“Can these be the guys I once thought I could never live without?”
Three wartime buddies (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, and Michael Kidd) pledge to meet up ten years later, only to find that they no longer have much in common with each other.
Response to Peary’s Review:
Most reviewers now concede that this delightful Stanley Donen musical has been highly underrated over the years — and they’re right! While Peary feels that the film is “surprisingly downbeat”, I was never in doubt that things would work out just fine for these three veterans, or that the ending would be anything but uplifting. Peary argues that the film “doesn’t always work”, but concedes that “it contains many bright ideas” — including the central storyline, which rings all too true: how often have we discovered that old-time friends are no longer people we’d choose to have in our lives? Meanwhile, though Peary disses the “songs by Adolph Green and Betty Comden” as “Broadway rejects”, he does call out several “musical highlights”, including “the three vets dancing with trash-can lids” and “Kelly tapping on roller skates”. Peary ends his review by questioning why we’re never given a chance to see “Kelly and Charisse dance together”; point well-taken. He also notes that viewers, if possible, should “see [the film] in the theater because the directors made special use of Cinemascope, at times dividing the screen into thirds.”
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Gene Kelly as Ted Riley
- Many wonderful dance sequences
- Impressive use of split-scene cinematography
No, but if you enjoy classic Hollywood musicals and/or Gene Kelly, definitely don’t miss this one.