She is a young and naïve heiress, he a skilled con man who passes himself off as her guardian angel. This singular musical appears to hark back to the comedy of errors but relies heavily on the grace of the “angelic thief” Fred Astaire. The carnival scene is remarkable, where the actors pass from scenes of local colour to metaphysical backdrops. –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
Plot is stupid, no conflict and the characters nondescript. Still somehow this film is a formal triumph that's endlessly watchable, Minnelli's flairs are taken to a whole new level here that's almost hallucinatory there's such a shift between the cliche'd bits between the numbers and the drug induced numbers. Its jaunting, like Minnelli had to make a contemporary film and said 'fuck that, I'm making a fairy tale'.
Despite its reputation as a cult classic, the characters are shrill and annoying, the plot is bland (every gag falls horribly flat), and the songs are pretty awful. It is an appropriately lavish Technicolor production impressively staged by director Vincente Minnelli, but the handful of offbeat images there are are few and far between, and really not worth sitting through the rest of it.