It's Always Fair Weather


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This was a group presentation I gave this year for my third year American Film class at Queen's University. Here we examine MGM's It's Always Fair Weather starring Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse and Michael Kidd. Our presentation focused on the Arthur Freed unit, the relationship between Gene Kelly and Stephen Donen, the emergence of TV, masculinity and kitsch culture.

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It's Always Fair Weather

  1. 1. It’s Always Fair Weather By Lisa Aalders, BenBourgon, Caroline Klimek and Jamie Vaughan Film301 November 2, 2011
  2. 2. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955) Topics:• 1950s America• The MGM MusicalMachine• Emergence of Television• Stylistic Conventions• Consumption andAdvertising• Crisis of Masculinity andthe Working Woman
  3. 3. 1950s America
  4. 4. Can you think of any otherinstances in the film where there is a clear social class divide or where there is a clear opinion given regarding communism or capitalism?
  5. 5. MGM Musicals
  6. 6. Arthur Freed Freed with Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen.
  7. 7. Stanley and Donen and It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
  8. 8. Gene Kelly
  9. 9. 1951 An American in Paris1952 Singin’ in the Rain1953 The Wild One The Band Wagon1954 On the Waterfront1955 It’s Always Fair Weather Guys and Dolls East of Eden Rebel without a Cause
  10. 10. According to Michael Wood in “Darkness in the Dance” in America in the Movies,“Fred Astaire is a style, but Gene Kelly isa state of mind, almost an ideology… it is the American mood which found its metaphor in Kelly’s brash confidence”. How does Gene Kelly’s character in Its Always Fair Weather represent postwar America?
  11. 11. Emergence of Television
  12. 12. Rejection of the Television Aesthetic
  13. 13. Through its style and presentation, how does It’s Always Fair Weather differentiate the medium of filmfrom television? Is it successful in this effort?
  14. 14. What is the effect of the use of montage to represent thepassage of time and (what was then) recent history? Does it allow the depicted plights of these men an appropriate emotional weight?
  15. 15. Advertising and Consumption
  16. 16. Why do you think the filmmakerschose to almost attack the world of television advertising in this film?
  17. 17. Crisis of Masculinity and the Working Woman
  18. 18. The Time For Parting Though the time has come for parting , And the future lies unknown, Although the years may come between us, We will never feel aloneFor friends we are now and friends we’ll stay Until we meet again one wonderful day For though the time has come for parting, We’ll be friends until we die
  19. 19. War
  20. 20. Jackie Leighton
  21. 21. Discussion Questions
  22. 22. What did you think of Tim the bartender?How does he represent postwar America?
  23. 23. What did you think about the ending? Was it a happy, bittersweet or just problematic?
  24. 24. Which do you prefer Singin’ in theRain or It’s Always Fair Weather?
  25. 25. Why is Singin’ in the Rain on #1on AFI’s best musicals when It’sAlways Fair Weather isn’t even on the list?
  26. 26. How does this film anticipate contemporary TV culture?
  27. 27. Would this film’s criticism oftelevision apply to contemporary TV programming? Is television necessarily insincere because of its reliance on advertising?