Friday, December 3, 2010

Favourite Things Friday: Gene Kelly

Any man who looks like a sissy while dancing is just a lousy dancer. –Gene Kelly

If you could spend a day with any one person in history, living or dead {boundaries of time, distance and money are not an object} who would you choose to meet? For me, it would have to be Gene Kelly, circa 1952, and I would want to spend the day doing dance lessons. Oh, and I might ask him to sing while we dance.

You know the theory that there are only six degrees of separation between you and any other person on the planet? It all depends on who you know :wink:. I have this amazing friend, Sparkle, and Sparkle's Grandma-in-law took dancing lessons from Gene Kelly. That's only two degrees between me and Gene Kelly :faint:. If Sparkle were to introduce me to her Gram-in-law, Gram could introduce me to Gene Kelly. And I could have those dancing lessons. If Gene hadn't died in 1996. Details. Whatever. This is my Land of Make-Believe.

My crush on Gene Kelly started when I was about 16. Around that time, I started having problems with insomnia and the only thing on TV at 2:00 am were old movies on PBS. I loved them all, but soon decided that my favorites were the musicals and among the musicals, the ones starring Gene Kelly were my most favorite. I started to watch the TV listings for his movies and make a point to be there for them. Singin' in the Rain is one of my all-time favorites. Debbie Reynolds is absolutely adorable, Donald O'Connor is fabulous as the comic relief and The Man himself is unstoppable. He had a fever of 103˚ when he shot this scene. You'd never know it.

Did you know that Gene Kelly taught Frank Sinatra to dance using baseball moves? Gene was incredibly talented and graceful. It is one thing to look graceful in tap shoes, but a wholly other thing to do it on roller skates. From It's Always Fair Weather, 1955.

These next two clips pair Gene Kelly with another of my favorite performers, Julie Andrews, and they are just delightful. From The Julie Andrews Hour.

And last, but not least, from 1980 {and probably the first Gene Kelly movie I ever saw}, Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly with Whenever You're Away From Me from Xanadu. At 68, he still gives a wonderful performance. Sorry about the sound and picture quality. It was the best I could find of the entire clip.

Quoting Irving Berlin, Gene Kelly's last words recorded on film were, The song has ended, but the melody lingers on. And while Gene Kelly is no longer with us his, music, his dance, his melody lingers and will remain forever in my heart.

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Shevvy said...

I agree, singing in the rain is one of the best films ever and Gene Kelly was amazing. On The Town is a great film as well.

Marg said...

I love SInging in the Rain, and it's very appropriate for here right now.
Gene Kelly was a fabulous dancer and singer, I can completely understand why you would choose him.
Xanadu was a pretty ordinary movie, although as a teenager I loved it, especially the music, I still like some of the songs from it, and it was wonderful to see Gene Kelly in it.

Shay said...

My Mum tells a story about having seen Singing in The Rain at the movies here when she was perhaps 12 years old. She danced all the way home just like he did in the movie much to the surprise of everyone she met. I LOVE that movie.

Gene Kelly was a dancing genius.

Paulette said...

He makes it look so effortless, doesn't he? Love Gene Kelly and those great old dancing movies. What a fun post! That's very cool that there are only 2 degrees of separation!

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth-Gene Kelly was hot when was younger, huh? I never really noticed! Happy weekend!

Michelle said...

What a wonderful tribute! My internet is acting up, so I haven't viewed the clips you've supplied--yet.

2 degrees of separation. What a hoot! :-)

Unknown said...

Great post, E! I love favourite things friday! The clips are great. And this Sparkle Girl sounds totally awesome *winks*

mills5 said...

Oh I love Gene Kelly too, so much. It would be a dream to dance with such a graceful and talented person. Great post :)

Jennifer Lovell said...

Does my blog name "" tell you anything about my opinion on this matter? Just wondering. I LOVE me some Gene Kelly.

Larri said...

Fabulous Favourite! I've had a secret crush on Gene Kelly for years. I guess it's not a secret any more. ;o) Truly, I swoon when I watch him in all those wonderful old movies. Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday! :o)

Deb said...

Gene Kelly is my guy! Watching him has the power to instill joy.