It's Always Fair Weather (1955)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Comedy, Musical Romance, Reunion Films  |   Release Date - Sep 1, 1955 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

Scripted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, It's Always Fair Weather (1955) revisits On the Town (1949), but with a satirical, revisionist bite. In this send-up of musical and post-war optimism, the dreams of Army buddies Kelly, Dan Dailey, and Michael Kidd all fall apart, and their ten-year reunion is a "frost"; Dailey's bitter song "Situation-wise" takes aim at the stultifying effect of the quintessentially 1950s life of an advertising executive. Even though the trio finally bonds over a disastrous TV appearance, Fair Weather takes further aim at television's plastic insincerity and technical poverty. The film's slightly anxious putdowns of television are underlined by its own imaginative, almost competitive use of CinemaScope, particularly in the trio's energetic, un-pan-and-scannable trash can ballet, and the use of triple split screens and masking to visualize the friends' alienation. Even the musical joy emanating from the garbage can number and Kelly's impressive roller skate dance down a New York street cannot quite smooth over the underlying bitterness in It's Always Fair Weather, turning it into one of the more intriguing productions from MGM's storied Freed Unit.