Gene Kelly directs three wordless dance vignettes: in “Circus”, Pierrot (Gene Kelly) longs for a beautiful dancer (Claire Sombert) who is already in love with an acrobat (Igor Youskevitch); in “Ring Around the Rosy”, a bracelet passes hands from a wealthy husband (David Paltenghi) to many others, including a prostitute (Tamara Tournanova); and in “Sinbad the Sailor”, a sailor (Kelly) and a young genie (David Kasday) dance with animated figures from the Far East.
This creative undertaking by Gene Kelly — a movie told just through dance and music, with no words — was filmed in 1952, but didn’t reach audiences until 1957, when it failed to recoup expenses; today, it comes across as a reasonably enjoyable experiment. The middle segment — “Ring Around the Rosy” (likely inspired by Ophuls’ La Ronde) — is especially well-done, and moves along at a fast clip. The first vignette — “Circus” — is the artiest, and the least interesting story-wise (though the dancing and visuals are arresting). The final story — “Sinbad the Sailor” — is guaranteed to appeal to those who enjoy live action-animation combos, but its decidedly “Orientalist” bent is dated and mildly offensive. Ultimately, this one is not for all tastes. but remains worthy viewing by all film fanatics as a unique entry in cinematic history.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Gene Kelly as Pierrot
- The enjoyable middle sequence
- David Kasday as the Little Sailor/Genie
- Creative choreography throughout
Yes, simply for its historical relevance.
Posted on July 4th, 2007 by admin
Filed under: Original Reviews