Kiss Me, Kate

  • Directed by George Sidney
  • United States, 1953, 120 mins., English

Bright and colorful in the best MGM style, Kiss Me, Kate is an epic battle of the sexes brought to life through a pitch-perfect combination of slapstick comedy, song, and dance. Life imitates art when warring thespians (and ex-spouses) Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi (Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson) are cast in a musical based on The Taming of the Shrew. Hoping to win back the affections of his headstrong lady love, Fred’s machinations begin to go awry thanks to the boisterous arrival of leggy hoofer Lois (Ann Miller), who brings with her a deadbeat boyfriend, two bumbling gangsters, and a case of mistaken identity. Fred and Lilli’s verbal (and physical) sparring continues both onstage and off, punctuated by such memorable Cole Porter-penned, Hermes Pan-choreographed numbers as “Too Darn Hot,” “Brush up Your Shakespeare,” and “I Hate Men”—with the added bonus of a show-stopping turn from a young Bob Fosse in “From this Moment On.” “With querulous lovers, waspish dialogue and erudite hoodlums for comic relief, it’s really a screwball musical.”—Time Out New York.

Genres: Musical, Comedy, Romance