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January 24-30, 2007

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This Week's Revivals

By Richard von Busack


Movie Times An American in Paris/Singin' in the Rain
(1951/1952) The Gershwin score is the salient feature of the Gene Kelly/Leslie Caron musical An American in Paris, which introduced America to French Impressionism. Nina Foch and Oscar Levant co-star. BILLED WITH Singin' in the Rain, which is much closer to my idea of perfection. It is a wise-guy parody of the early days of sound film, with Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor conniving to help a pretty but squawky actress (Jean Hagen) make the transition to sound. Hagen's comic relief is deathless: no one will forget her Ode to a Movie Star's Sacrifice: "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'." (Plays Jan 26-28 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.)

Movie Times Noir City 5
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