An American in Paris

  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Writers: Alan Jay Lerner
  • Genres: Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch

Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam (Oscar Levant) is a struggling concert pianist who is a long time associate of a French singer, Henri Baurel (Georges Guétary). A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch) takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art. Jerry remains oblivious to her feelings, and falls in love with Lise (Leslie Caron), a French girl he meets at a restaurant. Lise loves him as well, but she is already in a relationship with Henri, whom she feels indebted to for having saved her family during World War II.

At a raucous masked ball, with everyone in black-and-white costumes, Milo learns that Jerry is not interested in her, Jerry learns that Lise is in love with him, but is marrying Henri the next day, and Henri overhears their conversation. When Henri drives Lise away, Jerry daydreams about being with her all over Paris, his reverie broken by a car horn, the sound of Henri bringing Lise back to him.

Meet Me in St Louis

  • Directors: Vincente Minnelli
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Writers: Story, Sally Benson, Screenplay, Irving Brecher, Fred F Finklehoffe
  • Genres: Family, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Judy Garland, Margaret O Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake, Marjorie Main

The backdrop for Meet Me in St. Louis is St. Louis, Missouri on the brink of the 1904 World’s Fair.

The story centers on the middle-class Smith family, who lead a comfortable and happy life. The family has four daughters, Rose, Esther, Agnes and Tootie and a son, Lon. Esther, the second eldest daughter (Judy Garland), is taken with the boy next door, John Truett (Tom Drake), although he does not notice her at first.

The film starts out with Mrs. Smith (Mary Astor) and Katie the maid (Marjorie Main) making ketchup. Esther Smith then walks in and asks Katie to ask Mrs. Smith if dinner can be an hour early because Rose (Lucille Bremer) is expecting a long distance phone call from Warren Sheffield (Robert Sully). Esther then leaves and Katie asks Mrs. Smith if dinner can be an hour early. Mrs. Smith agrees, but when Mr. Smith comes home, he refuses to have dinner an hour early. Everybody is eating when the telephone rings. Mr. Smith answers but says he will not accept the long distance call. Rose starts crying and that is when Mr. Smith finds out about Warren Sheffield. The phone then rings again, and Mr. Smith lets Rose answer it. The whole family is expecting Warren to propose to Rose. Instead, Rose endures an awkward phone call, in which she and Warren talk mainly about the weather.

Esther ascends the stairs and finds Tootie sitting by the window in the bedroom she shares with Agnes. Tootie is awake and waiting for Santa Claus while looking down into the Smith garden at the snow people she’d made earlier with her sisters and brother. Esther sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to her. The emotional climax of the movie occurs when Tootie cannot cope with the disruption of her social world, and experiences a violent breakdown in the yard full of snowpeople. Mr. Smith then decides after seeing this that the family would not move. He rouses the entire family. It’s noted that only Mr. Smith and Esther are still in party clothes. Everyone else is in nightclothes. He announces that the Smith family will not leave St. Louis. Before they can really rejoice, Warren Sheffield bursts in and declares his love for Rose and states that they will marry at the first possible opportunity and then absentmindedly wishes the family a Merry Christmas and a good night. The movie ends when all of the family attends the World’s Fair.