film archive in Rochester, NY, which destroyed two reels of the original 35mm print of the film. According to articles in Los Angeles Times the studio Oscar for An American in Paris was sold at auction in April 1988 for a price of $15,000. Some sources indicated that the statuette auctioned was Freed's personal Oscar, but that was not the case.

Miscellaneous Notes

Shown at Cine Vegas Film Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada December 10-13, 1998.

Released in United States 1951

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States 1997

Released in United States December 1998

Released in United States November 1990

Released in USA on video.

Selected in 1993 for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry.

Released in United States 1951

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Special Programs - "Salute to Oscar" - Filmex Marathon) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States 1997 (Shown in Los Angeles (Laemmle) as part of program "Makes Great Musicals: A Salute to MGM's Legendary Freed Unit" September 6 - December 21, 1997.)

Released in United States November 1990 (Shown in Los Angeles (Laemmle) as part of program "MGM Musical Festival" November 23-29, 1990.)

Released in United States December 1998 (Shown at Cine Vegas Film Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada December 10-13, 1998.)