47 Great Directors: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

“For me directing is like having sex: when it’s good, it’s very good; but when it’s bad, it’s still good.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Singin’ in the Rain.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Singin’ in the Rain.

What Did I Watch: On the Town.

Where Do They Fit: Stanley Donen ranks very high on the list for his collaborations with Gene Kelly where they both received a directorial credit, but Donen’s solo work is ignored. Why is that? Oh well, at least we have Singin’ in the Rain, and On the Town is wonderful too. The Red Shoes’ influence is already starting to clobber musicals into submission to the power of dream ballets, but Technicolor is so unbeatable to look at that no one cares. I don’t wish to clobber Minnelli, but there’s something very interesting to me about how the boyish banter between Gene Kelly and his friends in this and Singin’ feels fun and frivolous even when Lina is being treated badly and this whole plot hinges on hookups, whereas in American in Paris it’s an active detriment (mostly because the songs are a lot worse). I suspect it’s just a coincidence, really, but at least this one owns that all the men are the same.


Most Valuable Asset: Colors and swirling.
Most Excited For: It’s Always Fair Weather.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Iran’s foremost, Abbas Kiarostami.


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