Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Overlooked Movies -- Les Girls

I was fifteen or so when I saw this movie for the first time, and I was smitten with all three of the female stars, Kay Kendall, Mitzi Gaynor, and Taina Elg.  Especially Kendall, who died of leukemia only a couple of years later.

Gene Kelly plays a man who's been touring Europe with dancers he calls "Les Girls."  He disbands the group, and the women go on with their lives.  Kendall writes a memoir about their days on the road, and that's when the trouble begins.

Elg disagrees with several points in the memoir, so much so that the matter has to be settled in court.  We get three versions of what happened: Kendall's, Elg's, and Kelly's.  They aren't the same, of course, but the court has to make a decision.  Meanwhile things are going on outside of court, as well.  When it's all over, nobody, not even the audience, can be sure of what the truth of the matter is, even though things are supposedly settled.

There's singing, dancing, and plenty of smiles throughout.  I suppose the title is unPC now, and maybe the title, taken by itself, might lead people to expect an entirely different kind of movie.  Too bad, because this one is really entertaining, and I'm still smitten with Kay Kendall, Mitzi Gaynor, and Tania Elg.

7 comments:

CRL said...

I Googled Google 'Les Girls'

It didn't lead me to this movie......

Jerry House said...

Kitty and I were house managers for an Equity theater and worked with Taina Elg for a three-week run of SOMETHING's AFOOT. A nice lady. (My girls were impressed because she worked with Arnold in HERCULES IN NEW YORK.) We had two shows on Sundays and in between performances on Easter Sunday we had a potluck Easter dinner with the cast and crew. The theater manager brought a huge bowl of jelly beans. I can't remember what Taina brought. Perhaps the five-pound bowl of mashed potatoes.

Bill Crider said...

Cool story, Jerry. I wonder if Taina met Parnell Hall while working on HERCULES IN NEW YORK.

Deb said...

So, "Rashomon" for the MGM-musical lover?

Bill Crider said...

Exactly, Deb.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I remember seeing this when I was in my early teens and liking it a lot. Definitely the RASHOMON storyline, Deb. GOod one.

Todd Mason said...

I can only imagine that, with his pronounced crush on Mitzi Gaynor, that my father has seen this one. A film with both Gaynor and James Garner might've inspired them to buy a 16mm print or an early Umatic videotape deck.