Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That is how she won her Navy E!

Next up, let's talk about a couple of my favorite sailors: Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in their first film together...

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

Ah, Frank and Gene - a pair of fellas who could make any girl swoon. This was one of Frank Sinatra's earliest leading roles. I think it was one of the ones that helped define his on-screen persona as the quiet, shy, nervous charmer that he reprised in multiple films.This is my sister's favorite Gene Kelly movie and I certainly don't blame her. He's so incredibly sexy, charming, funny, and suave in this one. And to see the way he can handle a phone...

The film follows the story of two sailors on leave, Clarence (Sinatra) and Joe (Kelly). Once on shore, Clarence persuades Joe to help him find a girl. Joe reluctantly agrees and when the two are roped in to help a young boy, Donald, get home safely (Dean Stockwell in one of his earliest roles), Clarence quickly falls in love with the boy's beautiful Aunt Susie (Kathryn Grayson). As Joe attempts to bring the two together, he finds himself falling in love with Aunt Susie as well. But which one will get the girl?

There is, of course, a bit more to the plot, but that's what summaries are for, right? One tidbit that I know about this movie is, I think, a pretty well-known fact, but I'll share it anyway, just in case. Jerry the Mouse's role in "The Worry Song" was originally offered to Mickey Mouse but Walt Disney declined. I don't think he wanted his star to appear in a different production company's film. I think I read somewhere that Disney was very impressed with the end result. So that's pretty neat. As for Gene's other dancing partner... this wasn't Frank Sinatra's first musical but I believe it was his first dancing role. Gene Kelly pretty much had to teach him. When you see the end result, it's pretty incredible to think of having to learn from and keep up with Gene Kelly. Frank Sinatra, in my opinion, does really well. You can see him watching Gene as they dance in "I Begged Her" but you can hardly blame him for that.

This movie has some fantastic songs in it. Gene Kelly has a few really good dances to perform (my favorite is the "Mexican Hat Dance" he performs with the little girl) and Frank Sinatra gets to croon some mighty lovely tunes.

This is my sister's favorite Gene Kelly movie. What's yours?

All of the pictures featured in this post are from Doctor Macro.
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