The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, May 3-9

NYC Repertory Cinema-its-always-fair-weather

It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
A conceptual sequel to On the Town, It’s Always Fair Weather likewise sets a trio of G.I.’s loose in (and on) New York City—but instead of a 24-hour romp, they end up on a rueful survey of roads not taken. Having made a pact at the close of the war to reunite ten years thence, the boon companions (Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, and Michael Kidd) arrive at the appointed meeting to find themselves all but strangers to one another, wondering what kinship they could have ever had. For the film’s initial audience, the decennial in question was a real-life milestone, not some fanciful gimmick, and the directors do not truck with false cheer, dwelling closer to film-noir’s sense of unfulfilled promise and missed opportunities. The requisite happy ending is achieved through some well-orchestrated screwball that doesn’t quite rebut the more prosaic melancholy it follows. With a script by the great screenwriting team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and what may be the most inventive set of production numbers ever to grace an MGM musical. Eli Goldfarb (May 3, 8:15pm at Film Forum, with Amanda Green, daughter of screenwriter and lyricist Adolph Green, in honor of Betty Comden’s centennial)

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