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The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection (1945-1949)

Cast: Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, more...
Director: Stanley Donen, Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, more...
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Classics, Drama, Classic Comedy, Classic Drama, Classic Drama, Musicals
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Synopses
The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: Anchors Aweigh (1945)
This mammoth musical is at base the story of two sailors on leave in Hollywood. Brash Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) has promised his shy pal Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) that he will introduce Clarence to all the glamorous movie starlets whom he allegedly knows so well. Actually, the only actress whom Joseph meets is bit player Susan Abbott (Kathryn Grayson). He arranges for the golden-throated Susan to be auditioned by musician Josť Iturbi, but when she seems to want to return the favor romantically, Brady tries to foist the girl off on Clarence. But Clarence only has eyes for a fellow Brooklynite (Pamela Britton). Also involved in the plot machinations is runaway orphan Donald Martin (Dean Stockwell). Featuring Kelly dancing with such partners as a cartoon mouse (courtesy of MGM's house animators Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera), Anchors Aweigh was a huge hit in 1945, assuring audiences future Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra teamings.

The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: On the Town (1949)
Three sailors on a 24-hour pass -- Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra), and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) -- decide to soak up the sights and sounds of New York. Each one finds romance within those 24 hours: Gabey with aspiring dancer Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen), Chip with lady cabbie Hildy Esterhazy (Betty Garrett), and Ozzie with paleontology student Claire Huddesten (Ann Miller). That's all, right? Wellll....Ivy passes herself off as a celebrity, but she's actually a kootch dancer in Coney Island. Claire and the boys inadvertently topple a dinosaur replica at the Museum of Anthropological History. And Hildy breaks any number of speeding laws attempting to get the lovers together and straighten out all misunderstandings. Adapted from the Broadway musical by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein, On the Town is one of the freshest, most exhilarating musicals turned out by the old MGM regime. The stars' verve and camaraderie are contagious, and the songs are staged by legendary musical director Stanley Donen and Kelly himself with wit and innovation. Highlights include the opening "New York, New York" number, shot on location and flat-cutting from one image to another at a dizzying pace, and Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen's ""Miss Turnstyles Ballet."" ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)
So baseball pictures never make money, eh? Try telling that to MGM, which raked in a box office gross of $4 million on their 1949 baseball musical Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Set in 1906, the film concerns the adventures and misadventures of The Wolves, a champion ball club. The team's success is contingent upon the double-play combination of "O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg." But while Goldberg (Jules Munshin) lives to play baseball, O'Brien (Gene Kelly) and Ryan (Frank Sinatra) would rather pursue their off-season vaudeville career. Both erstwhile song-and-dance men decide to stick around on the baseball diamond when they mutually fall in love with the Wolves' new owner, the lovely K.C. Higgins (Esther Williams). Though O'Brien wins K.C. for himself, Ryan is compensated with the aggressively affectionate Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett). Gambler Joe Lorgan (Edward Arnold), who has bet heavily against the Wolves in an upcoming Big Game, woos O'Brien away from the team with promises of a big role in an upcoming musical comedy. Having let down K.C. and the rest of the team, O'Brien vows to redeem himself by playing in the crucial game. Lorgan gets wind of this, and orders his henchmen to do away with O'Brien. Hoping to shield his buddy from harm, Ryan beans O'Brien with a pitched ball, thereby incapacitating the prodigal player. The crooks are vanquished, and K.C. forgives O'Brien. But upon learning that Ryan had knocked him out, O'Brien charges onto the diamond, thirsting for revenge. Believe it or not, this action results in no fewer than two winning home runs! We offer you this detailed synopsis because it's likely that you'll be too entertained by the film's musical numbers to pay any attention to the story. Outside of the title number and Gene Kelly's solo "The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick's Day," the picture's best songs are contributed by Betty Comden, Adolf Green and Roger Edens. Take Me Out to the Ball Game is so delightful as it stands that one can only wonder what the film would have looked like had MGM's first choice Kathryn Grayson--or the studio's second choice, Judy Garland--played the Esther Williams role (In a similar vein, the Frank Sinatra character was originally to have been played by real-life Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher!)


GreenCine Member Ratings

The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: Anchors Aweigh (1945)
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7.67 (3 votes)
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The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: On the Town (1949)
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6.60 (5 votes)
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The Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly Collection: Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)
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6.00 (4 votes)
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