It's Always Fair Weather Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2010
A disappointment. Ordinary musical from the end period of the great MGM muscials. Gene's number on roller skates is memorable but everything else is just so much filler.
Super Reviewer
November 20, 2008
Gene Kelly is great at being an adorable cad who has a thousand times more potential than he expends. I think that is because he is/was one in real life. It's got a little more of an edge than usual MGM tapdancing spectacles and I think they made a little bit more of a effort in attaining originality in the dance numbers - with the garbage can pails and the ROLLERSKATES (ohh my gosh). I only wish Cyd Charisse had danced in more numbers. I still say she and Gene Kelly have the best dancing chemistry - she's such a gazelle and he's such a kloofing klomphing dreamboat. The ending was a dream. I love that these movies mandatorily have to end happily.
April 22, 2014
As a musical, it's pretty horrible. But the comedic elements of the story worked well enough to keep it afloat.
May 27, 2013
I did like this movie. It was very slow moving. Gene Kelly did a fabulous job again and the scene dancing by himself on roller skates was great. I am glad a saw this movie and if you like musicals, I would recommend you see it, but I would not buy it or see it again.
July 4, 2011
Yep, you can "Give Me That Old Song & Dance", as the expression goes, any ol' time.Especially if it includes a Stellar Cast such as this Dream Team of Gene Kelly, Cyd Charisse,& Dan Daily, all of which are favorites of mine on their own, together, Sheer Combustion!!!! Really great Story too, about what happens after the War is Over, to those Friendships, ones "Best Laid Plans", & to our Dreams & what happens in reality.They Plan to meet up 10 years later, & nothing has gone as planned for any of them (just like OUR real lives).They are put on the Spot by one of those "This Is Your Life" type TV shows that were popular back then,and.........let's just say this Film has more than just the usual Fluff & Stuff of the average Musical.
March 6, 2010
One of Gene Kelly's best films, it's also one of his darkest, built around themes of alienation and frustration. The cinematography and editing are groundbreaking, including masterful use of splitscreen. The production numbers also enter new territory, with a "rollerskate dance" that must be seen to be believed. All the key performances are fine, and the script is tight. Unfortunately, we never get to see Kelly and Cyd Charisse dance together (except in a deleted scene on the DVD).
January 19, 2009
This was exactly the mood I was in the night I watched it. A good ol' cheesy, contrived, let's-burst-into-song-and-dance-while-we're-walking-down-the-street, walk-off-into-the-sunset-at-the-end 1950's movie musical. And that's exactly what it was and therefore it was very satisfying. As far as said GOCCL-B-I-S-A-D-W-W-W-D-T-SW-O-I-T-S-A-T-E-1MMs go (gah, that was ridiculous) it wasn't nearly as good as Singin' in the Rain, but it was a heck of a lot better than, say, There's No Business Like Show Business. Most of the songs were enjoyable, while not memorable, and there were actually quite a few dance scenes that made us go, "Whoa. That would be....rather hard." Pretty decent entertainment.
½ July 10, 2008
Kelly & Donen's third outing and also their least recognized. while the plot was choppier and more melancholy than the usual fare of a golden age musical, it still had its shining moments of amazing choreography, clever editing, touching musical numbers, and a nice bite of satire. TV barely makes a name for itself and already it's getting called out...brilliant.
May 8, 2007
It was pretty much a flop when it came out, but it's really a fun, quirky musical. Don't miss: Gene Kelly on roller skates and the awkward "singing in their heads" scene in the restaurant.
December 18, 2013
Sheer awesomeness. Sharp and cynical.
½ June 7, 2012
Leaving Me to Reflect on Changes in How We Connect

The first I became aware of this movie was also the first I became aware of the concept of pan-and-scan. I saw it many years ago, when [i]Siskel and Ebert[/i] did an episode about the concept of letterboxing. Remember, when I was a kid, all home movie release was in fullscreen. On TV, on VHS--if you saw a movie at home, you saw it filling your screen. And I was young enough so that I'd never really considered that it was a different ratio than appeared on movie screens. Of course, neither had a lot of people older than I. Occasionally, Roger and Gene would--presumably in weeks where not much interesting was coming out in the theatre--do special episodes where they talked about something important to them. They did colorization, and in this particular episode, they did pan-and-scan. This movie was used as an example of what you're missing when they cut off the sides of the picture, and it's true that I've seldom seen a movie where the sides of the picture were so important.

It is October of 1945. Three buddies have returned from Europe; they are Ted Riley (Gene Kelly), Doug Hallerton (Dan Dailey), and Angie Valentine (Michael Kidd). They tell bartender Tim (David Burns) that they will always be friends, and they bet him a dollar each that they will come back ten years later, still friends. And those ten years go by. Doug becomes an ad man. Angie opens a hamburger stand. Ted sort of drifts, I think. Doug's wife wants a divorce, because he isn't the man he used to be. Angie and his wife have four kids. And Ted just kind of picks up girls. When they meet again, they have nothing in common. Doug's company does the ads for a product called Klenzrite, which sponsors a show starring a woman named Madeline Bradville (Dolores Gray). Her interesting guest, a recovering alcoholic, has gone off and gotten drunk. So executive Jackie Leighton (Cyd Charisse) suggests the story of three old Army buddies . . . .

I'm not sure I'd quite label this as satirical, though everyone else seems to. It's using the tools of its age--television is a major plot device, for example--but it takes it rather straight. Yes, Jackie gets an implausible dance number with a bunch of boxers, but that's just a staple of the genre, and it doesn't come across as tongue-in-cheek. I think the issue is more that most of the movie [i]doesn't[/i] happen in that sort of world. Yes, the boxing number. And the really exquisite dance Gene Kelly does on roller skates, which is alone reason enough to watch this movie. I mean, it just shouldn't be possible to tap dance on roller skates and then glide off. But the story actually relies on a certain amount of realism. After ten years, these guys don't have much to say to one another, because they've led incredibly different lives. The boxing game is full of shadowy and threatening characters. And doing what's expected of you can make you into a relatively unpleasant person.

Famously, this movie didn't do very well in the theatres, and it's generally considered to have been part of the death knell of the MGM musical. It's true that it is a darker movie than a lot of the others, and the story is not really about Gene Kelly wooing Cyd Charisse in song. Heck, they didn't even get a musical number together in this picture. Honestly, I think part of the popularity of Facebook is that it lets us deny that people can grow apart after years distant. It's true that I have a few friends with whom I may well have more in common now than I did in high school, but I know there's at least one I've substantially grown apart from. We like to believe that we can just walk back into our friends' lives, and this movie is based on the premise that we really can't. Yes, we know they'll be friends again somehow, because movies require happy endings, but they have to get back to who they'd been before they can be friends. The only reason the movie works is that they want to.

Oh, it's still not my favourite musical. Not even my favourite MGM musical. And my understanding is that Gene Kelly was such a pain to work with here that Stanley Donen, his codirector, never made another MGM musical--and basically stopped speaking to Gene Kelly. Kelly had Michael Kidd's musical number cut, because the whole "singing to kids" thing was his schtick. He also really wanted it clear that the movie was about him, so it's lucky (I guess; I don't like it much) that Dailey's "Saturation-Wise" number got left in. I will say that it's important character development which would have been lost, which Kidd's "Jack and the Beanstalk" (preserved now as an extra on the DVD and missing most of the lyrics) is not. However, it's worthwhile to see that musicals can be more than just lighthearted pursuit of a girl and not get into Sondheim territory. Sondheim wouldn't have let us have a happily-ever-after, of course.
August 18, 2011
"It's Always Fair Weather" was one of the last big budget MGM musicals, and I gotta say, it's not half bad. Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, and Micheal Kidd are soldiers who make a plan-- in ten years, they will meet at their favorite bar, and make a bet to see who shows up. The ten years go by fast, Dan gets married, Micheal gets married and has two kids, and Gene becomes a boxing coach or, hood if you like it. The day comes when they meet again, and it isn't so good-- they have all changed since they last met, and none of them like each other. But then a TV reporter, Cyd Charisse, thinks it would be just great if they had the three guys on televion special "Midnight with Madeline" starring Dolores Gray. Gene ends up falling for Cyd, which makes things shape up a little more, but who knows what the other two guys will do? "Singin' the Rain" it's not, but like all of the other musicals of the past years, this one is still a charmer. Sure it isn't as good-- Kelly and Dailey are showing their age and Cinemascope doesn't look as good as Technicolor, but there's always something so nice about having Cyd and Gene in a movie together that this somehow works. Musicals were coming to a bitter end, and the biggest problem for me was how crappy the songs were. Some are dumb and catchy, but I only saw this an hour ago and I forgot every song. A shame. There's not too many dances either, but I guess Kelly's famous dance on roller skates perks it up a little bit. But like I said earlier, this movie proves why musicals weren't going too well. If they had just sidelined with the rock 'n roll genre, something could have happened. Too late now. "It's Always Fair Weather" is just fair.
July 17, 2011
I've watched this musical many times, and have yet to bond with it. It has excellent musical numbers, and you can't fault the stars - each of whom does what they do best - but this is a musical that just simply goes nowhere. So, an entertaining musical for the songs and musical numbers, but the story/plot are almost non-existent...
½ February 18, 2011
I really liked this movie. A few of the Gene Kelly movies I've seen recently have just been fluff to fill-in the space between Kelly's musical/dance number. I feel like this movie had a lot more in the way of plot. The ending was touching.

That's not to dismiss the music and dance. Featured is one of Kelly's most impressive numbers in which he tap dances in roller skates. It really is a sight to see! Cyd Charisse also has a great number in a boxing gym. The songs are alright, but nothing memorable.

Highly recommended.
December 28, 2009
It's Always Fair Weather is a musical about three war buddies who return from service after the war is won, get drunk, and agree to meet back at that very bar in ten years. Fast forward through an interesting and entertaining "10 Year Montage", the men reunite as promised and find they have nothing in common anymore.

The premise of the film had me interested. I thought that it might be a musical featuring an ensemble cast. Gene Kelly has always had a kind of brash attitude, and to be honest, it's a little overbearing some times. I was enticed by the idea of him as one among three, as a supporting character role, allowing his personality to not overbear me. Unfortunately, I should have realized this was studio-era Hollywood. Kelly is the clear star of the film, with Michael Kidd, one of his war buddies, barely getting a single scene to himself.

The film is like so many other musicals in its plot and characters, but it was a mold that was always used then, so I'll talk about how this film does as preset musical. We get to hear the characters' thoughts a lot, sometimes in song form. There's a really playful tune to The Blue Danube when the guys meet that makes use of the characters' dissonance between their actions and thoughts.

There's also some good dance numbers, one involving trash can lids and a very memorable scene featuring Gene Kelly on roller skates. I've seen many Kelly films and this may be the most impressive thing I've ever seen him do. There's certainly a lot of fun and energy in this picture.

For me, the weak characters and story attenuate my interest in this musical as they have in so many others. I do, however, admire its impressive dance scenes and uniquely expressed songs. I'm fairly neutral toward It's Always Fair Weather, but musical fans and Kelly fans will almost certainly have a good time.

Final rating: 6/10

--James A. Janisse
March 1, 2007
[font=Trebuchet MS]The directing team of Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly- most famous for the classic [i]Singin' in the Rain[/i]- started to branch out into more unusual musical projects in the years following it, and [i]It's Always Fair Weather[/i] is a clear example of that: an acerbic, downbeat story of WWII soldiers coming back together after ten years and finding they don't fit together so well together anymore, and somehow get involved in a manipulative tv segment presented by a temperamental singer. The storyline doesn't really serve a musical, but nevertheless, there are several good moments here, from the gorgeous Cyd Charisse's dance in the boxing hall to Gene Kelly's roller skate number. And Dolores Gray has an absolute ball as the over-the-top, demanding and rather ludicrous presenter. Worth a watch.

Full review to come.
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