It's Always Fair Weather
|It's Always Fair Weather|
|Produced by||Arthur Freed|
|Music by||André Previn|
|Cinematography||Robert J. Bronner|
|Editing by||Adrienne Fazan|
|Release date(s)||September 1, 1955|
|Running time||102 minutes|
|Box office||$2 million (US)|
It's Always Fair Weather is a 1955 MGM musical film scripted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who also wrote the show's lyrics, with music by André Previn and starring Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse, Michael Kidd, and Dolores Gray.
Three ex-G.I.'s have served in World War II together and become best friends. Upon returning home at the end of the war, they spend their last night together drinking in a favourite New York bar and exchanging their hopes and plans for the future. Before going their separate ways, they promise to reunite exactly ten years later at the same spot.
However, when the three men eventually meet up again, they soon realize that they have steadily grown apart in the intervening years and are now very different people. Ted is a down-on-his-luck boxing promoter. Doug is now a stuffed-shirt advertising man with an ulcer. Angie runs a small hamburger stand.
Each man is forced to face the fact that, to some extent, his present life falls short of how he had imagined it would turn out when a younger man. Circumstances reunite them when Ted falls for a beautiful woman, Jackie, who behind his back arranges for the three soldiers to appear together on a popular television program.
|This section requires expansion. (July 2010)|
- Gene Kelly as Ted Riley
- Dan Dailey as Doug Hallerton
- Cyd Charisse as Jackie Leighton
- Dolores Gray as Madeline Bradville
- Michael Kidd as Angie Valentine
- David Burns as Tim
- Jay C. Flippen as Charles Z. Culloran
Betty Comden and Adolph Green originally conceived this film as a sequel to On the Town; to reunite Gene Kelly with his On the Town co-stars Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin; it was to be produced as a Broadway show. At Kelly's insistence, however, they made it into an MGM musical. Kelly at this point in his life had been making films in Europe such as Invitation to the Dance, to take advantage of a tax law for resident Americans. But the films in Europe failed and the tax law was revoked, forcing Kelly to return to America.
Kelly asked his old friend and collaborator, Stanley Donen, to co-direct with him. Donen, who had just scored a major success with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, did not want to go back to collaborating with Kelly, but he reluctantly agreed. MGM, under new production chief Dore Schary, did not want to hire either Sinatra or Munshin; the former due to his difficult working reputation, the latter because he was not popular with audiences anymore. Ultimately, Kelly chose fellow dancers Dan Dailey, who was under contract to MGM, and Michael Kidd, who had more choreographic than acting experience (he choreographed the Broadway and film versions of Guys and Dolls, as well as The Band Wagon). Kelly was also forced to shoot the movie in Cinemascope, which he felt did not suit screen dancing. Many of the numbers in the film, such as "The Binge" and "Once Upon a Time" show Kelly's efforts to make use of Cinemascope. Comden and Green wrote the songs with André Previn providing the music as well as the accompanying score; it was his first major assignment on an MGM film.
It's Always Fair Weather received good reviews when it came out, but the studio did not open it with the fanfare it had given previous musicals. Instead it was released as part of a drive-in double bill with Bad Day at Black Rock and the studio did not make their money back. The film's bleakness may have had something to do with it; audiences at the time were not accustomed to unhappy musicals, but also, more Americans were staying at home with television than going to the movies at this time. André Previn claims the film's failure had to do with it being a musical: he feels that it would have been a good film had it not had any songs.
In recent years though, the film has gained reputation in the minds of musical aficionados and Kelly fans, who point to his tap dance on roller skates, "I Like Myself," as the last great dance solo of his career. Some[who?] have even claimed it to be a precursor to Stephen Sondheim's musicals Company and Follies, in terms of its cynical views on the nature of relationships. Scenes from the film were included in MGM's That's Entertainment, Part II, hosted by Kelly and Fred Astaire. The film itself has been shown on Turner Classic Movies.
|It's Always Fair Weather|
|Soundtrack album by André Previn|
|Label||Sony Music (1991), Rhino Handmade|
Fortunately, the original multitrack pre-recordings of the score survive to this day, having enabled Rhino Records to reissue the soundtrack in true stereo (Rhino Handmade RHM2-7766). The Original MGM soundtrack was released in 1991 by Sony Music.
- "Overture" 1:04
- "March, March" (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Michael Kidd) 1:21
- "The Binge" 5:07
- "The Time For Parting" (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Michael Kidd) 2:01
- "10-Year Montage" 2:18
- "The Blue Danube (Why Are We Here)" (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Michael Kidd) 2:30
- "Music Is Better Than Words" (Dolores Gray) 2:10
- "Stillman's Gym" (Lou Lubin) 2:10
- "Baby You Knock Me Out" (Cyd Charisse, Lou Lubin) 2:40
- "The Ad Men" (Dan Dailey, Paul Maxey) 0:48
- "Once Upon A Time" (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Michael Kidd) 3:33
- "Situation-Wise" (Dan Dailey) 2:49
- "The Chase" 1:04
- "I Like Myself" (Gene Kelly) 4:10
- "Klenzrite" (Dolores Gray) 1:34
- "Thanks A Lot, But No, Thanks" (Dolores Gray) 3:47
- "The Time For Parting (Finale)" (David Burns and chorus) 1:46
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956