by Rob Boylan
An American in Paris is truly a visual treat, one of those fabled films that would never get made today because we lack a true star like Gene Kelly or a director with with range of Vincente Minelli to get it done.
Kelly stars as a down-and-out painter in Paris whose love woes come two-fold: a rich old lady takes an interest in him, and at the same time he falls for a friend's girl, the lovely Leslie Caron in her debut.
The film is full of song and dance, and its one of the best uses of the Gershwins' songs (S'wonderful in particular is great), but the film's centerpiece is the wordless 17 minute ballet sequence that, like Powell and Pressburger's The Red Shoes before it, is one of the most compelling pieces of film ever shot despite the lack of dialogue.
This is the kind of film that makes me wish I had a kid to show it to just to see their face the first time they saw it.