Doris Day and Richard Widmark play Isolde and Augie Poole, childless suburbanites who after years of trying to conceive, decide to adopt a child in this Gene Kelly-helmed comedy. A pretty adoption agent (Gia Scala), a hapless husband and a drunken night out on the town, however, throw a monkey wrench into the couple’s family planning process. Gig Young and Elisabeth Fraser play the Pooles’ annoyingly fertile next-door neighbors.
M-G-M was the largest and most powerful studio in Hollywood when Gene Kelly arrived in town in 1941. He came direct from the hit 1940 original Broadway production of “Pal Joey” and planned to return to the Broadway stage after making the one film required by his contract. His first picture for M-G-M was For Me and My Gal (1942) with Judy Garland. What kept Kelly in Hollywood were “the kindred creative spirits” he found behind the scenes at M-G-M. The talent pool was especially large during World War II, when Hollywood was a refuge for many musicians and others in the performing arts of Europe who were forced to flee the Nazis. After the war, a new generation was coming of age. Those who saw An American in Paris (1951) would try to make real life as romantic as the reel life they saw portrayed in that musical, and the first time they saw Paris, they were seeing again in memory the seventeen-minute ballet sequence set to the title song written by George Gershwin and… read more