Of the Marvelous Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly

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It’s no secret that I’ll always have a huge crush on Gene Kelly. It’s a shame he’s deceased. I would happily murder the majority of celebrities just to bring him back into the world *cough* Justin Bieber, *cough* Kim Kardashian. I’ve been in love with him ever since I watched Singing in the Rain for the first time when I was a child. What can I say? I was a classy ass five-year old, I’m very proud that he was my first celebrity crush.

I always wanted to be Kathy Selden aka Debbie Reynolds

The other night I was watching An American in Paris, and this rekindled my fondness for the beautiful Gene Kelly and the musical genre as a whole. He’s graceful and yet completely masculine in his motions, it’s like he can control gravity. One can’t help but smile when he is on-screen, especially when he’s dancing. At the same time he wasn’t afraid to be a bit silly. He’s credited with creating the American Musical Genre, which unfortunately is no longer brought forth in modern-day movies. There’s a reason why those movies are classics, why they are timeless – my heart belongs to the musicals of the late 40s – early 60s and it always will. Haters be damned.

Fred Astaire was the gentleman, Gene Kelly was the boy next door. Or as Bob Fosse once said, “He looked like a guy on your bowling team, only classier.” In hindsight maybe Gene Kelly (and yes, I do always say his full name) is where I got my obsession with class from. The quote below is from Time Entertainment magazine – I couldn’t express the differences between the two men better than this if I tried:

In the two men, oppositions abound. Fred was grace, Gene was energy. Fred was poise, Gene was power. Fred was ethereal, Gene was earthy. Fred was the Continental (he danced it too); Gene was all-American. Fred was top hat, white tie and tails, Gene was a baseball cap, T-shirt and jeans. (Can you imagine Astaire in a baseball cap? Can you imagine Kelly without one?) Fred would just materialize, a slim apparition who hardly noticed the impact he made; his attitude said, in a sidelong glance and sidewise murmur, “Ooh, is someone out there?” Gene came barreling toward you, arms outstretched in — not supplication, never that — an offer his smile told you he thought you couldn’t refuse.

– Richard Coliss (article)

Is it any wonder I prefer Gene Kelly? Even if for shallow reasons alone, I doubt most will disagree that Fred Astaire was never a beautiful man. I sent out a mass text to my friends with vaginas asking who they thought the sexiest male celebrity was, here’s the bulk of the answers:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ryan Gosling, David Beckham, Lee PaceJason Statham, Jake Gyllenhaal, Trey Songz, Jude LawZac Efron, Brad Pitt, Michael Cera

While it’s not in question that these men are attractive, the majority of them don’t have the kind of attractive that transcends decades. Most of them have that look of trying to be sexy. Some I disagree about them being the sexiest male celebrity, cute sure, attractive yes, but sexy? hmm, not really. I’ll let you judge on that for yourselves.

Gene Kelly is not sexy, he’s beyond that – he’s handsome. To call him sexy seems like an injustice, sexy implies a fleeting heart-throb, or the kind of human being that makes ones mind instantly think something along the not-so-classy lines of, “I’d tap that,” or “I wanna lick him/her,” or “I wanna fuck him/her,” or “Damn baby! You a model or something?”

Like I said, Gene Kelly is classy, he makes you fall in love with him, not just lust after him. He’s handsome. If you want proof, look at these wonderful pictures of the late, great, Gene Kelly!

Gene Kelly - Singing in the Rain

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Gene Kelly, Ballet from Broadway Melody

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Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds

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Gene Kelly Close Up

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Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner - dancing gif

Plus … he could do that! (Click image to view source.)

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15 thoughts on “Of the Marvelous Gene Kelly

  1. he wasn’t the best dramatic actor though. in one of my favorite movies, “inherit the wind,” he was a little over the top trying to play a newspaper reporter. there’s no doubt or question about his physical ability, charisma, and electricity on the floor. also, slightly embarrassing for him might have been his part in the bad movie “xanadu” with olivia newton-john. it’s a movie that never should have been made.

    • Oh Xanadu the most disco-y thing I’ve ever scene. The only decent scene in that movie was when he and Olivia Newton-John danced together. And that scene was an after thought. He was bitter that they cut off his legs in the roller skating number according to his 2nd wife. Regardless, I love the man.

  2. Loved this post since I feel the same way about Gene! I just watched him in Cover Girl last night, and it once again had me thinking about the Fred Astaire vs. Gene Kelly question I hear people ask so often. I like Fred too, but man, Gene Kelly is just so exciting to watch! It’s really hard to take your eyes off of him when he’s on the screen.

  3. Pingback: Football, Marching Band, and Kissing Mr. Kelly | Gene Kelly Fans

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece….and I couldn’t agree more with your point of view and opinions. Your taste in film mirrors my own and I bet our movie libraries, or at least Top Ten Lists, are much the same! (-:

    There is something so human & loveable about GK. And as for his contribution to american film & dance: I think he’s a national treasure. This year marks his 100th birthday and I think there’s some sort of centenary planned, tho’ I don’t know specifics… prob. ought to watch out for tributes on AMC or film festivals or something..

    I have been life-long GK Fan and have been re-visiting (and buying) some of my favorite movies of his and reviewing why I’ve always felt the fan-love for him. So, your blog entry came at the perfect time for me !!

    Just wondering if you’ve seen Anatomy of a Dancer and/or read the memoir written by his first wife shortly before she died, ‘The Memory of All That’ by Betsy Blair. Both are very interesting for Gene fans. Of course, Blair’s memoir is fundamentally about her life but she devotes a great deal of it to her meeting and marriage to Gene. He comes across as a Bear to work with, but a gentlemen in his personal life…. a loving husband and attentive father. I wasn’t disappointed but for the fact that he did have a sad ending to his life – but that’s another story.

    Must also share with you that, years ago, I actually kissed Gene Kelly. It’s true! He came to my university to give an ‘in-service’ to our dance department and they had him come out to the football game that saturday and wave to the crowd (he would have been in his early ’70s at the time). I was in the marching band on the field at the moment and as we were finding our way back to our seats, I caught up to him as he was walking out….leaned in…said ‘thank you Mr. Kelly’ and kissed his cheek!!!! I can’t believe I was that bold to invade his personal space but I was young & stupid so I didn’t think about that at the time. Wouldn’t do it today, but at least I have a good story to tell. He didn’t say anything or push me away – but he also didn’t stop walking. I wish I had a picture of it because it all seems like a dream now…. but the memory in my mind’s eye will have to do. Anyway, I figure only another GK fan would really appreciate that story, so I had to share.

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