ON THE TOWN
1949, Warner Bros., 98 min, USA, Dir: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin are three sailors on leave in New York who find romance - and plenty of song and dance - with Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller and Betty Garrett over the course of their day at liberty in the big city. The creative team of Kelly and Donen, producer Arthur Freed and writers Adolph Green and Betty Comden would reunite three years later to make SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.


TWO FOR THE ROAD
1967, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen and screenwriter Frederic Raphael relate the ups and downs of a marriage via vignettes that goes back and forth in time, focusing on various road trips through Europe, at different stages of a relationship in this ultra-60s, offbeat romantic comedy. In career highlight performances, Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn are a husband and wife who can't stand each other, yet can't stand to be apart. With mod fashions by Mary Quandt and Paco Rabonne among other hip designers of the day.


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
1952, Warner Bros., 103 min, Dir: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

On a short list of the greatest screen musicals ever made, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN began with legendary MGM producer Arthur Freed giving screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green a stack of songs he'd written early in his career (with partner Nacio Herb Brown) - including "Broadway Melody," "You Are My Lucky Star" and the title song - with the simple request to weave a story around the numbers. What emerged was a sublime marriage of song and dance, innocence and nostalgia, heart-tugging romance and surreal comedy (especially in co-star Donald O'Connor's show-stopping "Make ’Em Laugh" routine). Co-director Kelly shines as silent-movie idol Don Lockwood, whose career (and leading lady, hilariously played by Jean Hagen) are imperiled by the coming of sound - until he hooks up with lovely ingenue Debbie Reynolds. The brilliant supporting cast includes Millard Mitchell, Douglas Fowley and the great Cyd Charisse, whose long-legged "Broadway Melody" ballet with Kelly nearly steals the show!


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