HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vox Lux
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
Robert the Bruce
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
   
 
  On the Town Big Apple-y Ever AfterBuy this film here.
Year: 1949
Director: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen, Florence Bates, Alice Pearce, George Meader, Hans Conried
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Romance
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: It is 5.57 on a summer's morning in New York City, and a dock worker has just arrived for his shift, lamenting that he'd rather be in bed. Suddenly a hoard of sailors streams from a nearby ship and three of them - Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) start to sing the city's praises, looking forward to all the fun they'll have during their twenty-four hour leave. Chip, the youngest, wants to see as many of the sights there as possible, and as none of them have ever been there before they agree, for a couple of hours at least. Then Gabey and Ozzie decide the one thing they really need to make their stay worthwhile is a woman - well, three of them...

A huge success in its day and credited as one of the films that made location shooting popular in American films as this was the first musical to use the technique, On the Town still has quite a few fans who regard it on a par with the Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen movie which came next, Singin' in the Rain. It's not quite that good, and could have done with a measure of that follow-up's self-mockery, as here all that exuberance is intended to be taken at face value and more than one viewer has been left finding this somewhat overbearing. But that apparently endless energy does make this something special, whether it wears you out or not.

Another appealing aspect to modern eyes is that sauciness, as it is under no illusions about all those stories of what sailors really like to do on shore leave in a big city. So with the women who Chip and Ozzie pair off with there's no doubt about what these ladies have in mind when they get their very own military man for a day, with Ann Miller's scientist singing us a song about how she prefers a primitive man, with suggestive lyrics concerning bearskin (bare skin?!) and tom-toms. Miller plays Claire, who Ozzie falls for, while Betty Garrett plays cabdriver Hildy who aims to teach the green Chip a thing or two, and indeed does exactly that.

But before you go thinking this is one step above cheerful sleaze, there's the Kelly plotline to be taken into account. He latches onto the girl he sees on a poster on the subway, that month's "Miss Turnstiles", actually so-called cooch dancer Ivy (Vera-Ellen) who has dreams of making it as a proper ballerina. They meet cute, then she rushes off to her classes leaving Gabey with the rest of the day to track her down, which he does more through perseverance than luck, at her college of performing arts. They get to talking properly and wind up agreeing to meet at the top of the Empire State Building at half past eight, though oh dear, Gabey has an idea that her title is far more prestigious than it actually is and she is not about to let him down.

It's nice that the other two women are well aware that Ivy isn't really a celebrity but go along with her story anyway, as that initial brashness gives way to an unexpected sweetness. We still have one of those Gene Kelly ballets to sit through, which tells us nothing we didn't know and doesn't even have many of the other main cast members appearing in it, but the film recovers with a headlong rush into pure romance, with a car chase to boot. Although that location work was much trumpeted, there's more studio material than there is business on the streets of New York, but it does operate as a genuine tribute to the most famous city in the world, with the most famous song about it too, until Sinatra sang a different "New York, New York" later in his career at any rate. If you can take it blazing brightness and it doesn't give you a headache, then you can easily see why Kelly and his collaborators thought so highly of it. Music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens, with lyrics by the famed Adolph Green and Betty Comden team, who also wrote the script.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3215 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: