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Was Gene Kelly a cunt?

Made Debbie Reynolds dance until she bled.

Lost 20th Century Fox $200 million with Hello Dolly.

Fucked over his first wife and kid to marry Patricia Ward Kelly, decades ger junior, who now tours the world living off his legacy.

by Anonymousreply 196May 13, 2024 3:24 PM

[quote]Made Debbie Reynolds dance until she bled.

Down there?

by Anonymousreply 1May 3, 2024 9:54 AM

He didn’t marry Patricia Ward until decades after he divorced his first wife.

You forgot a whole-ass wife in between those two, Jeannie “Mrs Stanley Donen” Coyne, who widowered Gene in 1973.

by Anonymousreply 2May 3, 2024 10:42 AM

Gene's kids gate Patricia, right?

by Anonymousreply 3May 3, 2024 11:30 AM

Yes, he was a cunt. So?

by Anonymousreply 4May 3, 2024 11:32 AM

The budget of Hello, Dolly! was $25 million.

Drunk typing again, OP?

by Anonymousreply 5May 3, 2024 11:37 AM

OP graduated from the Mar-a-Lago School of Fact Checking.

by Anonymousreply 6May 3, 2024 11:43 AM

Sorry, it lost 200 million in TODAY'S money. The film lost 20 mil in 1969.

by Anonymousreply 7May 3, 2024 11:45 AM

Here's a cool gif since nothing in this thread makes sense

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by Anonymousreply 8May 3, 2024 11:47 AM

Hello, Dolly had a loss during its initial release of a $10-13 million dollars. If we go with $13 million, that is $100 million in today's dollars.

Drunk math, OP?

by Anonymousreply 9May 3, 2024 11:56 AM

And in the long run Dolly made money. What is the point of your post OP. Seems to me it is to vent anger. Says much more about you than Gene Kelly.

by Anonymousreply 10May 3, 2024 12:12 PM

The OP is mess.

by Anonymousreply 11May 3, 2024 12:49 PM

R9 > R7 R9 > OP (who may also be R7, I don’t care)

by Anonymousreply 12May 3, 2024 12:52 PM

I stopped caring much when I realized I served up a shitty OP.

by Anonymousreply 13May 3, 2024 12:59 PM

[quote]Made Debbie Reynolds dance until she bled.

Debbie later complained that Kelly was a taskmaster who made her cry, but she was just being a typical woman, who generally don't have the stamina that men do.

As my grandmother used to say, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

Gene Kelly was industrious and a perfectionist.

Thus, he had incredibly high standards, but he expected no less from himself than he did from his colleagues.

And he gave us several masterpieces, as a result.

When women are in charge, they are usually, "That's good enough," and the end product tends to be anticlimactic.

by Anonymousreply 14May 3, 2024 1:05 PM

he had a hot ass

by Anonymousreply 15May 3, 2024 1:06 PM

R14 = Gene Kelly from the grave.

by Anonymousreply 16May 3, 2024 1:07 PM

R14 That opinion was worth less than your signature.

by Anonymousreply 17May 3, 2024 1:16 PM

A catalogue of his cuntery.

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by Anonymousreply 18May 3, 2024 1:19 PM

What's the Gene Kelly movie where he comes out in one scene dressed like someone from the Eagle? I saw it with friends a few years back at an art house and when he came out the entire two thirds empty audience broke out into a roar and laughter.

by Anonymousreply 19May 3, 2024 1:38 PM


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by Anonymousreply 20May 3, 2024 1:47 PM

Kelly would have been in Easter Parade if he hadn’t broken his ankle having a tantrum over a volleyball game.

by Anonymousreply 21May 3, 2024 1:48 PM

I have no idea if he was a cunt, but I would say he was something of a pig who didn't know his limitations. Of course, he was incredibly talented at what he did best, but unfortunately, he often became involved in projects for which he was ill-suited in terms of talents he did not possess -- like not being able to sing well enough for the film version of BRIGADOON and not having the directorial talent for HELLO, DOLLY! I've also read reports that he really didn't know what he was doing when he directed FLOWER DRUM SONG on Broadway.

Of course, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is a masterpiece, but for that one, Kelly is credited is co-director with Stanley Donen, whom I'm guessing did most of the actual directing while Kelly was busy creating all those fabulous musical numbers.

by Anonymousreply 22May 3, 2024 1:53 PM

On his deathbed in the hospital, his soon to be widow brought her boyfriend along when she visited Gene.

by Anonymousreply 23May 3, 2024 1:56 PM

So many widows and widowers of celebrities screwed the children from their spouses’ previous marriages.

About the only one who didn’t was Shirlee Fonda.

by Anonymousreply 24May 3, 2024 2:00 PM

^ for reasons which are well known to them.

by Anonymousreply 25May 3, 2024 2:16 PM

I have to say, "Hello Dolly" has gotten much more fun to watch over the years. There's a lot to like about it.

by Anonymousreply 26May 3, 2024 2:23 PM

I'm intrigued that somebody apparently really has it in for a man who died approximately 30 years ago. I mean, he was a dancer, not Hitler.

by Anonymousreply 27May 3, 2024 2:33 PM

He was a dick, but he had an ass to die for.

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by Anonymousreply 28May 3, 2024 2:39 PM

Ginger Rogers said her white shoes turned pink sometimes when she danced with Fred Astaire. Look at the ending of Never Gonna Dance from Swing Time on you tube. She said it was done very late at night after many takes and was torture with her feet bleeding. It is also one of the greatest scenes in a film let alone a musical. Dancers feet getting fucked up is well known in the dancing world.

And nothing in Dolly is CGI. The money is all there on screen. And when you have John Cuir and Irene Sharaff the best in the business you are asking for a big budget. You want a turn of the century parade? That's what you get. Dolly is not overproduced. It is a sumptuous expensive candy box film fitting its period and the fact it is a musical. You couldn't have asked for anything less. My problems stem from Michael Crawford who acts mentally damaged and Danny Lockin though quite wonderful is badly directed by Kelly to act silly. Also Kidd's choreography especially in the Dancing number is fairly mediocre and the Waiter's Gallop is pretty bad. They could have easily cut it out.

Jerry Herman disliked the film when it opened but towards the end of his life said it was much better than he originally thought.

by Anonymousreply 29May 3, 2024 3:16 PM

Most incredibly talented and extremely successful people are assholes to some degree.

The genuinely nice, incredibly talented people are usually not very successful.

by Anonymousreply 30May 3, 2024 3:25 PM

"Lena and I bonded because of our mutual dislike of Gene Kelly. We didn't rip into Gene, we laughed with sheer delight of finding someone else among all the ass-kissers who felt the same and could say it."

Arthur Laurents' autobiography

by Anonymousreply 31May 3, 2024 3:53 PM

F/F, R14 for your worthless post. Apparently Debbie withstood the heat of the kitchen for decades.

by Anonymousreply 32May 3, 2024 4:21 PM

R14 = isn't Barbra Streisand

Someone post some dish from Streisand's autobiography about Kelly. I understand she was not happy with his direction.

by Anonymousreply 33May 3, 2024 4:28 PM

R31 being loathed by Arthur Laurents is a badge of honor as far as I'm concerned

by Anonymousreply 34May 4, 2024 12:10 PM

He was cute as fuck and probably could have snapped your cock off with his ass.

by Anonymousreply 35May 4, 2024 12:15 PM

OP- I don’t know if he was a cunt but he certainly was a


by Anonymousreply 36May 4, 2024 12:18 PM

Arthur Laurent’s hated Gene Kelly because he was attracted to Gene Kelly and Gene Kelly was either deeply closeted or a homophobe.

Arthur wrote in his memoirs that Gene always said “fag” jokes around him…as if to purposely get under his skin.

by Anonymousreply 37May 4, 2024 12:29 PM

Why did Lena (Horne) hate Gene Kelly, R34/R37? Sher certainly had no unrequited crush on either Kelly or Laurents.

by Anonymousreply 38May 4, 2024 1:37 PM

Lena Horne never worked with Gene Kelly so her opinion is somewhat worthless.

by Anonymousreply 39May 4, 2024 1:58 PM

Considering Singin' in the Rain is considered a masterpiece and made Debbie Reynolds a star (and was a performance she never topped), I do hope she came to appreciate the care and interest Gene Kelly put into mentoring her.

by Anonymousreply 40May 4, 2024 2:01 PM

Like MTM and Lucy, he wasn't his character(s), that's for sure.

by Anonymousreply 41May 4, 2024 2:01 PM

I've always wondered about Gene's relationship with Jimmy Thompson, that beautiful young singer/dancer whom he "mentored" and cast in SINGING IN THE RAIN and in a major role in BRIGADOON

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by Anonymousreply 42May 4, 2024 2:03 PM

Was it Debbie or Cyd Charisse who said they worked until her feet bled, but it was OK because Gene was a hard-working perfectionist and so was she, and that was how you had to be to create those numbers.

by Anonymousreply 43May 4, 2024 3:13 PM

I don't know. Did you ask Julie?

by Anonymousreply 44May 4, 2024 3:22 PM

Tony Martin said he could tell if Cyd had been working with Gene or Fred by the amount of bruises she had.

by Anonymousreply 45May 4, 2024 3:27 PM

Ann Miller's book talked about Gene being very playful on the set. He would occasionally pull his cock out and do whirlybirds for the cast and crew.

by Anonymousreply 46May 4, 2024 3:47 PM

He was a gentle lover.

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by Anonymousreply 47May 4, 2024 3:59 PM

I don’t recall Debbie complaining about Kelly in her book. Mayer put Debbie in Singin in the Rain and she had never tapped a day in her life. Kelly almost had a nervous breakdown when Mayer said it was a non-negotiable. Debbie practiced very long hours over about 6 weeks (I think?) so she could tap adequately enough for the movie. She was practically in tears one day when Fred Astaire walked into the studio and told her that for every movie he had to practice as hard and felt frustration like she was experiencing all the time. She developed a tolerance for an intense work ethic that she felt served her well for later films. PS During filming Kelly would scream at O’Connor when he got frustrated with Debbie’s mistakes because he knew Donald could take it but Debbie couldn’t.

by Anonymousreply 48May 4, 2024 4:46 PM

Lena Horne disliked Gene Kelly as a person, not as a co-worker. She had to keep her mouth shut because her gay white husband was part of the Freed Unit and depended on MGM talent to stay there. Kelly’s wife Betsy Blair was a good friend though.

by Anonymousreply 49May 4, 2024 4:59 PM

Olivia Newton John implied that Gene was difficult to work with on Xanadu in her book. That he wanted to be in charge of his own choreography and no one could tell him what to do.

by Anonymousreply 50May 4, 2024 5:21 PM

Gene wouldn’t take Barbra’s hour long phone calls late at night going over the scenes they were to shoot the very next day. You know, because he was the director and she wasn’t.

I’m sure she framed that in her book as sexism.

by Anonymousreply 51May 4, 2024 5:23 PM

^ So she went over his head to the cinematographer to implement her suggestions; Kelly was unresponsive to her. One thing he’s responsible for - miscasting that lump Walter Matthau.

by Anonymousreply 52May 4, 2024 5:50 PM

It seems he was quite imperious in his work, as many stories from colleagues have indicated through the years. Only he met his match with the ultimate cunt, Madonna, when she fired him from her Girlie Show Tour in the 90s. Or, rather, had her brother Christopher do it for her, as cunts do, according to Christopher's tell-all book.

by Anonymousreply 53May 4, 2024 5:55 PM

Btw, did you know that Lena Horne's estranged husband was one of the musical directors on the movie version of Hello Dolly? Alcoholic and jobless, the old MGM gang Gene Kelly and Roger Edens (also on the film) who threw work his way.

by Anonymousreply 54May 4, 2024 7:36 PM

When Gene Kelly’s house was destroyed by fire, he lost everything, even his Oscar, but the Academy gave him a new one to replace it.

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by Anonymousreply 55May 4, 2024 9:00 PM

Cyd Charisse once said her husband could instantly tell when she got home from work whether she had been spending the day with Astaire or with kelly. he told her, "After you've been dancing with Fred, you look fine, but after you've been dancing with Gene you come home all bruised up."

by Anonymousreply 56May 4, 2024 9:11 PM

Why did Lena Horne dislike Gene Kelly? That’s what I wanna know. Was he rude to her husband?

by Anonymousreply 57May 4, 2024 9:25 PM

What would she care if he was rude to her husband? Lennie Hayton was liked by most of them because he was drunk most of the time.

by Anonymousreply 58May 4, 2024 9:50 PM

Maybe he was always letting her know the jobs for her husband were favors.

by Anonymousreply 59May 4, 2024 9:53 PM

He married Betsy Blair when she was a teenager

by Anonymousreply 60May 4, 2024 9:55 PM

R59, are you talking about the 1940s or Hello Dolly? Lena disliked Gene Kelly because he was a bitch no one would touch because of his status. She was a part of the New York crowd that attended his Sunday parties, and Kelly’s diva behavior is well known. By Hello Dolly, Lena barely spoke to her husband. They were long separated and lived on different coasts.

by Anonymousreply 61May 4, 2024 10:06 PM

R52, I think Walter Matthau was perfectly cast in HELLO, DOLLY! I've never understood why some people think otherwise, and offhand I can't imagine who at the time could have played the role better and would also have been age appropriate opposite Streisand.

by Anonymousreply 62May 4, 2024 10:50 PM

This YouTube video has comments on Jimmy that could only be from DLers.

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by Anonymousreply 63May 4, 2024 11:29 PM

I don't think it's available for viewing right now but the PBS Great Masters on Gene Kelly is a brilliant documentary. I remember ex-wife Betsy Blair's comments about Gene to be particularly insightful.

People forget and young people just don't know, but what Gene was doing with the movie musical genre between 1948 and 1955 was extremely exciting and inventive and kept MGM afloat before the studio system crashed.

I'm always surprised to hear that when MGM first signed Gene after discovering him on Broadway in Pal Joey, it was a couple of years before they could figure out what to do with him until they finally cast him in For Me and My Gal in 1942 opposite Judy Garland. They had even loaned him out to Columbia who knew exactly what to do and costarred him opposite their biggest star Rita Hayworth.

by Anonymousreply 64May 4, 2024 11:37 PM

You don't have much company, R62. After paying for Streisand - the biggest new movie star * - they could have hired someone she'd have more chemistry with. She was far too young for the role of Dolly, the curmudgeonly co-star should have been the same.

* Yeah yeah yeah, Babs was already a superstar before she was on a minute of film, duh

by Anonymousreply 65May 4, 2024 11:37 PM

He was an incredible dancer in his own way and gave some truly great performances, but so mannered and stereotyped in his own style. (That body and that ass, though.)

I mean, if somebody had told him he couldn't lean his head back, give a wide, closed-mouth smile, and tip his hat forward while he was performing a number, what on earth would he have done?

I haven't read the bad stories about him yet (the Ranker page linked above), but I would definitely believe he was an asshole. I have an instinct about that for certain universally beloved performers secretly being assholes. But I have also read that he was a wonderful and loving father, so there's that.

by Anonymousreply 66May 4, 2024 11:49 PM

Walter Matthau was 47 when Dolly was filmed. David Burns was 62 when he originated it, Cab Calloway, the then-current Horace, was 61. Given that the character has a history and is prominent in Yonkers, he can’t be a young man. 40s was a good age for someone playing opposite a way-too-young Streisand.

Matthau was riding high in ‘68, having won the Oscar the year before, and Odd Couple was just released to raves and huge box office. You wouldn’t ask someone of his stature to come in for a “chemistry test” with Streisand. He was a good choice for the role. I also like him in it.

by Anonymousreply 67May 5, 2024 12:38 AM

Gene had a gorgeous son!

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by Anonymousreply 68May 5, 2024 12:47 AM

Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers dance on air!

by Anonymousreply 69May 5, 2024 12:52 AM

His 1948 THE PIRATE may have been a misfire, but that scene of him dancing in those shorts more than made up for it.

by Anonymousreply 70May 5, 2024 12:57 AM

[quote] Olivia Newton John implied that Gene was difficult to work with on Xanadu in her book. That he wanted to be in charge of his own choreography and no one could tell him what to do.

No, that was you getting the wrong impression. ONJ had nothing but great things to say about Gene for years and years after Xanadu was shot. She said he was quite patient and wonderful with her and she worked hard to please him because she wasn't a dancer and didn't want to make him look bad.

by Anonymousreply 71May 5, 2024 1:01 AM

I notice, r62, that as you predicted r65 could not even name one specific performer who would have been better in that role than Matthau. He just invokes a nebulous "someone."

r62, thanks for proving r65 right.

by Anonymousreply 72May 5, 2024 1:01 AM

God, R68, those images depressed the hell out of me about my rapidly thinning hair!

by Anonymousreply 73May 5, 2024 1:02 AM

“I said, Bleed, Debbie, Bleeeeeeeed!!”

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by Anonymousreply 74May 5, 2024 2:23 AM

R66 so he had his own choreographic style. So did Fosse, Champion, Kidd, etc...

by Anonymousreply 75May 5, 2024 9:57 AM

Hiw exactly do they bleed? Are they callouses that break open?

by Anonymousreply 76May 5, 2024 5:01 PM

Whaddya know, r74? It *did* twirl up!

by Anonymousreply 77May 5, 2024 5:14 PM

Blisters, r76.

by Anonymousreply 78May 5, 2024 5:14 PM

That's not "style," R75, it's repetitiveness. He was no Fosse. If you use the same language to express everything, you never say anything new.

by Anonymousreply 79May 5, 2024 7:17 PM

He was a tap dancer. The approach to choreography was pretty straightforward during his prime years. Besides in Singin in the Rain he did lyrical with Cyd as well as the Jazz flavored duet that was really sexy.

by Anonymousreply 80May 5, 2024 7:42 PM

Leslie Caron has never said a word against him, to my knowledge. She said she was exhausted (as a teen of 19 or so, and having been through the rpivations of WWII and the postwar period) trying to do the dances in An American In Paris, on a concrete floor, so he let her take every other day off.

by Anonymousreply 81May 5, 2024 8:01 PM


by Anonymousreply 82May 5, 2024 8:02 PM

R79 who uses Fosse as an example against repetitiveness? His entire vocabulary was so limited that when they did his anthology, every single number looked the same.

by Anonymousreply 83May 5, 2024 8:04 PM


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by Anonymousreply 84May 5, 2024 8:06 PM

This doc features two of his kids and maybe was produced by them. Near the end they say what a good dad he was. At least in that area two of his kids have nothing bad to say about him.

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by Anonymousreply 85May 5, 2024 8:12 PM

Do you think "Who's Got the Pain?" looks just like "Rich Man's Frug"? (which I hate)

On the other hand, does "Gotta Dance" look just like the dance with Jerry the Mouse in "Anchors Aweigh"? To me, it does.

Anyway, I'm sick of arguing about something that's a matter of taste. Gene Kelly's dancing is repetitive, expressive of nothing except athleticism, and it can be almost as tiresome to watch as it is to engage with you about this.

by Anonymousreply 86May 5, 2024 9:03 PM

Take a look at everything he did post Pippin. The moves, the hip swings, the jazz hands, the cocked heads. It goes way beyond hats. Rich Man's Frug achieved a look that told a story but by the time he got to Beat Me Daddy, there was nothing that suggested time, character or location. That's why he became so easy to mimic. He pulled out his stale bag of tricks every time.

by Anonymousreply 87May 5, 2024 11:26 PM

Gene was bald, as well, not only his son.

by Anonymousreply 88May 6, 2024 12:26 AM

Fascinating story of Kelly's interest in dancer Barrie Chase, who stuck to her guns and said no to Arthur Freed's infamous pecker, much to the consternation of Kelly.

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by Anonymousreply 89May 6, 2024 12:59 AM

So that's who Leslie Caron was!!!!

by Anonymousreply 90May 6, 2024 12:59 AM

Barrie Chase would have had to wear flats to dance with Kelly.

by Anonymousreply 91May 6, 2024 1:29 AM

Who didn't have to wear flats to dance with Gene Kelly except Leslie Caron and Debbie Reynolds?

by Anonymousreply 92May 6, 2024 2:54 AM

Barrie Chase's story is interesting )and sad) except that by the time of her hoped-for screen test, after the making of Brigadoon, MGM had more or less shut down the Freed and all other musical units. And, anyway, Cyd Charisse and Ann Miller were still there to take all the roles for which Barrie might have been considered. She might have even been a better dancer/actress, but still.............

by Anonymousreply 93May 6, 2024 2:59 AM

[quote]You don't have much company, [R62]. After paying for Streisand - the biggest new movie star * - they could have hired someone she'd have more chemistry with. She was far too young for the role of Dolly, the curmudgeonly co-star should have been the same.

Yet you haven't named a single actor whom you think would have been better cast than Matthau as Horace in HELLO, DOLLY!

by Anonymousreply 94May 6, 2024 3:47 AM

[quote][R62], thanks for proving [R65] right.

You reversed our numbers, but I know what you meant to type, so thanks :-)

by Anonymousreply 95May 6, 2024 3:52 AM

Dustin Hoffman or Richard Dreyfuss for Horace Vandergelder? At least they'd be a little more age appropriate for Streisand.

by Anonymousreply 96May 6, 2024 3:56 AM

Oh dear, Richard Dreyfuss hadn't starred in any films by 1969. Take him off the list.

But Dustin Hoffman would have been really interesting opposite Barbra. How is it they never costarred together?

by Anonymousreply 97May 6, 2024 4:02 AM

Didn't Matthau say he had FARTS more talented than Streisand?

Not that I would want to know for sure.

But he did look like a farty old guy

by Anonymousreply 98May 6, 2024 4:53 AM

Matthau said Streisand didn't have the talent of a butterfly's fart.

[quote] But Dustin Hoffman would have been really interesting opposite Barbra. How is it they never costarred together?

R97 They costarred together in Meet The Fockers.

by Anonymousreply 99May 6, 2024 5:34 AM

[quote]Matthau said Streisand didn't have the talent of a butterfly's fart.

That's when I decided he was an asshole.

by Anonymousreply 100May 6, 2024 6:02 AM

Always thought Matthau was great casting as Vandergelder. Some of the other actors in Dolly weren't so well cast. If it had had a funnier, more relatable Cornelius and Barnaby, and a more memorable Irene Malloy, it would have been a better movie.

by Anonymousreply 101May 6, 2024 6:11 AM

Was Barrie Chase fucking Fred Astaire during the years she worked with him?

I love her in “White Christmas”

by Anonymousreply 102May 6, 2024 6:35 AM

Gene’s choreography has to be appreciated in the context of how innovative it was for the mid-1940s. I don’t know what was going on on Broadway at the time, but as far as Hollywood musicals went, he brought something completely new and different to what had come before. The Slaughter on 10th Avenue from Words and Music is electrifying.

by Anonymousreply 103May 6, 2024 6:52 AM

He was into water sports.

by Anonymousreply 104May 6, 2024 7:01 AM

Kelly just made another Freed unit musical with Hello Dolly and the public was tired of the same old schtick. It cost the studio a lot of cash and made producers afraid to invest in musicals for decades to come.

by Anonymousreply 105May 6, 2024 7:16 AM

Did Kelly choreograph Slaughter on 10th Ave.? I don't think so,

Love the number but get it very confused with the Girl Hunt Ballet.

by Anonymousreply 106May 6, 2024 12:19 PM

R105 The public didn't reject it - it was in the top 5 highest grossing films for 1969-1970. It didn't make money because the production of it was so expensive (didn't lose money, either - it made a little, but basically broke even).

by Anonymousreply 107May 6, 2024 12:29 PM

R105 = didn’t read the thread

by Anonymousreply 108May 6, 2024 12:31 PM

Did Kelly choreograph Slaughter on 10th Ave.? I don't think so,

R106 Several sources say he did. ("When Gene spoke about his 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue' ballet with Vera-Ellen, he said he 'rechoreographed' the Broadway version entirely."). Wikipedia says he was the choreographer (the rest of the film was choreographed by Robert Alton).

He choreographed An American in Paris (including the ballet at the end) and choreographed On the Town, Singin' in the Rain and It's Always Fair Weather (with Stanley Donen), among other films.

by Anonymousreply 109May 6, 2024 12:42 PM

Where’s the Gene Nelson troll when you need him?

by Anonymousreply 110May 6, 2024 1:06 PM

Although I think everyone agrees that Streisand was really way too young for the role of Dolly (but gives a delightful performance anyway), I don't see any problem with the fact that Matthau looks (and was) considerably older, because that makes sense for his character and for their relationship.

by Anonymousreply 111May 6, 2024 1:35 PM

Streisand wrote that Kelly treated the female dancers badly

by Anonymousreply 112May 6, 2024 1:46 PM

Obviously there are differing viewpoints about him. There are accounts online from girls who were in his dancing school in Pittsburg who adored him. Leslie Caron says he was like a big brother to her and always took care of her.

by Anonymousreply 113May 6, 2024 3:02 PM

I'm always surprised to hear that when MGM first signed Gene after discovering him on Broadway in Pal Joey, it was a couple of years before they could figure out what to do with him

R64 He was first signed by David O. Selznick. Selznick didn't make musicals and wanted to use him as a dramatic actor. That didn't happen and Selznick let MGM have him, but shared the contract for a while.

by Anonymousreply 114May 6, 2024 3:11 PM

R114, why the hell did Selznick hire Gene Kelly with the intent of using him as a dramatic actor in non-musicals? Isn't that quite perverse?

by Anonymousreply 115May 6, 2024 3:37 PM

R115 I don't know, maybe because before Gene was in Pal Joey he was in The Time of Your Life, in a dramatic role (albeit a dancer). He could act and was handsome.

by Anonymousreply 116May 6, 2024 3:40 PM

Also, Selznick liked to sign new faces, make them into stars, then make a lot of money loaning them out, since he could only make one movie every couple of years. He had a kind of classy group of contract stars - Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy McGuire, Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck (shared contract w/MGM and Fox), Alida Valli, Louis Jourdan, Shirley Temple...Kelly would probably fit well into that group.

by Anonymousreply 117May 6, 2024 3:43 PM

R92 Judy Garland.

by Anonymousreply 118May 6, 2024 3:46 PM

Barrie Chase was in Silk Stockings (1957) produced by Arthur Freed.

by Anonymousreply 119May 6, 2024 4:05 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if Selznick, the ultimate dreamer/schemer, didn't think that someday he might produce a musical.

by Anonymousreply 120May 6, 2024 4:47 PM

I remember a weird story about Barrie Chase going to Fred Astaire's house for dinner, and he'd count out exactly how many peanuts she could eat before the meal was served.

I think I remember that they "dated" - or something like that. Maybe just friends. It was after his long term wife Phyllis died of lung cancer.

by Anonymousreply 121May 6, 2024 5:04 PM

In her book Leslie Caron mentioned Gene being well-endowed and "very girthy."

by Anonymousreply 122May 6, 2024 8:16 PM

Well R50, she really has no room to talk, considering even in this simple choreography, Kelly dances rings around her.

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by Anonymousreply 123May 6, 2024 8:52 PM

[quote]I think I remember that they "dated" - or something like that

It was in the columns that she was a "date." Maybe planted because Astaire had few/no dates. Unless it was a career move, there's no way beautiful Barrie Chase would date old ugly Fred.

by Anonymousreply 124May 6, 2024 8:57 PM

[quote]He was a tap dancer.

Bill Bojangles Robinson was a tap dancer.

by Anonymousreply 125May 6, 2024 8:57 PM

If anybody here wants to know what it feels like to do blow while high on Quaaludes, just watch that number from Xanadu.

by Anonymousreply 126May 6, 2024 9:27 PM

The thing about Fred Astaire was as graceful as he was, he was decidedly not handsome at all. Gene was much better looking. Yeah, shallow as hell but facts are facts.

by Anonymousreply 127May 6, 2024 10:59 PM

[QUOTE]I remember a weird story about Barrie Chase going to Fred Astaire's house for dinner, and he'd count out exactly how many peanuts she could eat before the meal was served.

Was this a weight management thing?

by Anonymousreply 128May 6, 2024 11:21 PM

^ More like a dollars and cents thing

by Anonymousreply 129May 6, 2024 11:34 PM

I think he was gay.

by Anonymousreply 130May 6, 2024 11:50 PM

Fred kept up appearances though. When he was young, late 20s maybe? his mother didn't want him to have a girlfriend and he wrote to his sister Adele, "Does she want me to just see tarts and never settle down?"

Although... sis Adele's nickname for him was "Moanin' Minnie" because he was such a worrier and control freak.

He also complained that Leslie Caron ate too much - a big steak, potato, salad - he was appalled! He kept his trim "dancing weight" at 135 pounds (he was about 5'9" or so he said). Maybe a chunky chick was hard to guide around the dance floor. He seldom did lifts but towards the end, I think in the film "Carefree", he did lift Ginger Rogers - up on tables, one after another, in a cafe or nightclub or something, so there's that.

And with his socialite wife Phyllis, he had a son and a daughter. He said she could whack a golf ball like crazy, especially for a 98 pounder.

Sorry.... I read his autobiography and some other accounts on one of my weird obsessive bouts. Me and Fred's obsession with weight.

by Anonymousreply 131May 7, 2024 12:43 AM

Oh I remember another tidbit - Adele said she never thought Fred had sex appeal until he was partnered with a woman named Tilly Losch on Broadway - forgot the play. Here's a lovely snapshot of the two doing "Beggar's Waltz" on Pinterest.

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by Anonymousreply 132May 7, 2024 12:46 AM

Still ugly.

by Anonymousreply 133May 7, 2024 12:49 AM

My mom had been a professional dancer, and she always preferred Fred Astaire to Gene Kelly. She thought Astaire was more "elegant" on his feet and thought Kelly was more of an "athlete."

I liked Kelly more than Astaire for the same reason.

by Anonymousreply 134May 7, 2024 12:52 AM

Mind blown as I had NO idea Gene Kelly directed Hello, Dolly!

by Anonymousreply 135May 7, 2024 1:13 AM

Yes, but an extremely talented one.

by Anonymousreply 136May 7, 2024 1:16 AM

[quote] I had NO idea Gene Kelly directed Hello, Dolly!

Although, according to some people, he didn't really do much on that film, and what he did, he did not do very well.

by Anonymousreply 137May 7, 2024 1:58 AM

Gene Kelly never wore pleated trousers, even throughout their predominance in the 1940s, because he didn't like the way the pleats would uncontrollably open up in athletic dancing. Also, he knew that at 5'8" they didn't elongate his legs. That's also why his trousers were often hemmed with no break, to give his legs a more flattering, longer line.

by Anonymousreply 138May 7, 2024 2:33 AM

Kelly directed some wonderful comic scenes in Dolly unless you want to give all the credit to the actors and maybe Gower Champion. The hat shop scene where Matthau comes to woo Molloy and the dinner at the Harmonia Gardens with Streisand and Matthau. Nobody has ever come up with possible replacements for them though they complain about the casting of the two of them all the time. Sorry but they are the best you could have had at that moment in time.

If you really want to read from an autobiography how loathsome Kelly could be go no further than Esther Williams''' book. But it has scenes in it where you could swear she was on hallucinogenics when she was writing it.

Personally I think he is peerless and boy do I wish I could have seen him in Pal Joey. And his innovations along with Donen's go back to '44 with Cover Girl. And end with DL's favorite number from Midnight With Madeline from IAFW. Cyd's number in it is also sensational. Both choreographed by Kelly. And though Balanchine made Slaughter famous on Broadway Kelly choreographed the film version in Words and Music. (There is the Balanchine on film but it's not very good.) There isn't a step that resembles Balanchine. Pure Kelly. Does it matter that he was an asshole at times? In Hollywood? You have got to be kidding. He also stood unfalteringly by his wife when she was accused of being a communist during the 50s. And she was!

by Anonymousreply 139May 7, 2024 3:15 AM

[quote]Kelly directed some wonderful comic scenes in Dolly unless you want to give all the credit to the actors and maybe Gower Champion.

Gower Champion did not work on the film. Or is your point that the film actors may have been copying Champion's direction of the stage show? That's really not true.

by Anonymousreply 140May 7, 2024 3:25 AM

I don't think he was a cunt to Frank Sinatra.

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by Anonymousreply 141May 7, 2024 3:34 AM

You'd have to be the devil to outcunt Frank.

by Anonymousreply 142May 7, 2024 6:40 AM

[quote]I don't think he was a cunt to Frank Sinatra.

Frank was the bigger star.

by Anonymousreply 143May 7, 2024 8:37 AM

He was good to Judy, wasn’t he?

by Anonymousreply 144May 7, 2024 8:45 AM

Like most people, I think Gene was a mixed bag. His ego was the biggest issue, but he could also show loyalty, kindness, etc

by Anonymousreply 145May 7, 2024 8:46 AM

R135 A lot of behind the scenes footage here.

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by Anonymousreply 146May 7, 2024 9:13 AM

He was a saint in my book. He chose Xanadu as his last movie to star in. He took it largely because of Olivia Newton-John's popularity at the time AND a nice paycheck from Universal.

by Anonymousreply 147May 7, 2024 9:23 AM

AND because it was going to be filmed close to his home.

by Anonymousreply 148May 7, 2024 9:25 AM

'Gower Champion did not work on the film. Or is your point that the film actors may have been copying Champion's direction of the stage show? That's really not true.'

I know Champion did not work on the film. And if true that Kelly took no staging from Champion in the comic scenes then Kelly's work was all the more wonderful. An at times uneven film due to bad casting and I'm not talking about Streisand or Matthau but taken as a whole sensational. I think Streisand's Mae West's inflections are perfect and hilarious and she sings the hell out of that score. Peak Streisand.

by Anonymousreply 149May 7, 2024 11:01 AM

Streisand as we know was not a warm and fuzzy person but she played one beautifully in this film. Along with being a mercenary tower of strength. Which we know she was.

by Anonymousreply 150May 7, 2024 11:05 AM

R150 is Linda Richman.

by Anonymousreply 151May 7, 2024 11:07 AM

Actually, Thornton Wilder's brilliant original script of THE MATCHMAKER describes a lot of the physical business that was ultimately done in the millinery shop in HELLO DOLLY! onstage and in the film.

by Anonymousreply 152May 7, 2024 12:39 PM

Kelly choreograph Cyd Charisse's Baby, You Knock Me Out! or Dolores Gray's Thanks a Lot But No Thanks in IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER? Those are by far the two best numbers in that flaccid film.

by Anonymousreply 153May 7, 2024 12:41 PM

[quote]I know Champion did not work on the film. And if true that Kelly took no staging from Champion in the comic scenes then Kelly's work was all the more wonderful.

I would say that both Streisand and Matthau are great in the comic scenes, but most of the other actors (Crawford, Lockin, McAndrew, Peaker) are not. Plus, of course, Crawford's entire performance is pretty much unwatchable and unlistenable. Also, the performance by that unfortunate woman who played Gussie Grainger/Ernestina Simple has got to be one of the least funny of all time. So to me, this indicates that Kelly's direction of those scenes was poor, and Streisand and Matthau were great in them anyway because they knew what they were doing when left to their own devices.

by Anonymousreply 154May 7, 2024 2:13 PM

Poor Danny Lockin though. What a sad ending to his life.

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by Anonymousreply 155May 7, 2024 2:39 PM

Please don’t open that link…my apologies

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by Anonymousreply 156May 7, 2024 2:41 PM

Yes, R155. We know.

by Anonymousreply 157May 7, 2024 2:41 PM

Grainger is good. Simple is pretty stupid. What were they thinking? The whole hat shop sequence is the comic highlight of the film. A complex scene which as much as one dislikes some of these actors works like clockwork. I hate Crawford in every moment of this film but Kelly's idiot wife(the last young one, an old dick wants what it wants) wanted him in it. And he at this moment in time had some name value from the hit British film The Knack and A Funny Thing....

by Anonymousreply 158May 7, 2024 5:16 PM

Think we need another thread for Hello Dolly.

by Anonymousreply 159May 7, 2024 5:30 PM

Dolly and Irene aren't supposed to be contemporaries.

by Anonymousreply 160May 7, 2024 5:30 PM

[quote] I hate Crawford in every moment of this film but Kelly's idiot wife the last young one

The last, the young one, was Patricia Ward whom he married in 1990. Hello Dolly was made in 1968. At that time Kelly was married to Jeanne Coyne (Stanley Donen's ex).

by Anonymousreply 161May 7, 2024 5:34 PM

Why didn't Champion direct movies? He had one shot in 1974 with Bank Shot which was a huge flop but why nothing before or after? His IMDB suggests he had a fair amount of experience and he certainly had the vision. Was he considered for Dolly the movie?

by Anonymousreply 162May 8, 2024 12:56 AM

Good question, r162! It may be that Champion was in such high demand as a Broadway director, his scheduled was too booked up to be available for big screen musicals which took a long time commitment in pre-production, production and post-production.

by Anonymousreply 163May 8, 2024 1:11 AM

Champion was supposed to direct a film version of CARNIVAL! I'm not sure why that didn't happen, but here is Gower with Chita Rivera in Chita's screen test for the role of Rosalie.

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by Anonymousreply 164May 8, 2024 5:20 AM

Talented but pretentious. No cool like Astaire. I’ll never forget the long close up in SITR after the Gotta Dance number.

by Anonymousreply 165May 8, 2024 5:32 AM

R164 its a good thing he didn't because Rosalie would have gone to Rita. That screen test is pretty gruesome.

by Anonymousreply 166May 8, 2024 5:50 AM

I always found Gene Kelly's screen persona hard to take. He practically quivers with self-delight during his solo dance numbers. R165 mentioned the loooong close-up of Kelly at the end of the "Gotta Dance" number, and it is pretty insufferable. I hated that big fake grin Kelly always had plastered on his face.

by Anonymousreply 167May 8, 2024 6:04 AM

Really, R166? I think Chita's CARNIVAL screen test is delightful.

by Anonymousreply 168May 8, 2024 2:28 PM

[quote]I always found Gene Kelly's screen persona hard to take. He practically quivers with self-delight during his solo dance numbers. [R165] mentioned the loooong close-up of Kelly at the end of the "Gotta Dance" number, and it is pretty insufferable. I hated that big fake grin Kelly always had plastered on his face.

I tend to agree with you, but I think that big grin at the end of "Broadway Melody" is fine, because the whole number is supposed to be a fantasy of a big production number that's going to be added to THE DANCING CAVALIER.

by Anonymousreply 169May 8, 2024 2:30 PM

Made Barbara Eden get an abortion.

by Anonymousreply 170May 8, 2024 2:35 PM

R170 😧😧😧😧

Barbara Eden was a bit of a party girl, wasn’t she?

by Anonymousreply 171May 8, 2024 4:06 PM

R168, Chita was only 30 at the time and easily looked 50.

by Anonymousreply 172May 8, 2024 5:07 PM

They all looked old back then, and that video wasn't exactly flattering.

by Anonymousreply 173May 8, 2024 5:08 PM

R173, Rita didn't. That's why she had the career on TV and film.

by Anonymousreply 174May 8, 2024 5:11 PM

r161: Stanley Donen was offered the HELLO, DOLLY! movie and turned it down.

by Anonymousreply 175May 8, 2024 5:26 PM

Kelly prided himself as being a muscular jock - so it's no surprise the only dancer he was envious of was Gene Nelson. This number must have made Kelly ill.

In THAT'S DANCING!, which Kelly was closely involved and narrated, here are tons of Kelly clips, but only brief one of Gene Nelson dancing to "Kansas City" in OKLAHOMA !

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by Anonymousreply 176May 8, 2024 5:40 PM

Maybe Nelson should have changed his first name.

by Anonymousreply 177May 8, 2024 6:26 PM

Streisand said that Kelly was in way over his head with Hello Dolly and that she had to direct her own scenes in the picture.

No wonder Barbra hates that movie, between an incompetent director and an asshole co-star.

by Anonymousreply 178May 8, 2024 6:43 PM

It was only her second, SECOND MOVIE. How did she know he was in over his head, because he refused to let her micro-manage him?

by Anonymousreply 179May 8, 2024 7:15 PM

R178 = Jason Gould, ensuring his place in Mom’s will.

by Anonymousreply 180May 8, 2024 7:22 PM

R180 Silly boy. I cut you out when you ruined Prince of Tides.

by Anonymousreply 181May 8, 2024 7:29 PM

Jason, go downstairs to the mall and get your mom a wafflecone.

by Anonymousreply 182May 8, 2024 7:30 PM

R134 My mom, also a dancer, wasn't that impressed with Gene as a dancer (she thought Donald O'Connor was the best) but she thought he was sexy and said "he can put his shoes under my bed any time."

by Anonymousreply 183May 12, 2024 11:49 PM

But Gene has always been my favorite dancer.

by Anonymousreply 184May 12, 2024 11:51 PM

I've never cared for Gene Kelly. As a dancer, Fred Estaire was superior. Even Michael Jackson was better than Gene.

by Anonymousreply 185May 13, 2024 12:01 AM

Fred E. Stair was quite good.

by Anonymousreply 186May 13, 2024 12:37 AM

I don't understand why MGM wouldn't loan out Gene Kelly and Grace Kelly to Sam Goldwyn for Guys And Dolls (especially since MGM ended up distributing the picture).

by Anonymousreply 187May 13, 2024 12:40 AM

Robert Osborne, TCM magazine 2007:

I didn’t know Kelly well, but I enjoyed his company enormously: he had great Irish charm and I always found him kind, self-effacing and a pleasure to be around.

by Anonymousreply 188May 13, 2024 12:59 AM

R185 Oh, please. Herky jerky Michael Jackson? He couldn't hold a candle to Kelly.

by Anonymousreply 189May 13, 2024 2:09 AM

R188, And he let me blow him.

by Anonymousreply 190May 13, 2024 10:02 AM

Osborne, whom I adore, was a system flack and would never have said anything negative about a major MGM star, unless it was obliquely blaming Judy Garland for her addiction and mental health issues.

by Anonymousreply 191May 13, 2024 11:18 AM

R191 So are you suggesting he made up what he said and it wasn't true?

by Anonymousreply 192May 13, 2024 1:07 PM

Osborne could have said something neutrally complimentary, as he was wont to do, but saying you enjoyed someone's company "enormously" seems genuine.

by Anonymousreply 193May 13, 2024 1:10 PM

Gene was competitive, and when Judy Garland added the Get Happy number to Summer Stock (1950) weeks after the film was finished, he insisted he get a solo number as well - understandable, since she already had a couple of solos in the film and he had none. That's when he added the number where he tore the newspaper with his feet, in the barn. These were the two best numbers in the film.

He's always gotten credit for being understanding and trying to help her get through Summer Stock (her last MGM picture) because she had been so kind to him while making his first film with her, For Me And My Gal.

Probably neither one was a piece of cake to work with.

by Anonymousreply 194May 13, 2024 1:18 PM

[quote]I've never cared for Gene Kelly. As a dancer, Fred Estaire was superior. Even Michael Jackson was better than Gene.

Seeing how their styles of dancing were completely, totally different, your attempt at comparison is ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 195May 13, 2024 2:31 PM

[quote]when Judy Garland added the Get Happy number to Summer Stock

Judy herself demanded another number?

by Anonymousreply 196May 13, 2024 3:24 PM
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