One morning, a drunken soldier and a girl get off a coach. He is a disillusioned writer going home. There he makes friends with a gambler and ends up marrying the blonde who got off the coach that morning. Sinatra, Martin and MacLaine deliver a memorable melodrama focusing on identity issues and respect for one’s neighbour. –Locarno Film Festival
Vincente Minnelli (February 28, 1903 – July 25, 1986) was a Hollywood director and stage director. His skilled integration of story, music, lighting, and design elements in a film made him the most critically respected crafter of American film musicals. With first wife Judy Garland, he was the father of Liza Minnelli.
Born Lester Anthony Minnelli in Chicago, Illinois, United States, Minnelli was the youngest surviving child of Mina Mary LaLouette Le Beau and Vincent Charles Minnelli. His father was musical conductor of Minnelli Brothers’ Tent Theater. Minnelli’s Chicago-born mother was of French Canadian descent and his paternal grandfather was from Sicily.
With his background in theatre, Minnelli was known as an auteur who always brought his stage experience to his films. The first movie that he directed, Cabin in the Sky (1943), was visibly influenced by the theater. Shortly after that, he directed Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), during which he befriended the film’s star… read more
"I don't understand you neither, but that doesn't mean I don't like you." From then on, the ridiculous 'side character' gets the center stage, an earned close-up, the carnivalesque cliché of a mask turned into a touching human face. Like the film itself, gradually becoming gloomily vigorous.
An emotionally blistering and compositionally brilliant melodrama from one of the genre's true masters. The emotional desperation is both exhausting and weirdly exhilarating, while forcing one to reconsider the darker elements in Minnelli's other films. A masterpiece, perhaps his greatest film.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2011 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.