National Champions

National Champions

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2nd Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Catching A Movie In Downtown Clemson, 1951

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)

Today’s photo is from downtown Clemson in 1951 as a group of cadets are lining up to see the popular musical "An American in Paris" staring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

The movie is a great diversion from classes and the Korean War, which is hovering over the senior cadets at Clemson. During the Korean War, 1,500 Clemson graduates would be deployed and 20 would lose their life.

An American in Paris is a 1951 MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, and Nina Foch, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner.

The music is by George Gershwin, with lyrics by his brother Ira, with additional music by Saul Chaplin, the music director. The story of the film is interspersed with dance numbers choreographed by Gene Kelly and set to Gershwin's music. Songs and music include "I Got Rhythm", "I'll Build A Stairway to Paradise", " 'S Wonderful", and "Our Love is Here to Stay".

The climax of the film is "The American in Paris" ballet, a 16 minute dance featuring Kelly and Caron set to Gershwin's An American in Paris. The ballet alone cost more than $500,000.

The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Best Musical Score among other awards. Interestingly, Gene Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award that year for "his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film." It was Kelly’s only Oscar.

(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).

Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com