On the Town (1949)

On the Town
Directed by Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Written by Adolph Green and Betty Comden based on their stage musical
(number 285)

One of those movies which I feel like I probably should have seen already, given how much I love High Society and Singin’ in the Rain. It’s the same kind of shiny, big white teeth, randomly breaking into tap dance thing and it’s a good, interesting comedy as well. There’s no dull moments, a somewhat twisty story which keeps you engaged and of course – brilliant performances. I do love me some Gene Kelly.

Just another unrealistic standard for women to live up to..

I quite enjoyed the sexual freedom of the modern man/prehistoric man song and dance up until it got racist. Thankfully that bit was over pretty fast. But how cool is it that this is a movie from 1949 which not only shows a woman keeping her war job post war (“I never give up anything I like”) and has a woman who knows she’s into men and then sings a whole song full of double entendre about how she loves ‘bear skin’ and ‘tom toms’.

The ‘You’re awful’ song is quite a lot like negging, It’s like ‘you’re awful…’ bad reaction from the girl “…ly pretty.” But I dunno, it’s pretty cute at the same time? Damn crooners making everything sound good. Plus her little stripey dress and yellow jacket combo is A++ gorgeous. Also helps that she had verses where she insult/complimented him back.

Does it make me love the people? Hells yes. Poor old Gabey with his love at first sight obsession, not too sure why Chip rebuffs Hilde at first since she’s so awesome and Ozzie… well, Ozzie doesn’t so much have a personality but Claire is awesome and she likes him so. They’re all musical characters, they don’t do too much wrong. There’s a little making fun of Lucy but Gabey’s telling her at the end of their date that he isn’t that into her was very sweetly handled and I appreciated that.

Gabey: You know, somewhere in the world there’s a right girl for every boy. I guess I found the one for me before I even met you. I tried, but I ca

Bechdel test: hrm, yes Brunhilde talks to her roommate Lucy about her illness and how she should be at work. Also Claire and Brunhilde sort of trade lines when the police are searching for Ozzie, sort of. also this..

Claire (having just kissed Ozzie): I was just doing a bit of research.
Brunhilde: Dr. Kinsey, I presume.

Best line:

Claire: You oughta feel proud that three sailors from the United States Navy got off the ship for one day, and what did they do? Were they thirsty for hard liquor? No. They were thirsty for culture. Were they running after girls? No. They came running to the museum to see your dinosaur. For months out at sea they were dreaming about your dinosaur.

State of Mind: Why didn’t I watch this with Anna? I mean really. Now I’m going to have to watch it again! It’s good fun, some unexpected innuendo, some excellent songs and dances and some poor choices which are about right for the time it was made (blackface? :(). It’s a great piece of tourist advertising for New York, I really want to go there now. I hear it’s a wonderful town…

Watched movie count

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