HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lamb
Saint Etienne: I've Been Trying To Tell You
Death Valley
Junior
Menace II Society
Azor
Night Raiders
Samourai, Le
Advent Calendar, The
Champion
Merchant of Four Seasons, The
Love of Jeanne Ney, The
Blonde. Purple
Dirty Ho
Annette
Shepherd
Dying to Divorce
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Trouble with Being Born, The
Last Matinee, The
Strings, The
Free Hand for a Tough Cop
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
Dear Future Children
Accidental Luxuriance of the Translucent Watery Rebus
Swallow
Thin Red Line, The
Petite Maman
Fast & Furious 9
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Sweet Thing
Maelstrom
Father, The
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Night House, The
Father of Flies
80,000 Years Old
Dead & Beautiful
Bull
Censor
   
 
Newest Articles
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
   
 
  Les Girls Gene Bottles It
Year: 1957
Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Kendall, Kay Kendall, Taina Elg, Jacques Bergerac, Leslie Phillips, Henry Daniell, Patrick Macnee, Stephen Vercoe, Philip Tongue
Genre: Musical, Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Scandal! Lady Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) has penned a tell-all memoir and what she told has landed her in court, subject of a case brought by her former colleague Angele Ducros (Taina Elg) who strenuously objects to her claim that Angele attempted suicide when they were rooming together in Paris, part of a trio of the main dancers with Joy Henderson (Mitzi Gaynor) in a show called Les Girls. The mastermind behind this was Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly), a choreographer and leading performer who is now the main player in a conflicting set of tales. As the trial begins, Lady Sybil takes the stand and commences her side of the account, something she avers is entirely accurate...

Cole Porter had mixed fortunes in the cinema, and Les Girls came at the end of a run of underwhelming musicals based on his stage shows, but shortly after the megahit High Society, a musical version of the classic comedy The Philadelphia Story he co-wrote. However, after this he never bothered the silver screen again, and Gene Kelly, once MGM's golden boy in this genre, found his contract had run out and no one was wanting to see and hear him dance and sing anymore. Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but his persona had worn thin with the public and though this saw him essaying more of a heel role, it was not enough to secure any more of the stylings that made him famous.

Sad for such a huge star, even an icon of fifties song and dance, but with Les Girls you could see that if this was the best he was being offered, better to branch off into other fields, as while it still has its fans today, it was really not very impressive. This despite George Cukor at the helm, who perhaps not coincidentally had directed The Philadelphia Story twenty years before, though that effort's sparkle was largely lacking here in spite of Herculean endeavours in the main cast to lift this above the ordinary. Many focused on Kendall as the most valuable player, and she certainly did much of work in trying to keep the mood buoyant, though too much of the plot was no laughing matter.

What else can you say about a story which features two characters attempting to kill themselves? It wasn't the most hilarious of scenarios, even if by the end we're left unsure if that was happening at all for the script was arranged like the then-big arthouse success Rashomon, the Akira Kurosawa movie that revolutionised the form with its concept of the unreliable narrators. Nevertheless, though there were comic scenes, even comic songs, there was precious little to laugh at in Les Girls when the humour was so heavy-handed, and feebly bolstering a selection of songs from Porter that were barely adequate considering what he had been capable of in the past. Unless you were dedicated to the musical, there was scant entertainment value in watching these struggles with the subpar material.

Not only were the songs deeply average, there were only five of them, if that, which over a two-hour movie classing itself as a musical was a bizarre choice. Then there was the dancing, which offered the foursome an opportunity for a degree of more accustomed hoofing, but who wanted to see Kelly indulge himself in modern dance, something even the film sends up when he falls flat on his face not once but twice, literally? Not that the d├ęcor was much better, a selection of obvious, drab sets that could have done with sprucing up: An American in Paris this wasn't, despite the same location. And Kelly's choice of one of his modern ballets for the finale was a curious send-up of Marlon Brando in then-current sensation The Wild One, which looked like sour grapes from a formerly established star with regard to a newly-minted one. Dragging on and on, never settling on a tone and prompting a talented cast to overexert themselves in search of a nugget of gold in all this tin, sadly Les Girls was a letdown from the great era of screen musicals.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1687 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: