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A Few Words About A few words about...™ It's Always Fair Weather -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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It's Always Fair Weather was released in the fall of 1955, as the era of classic M-G-M musicals was winding down. It's the tale of three war buddies, who go their separate ways in the decade after their return from Europe, and meet again on the M-G-M lot.

Where many of the M-G-M productions, especially those from the Freed unit have gloriously stood the test of time, and even some of his later productions shine today, this one may come in a step down.

That noted, the new Warner Archive release will be a must own for M-G-M musical fans, and Warner has done everything possible to make it as presentable as possible -- and that quite presentable.

From a tech perspective, it's a bit like a swan among a gaggle of geese, in that it's early Eastmancolor, as opposed to the then standard issue Ansco, used on Brigadoon and Seven Brides. Three-strip Technicolor was till being shot, so there's quite a mix of possibilities beginning around 1952 and going into 1955.

Dupes are cut in, which means you'll see the drop in quality, and color, which is generally pleasing, occasionally moves a bit toward cyan or overly colorful in some flesh tones. It is what it is.

When the final shot in the film hits, it's a surprise. Try and figure out why.

Even for easily Eastman, the grain structure is comfortable, along with decent black levels and shadow detail in original production photography.

It's also early CinemaScope, which gives us an aspect ratio of 2.55, along with some nice six decade old stereo.

The reason for me to watch the film?

Gene Kelly's incredible dance number -- on roller skates.


Image - 3.75

Audio - 5

4k Up-rez - 3.75

Pass / Fail - Pass

Recommended

RAH
 

Matt Hough

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I think the movie is filled with memorable songs and dances and has been underrated by many cinema fans. Each of the leads is given a cracking good spotlight number (Michael Kidd's was cut), and each of them excels. The trio dance number between the three soldiers includes that sensational garbage lid sequence.

The satire is a bit sour (according to several sources, the film's production was a nightmare of egos and conflicts) but stinging and right on the money for today giving it a more modern bent that some of MGM's earlier, sunnier musicals.

In short, I love it.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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I finally saw this last year on the Archive in SD and really enjoyed it - a bit unwieldy, a bit melancholy - looking forward to getting the disc.
 

Mikey1969

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I've always appreciated this film, although the sum is less impressive that it's parts. The tone is quite menancholy which is probably due in part to the tensions on the production side. Even Dolores Gray's prescient role as a smarmy TV host on a reality show has a brittle edge that deflates much of the fun. Are the deleted numbers included? Gene Kelly's number with Cyd Charisse is probably the worst number he ever filmed.
 

Matt Hough

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I've always appreciated this film, although the sum is less impressive that it's parts. The tone is quite menancholy which is probably due in part to the tensions on the production side. Even Dolores Gray's prescient role as a smarmy TV host on a reality show has a brittle edge that deflates much of the fun. Are the deleted numbers included? Gene Kelly's number with Cyd Charisse is probably the worst number he ever filmed.
"Love Is Nothing But a Racket" was, at Kelly's insistence, filmed at the triple the speed that Previn and Comden and Green wanted for it, so they were glad when it was cut. An album was released of Comden and Green's demos for the score, and there one can hear how it was supposed to go.
 

ahollis

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"and meet again on the MGM lot" just made me laugh out loud, not sure why, but it did.
 

Jimbo64

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For me though the number that is the best in the film is "Thanks A Lot But No Thanks."

Mine too! It always seemed those guys dancing around her were the same ones that danced around Judy in "Get Happy" a few years earlier
 

Virgoan

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For me, the musical jewel of this film is the song "The Time for Parting". At the conclusion of the film, the bartender sings it rather gruffly and then the chorus takes over and it's wrenchingly heartbreaking.

"Baby, You Knock Me Out" is a dazzler, both as a song and as a dance number

Then, there's "I Like Myself", that wonderful song and dance number involving the roller skates.

Andre Previn served up some wonderful songs, but it's too bad they weren't all of the same quality..
 

GlennF

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Mine too! It always seemed those guys dancing around her were the same ones that danced around Judy in "Get Happy" a few years earlier

Actually, at least one of them was. Bert May (I hope I got the name right) who has been written about before on the "Hello Dolly" page. He is one of the dancers here, in "Summer Stock", "Guys and Dolls", "Hello Dolly", "Ziegfeld Follies" (The "Interview" number with Garland), "Bandwagon", "Finian's Rainbow" "Words and Music" "'Til The Clouds Roll By" and many others. I actually had a mini Bert May film festival with friends one night. He was a great dancer (watch him in "Guys and Dolls"). Unfortunately, you can also watch his hair recede with each passing year. (In Finian's Rainbow he wears a straw hat the whole time.) I believe he is still alive when I did some checking a while back, but can't say for sure.
(You can search his name on IMDB and his credits come up.)
 

Edward Weinman

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...I can't believe, and have never understood, how (in the number "Baby You Knock Me Out") Cyd Charisse was swung from the gym floor, over the boxing ropes and on to the mat!! Yes, the male dancer must have had the strength of a Hercules, but Cyd's strength is just mind blowing! She always managed to do one of these dance maneuvers in each of her films: the end of the "One Alone" number from "Deep In My Heart" where James Mitchell lifts her up by her ankle while she has her two arms on his shoulders (that's probably the secret of the move otherwise her career would have ended right there!); the leg split in "The Girl Hunt" from the "Band Wagon", etc...
 

Jim*Tod

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Mine too! It always seemed those guys dancing around her were the same ones that danced around Judy in "Get Happy" a few years earlier
Yes... and especially of note is Bert May who has a long career spanning from the mid-40's (ZIEGFELD FOLLIES) to HELLO DOLLY to (lord help us all) AT LONG LAST LOVE... with many classic musicals over that time. He is still alive and I wish someone like TCM would interview him... he must have some incredible stories
 

Matt Hough

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Yes... and especially of note is Bert May who has a long career spanning from the mid-40's (ZIEGFELD FOLLIES) to HELLO DOLLY to (lord help us all) AT LONG LAST LOVE... with many classic musicals over that time. He is still alive and I wish someone like TCM would interview him... he must have some incredible stories
Would give almost anything to have someone like that who must have seen and heard everything during his years on those various lots share some dish with those of us from the era who could most appreciate it.
 

GlennF

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http://flyingdowntohollywood.blogspot.ca/2010/03/ten-tapping-troubadours.html

The above link takes you to a blog a woman has been writing about dancers. She rated Bert May as #15 and told a little about his life. If you read the comments on the page, there is one from a family member and then one from Bert May himself, in 2014, in which, unfortunately, he mentions to remain hidden like "Where's Waldo". It also mentions some more of his credits.
 

verneaux

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This movie is problematic in that you have Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse starring in a musical where they never dance together. I think the Freed unit made this film more wth their brains than with their hearts.
 

Robin9

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This movie is problematic in that you have Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse starring in a musical where they never dance together. I think the Freed unit made this film more wth their brains than with their hearts.

If they had used their brains properly, they would have realised that the fractious early relationship between the characters played by Kelly and Charisse could have been expressed best in a balletic dance. The single event that propelled Cyd Charisse forward from being a supporting player to a leading lady was the duet with Gene Kelly in Singin' In The Rain.
 

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