Thursday, June 30, 2011

On the Town (1949)

Feels like this musical starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelley should have an exclamation point after the title. The plot, adapted from a Broadway play, sounds absolutely fabulous, both for what it includes (three sailors on twenty-four-hour shore leave explore New York and fall in love) and what it doesn't (what three sailors on twenty-four-hour shore leave would spend most of their time doing in New York). Sinatra's acting ability always pleasantly surprises me, and a few of the songs ("New York, New York"; "You Can Count on Me") are classics. The film was ranked nineteen on AFI's list of American musicals, which bodes well. Also, the prospect of watching this movie makes me happy because of a favorite family story: When my grandfather was a sailor on twenty-four-hour shore leave in New York, he saw Frank Sinatra in a bar (one example of what sailors actually did). My grandfather being my grandfather, shouted out "Hey, Frank!" They talked and he got his autograph . . . on his leave papers that he had to turn in to get back on the ship. But I've had a soft spot for Frank ever since. This one should be fun.

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