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Directed by Vincente Minnelli

United States 1953 112 mins.

This Technicolor extravaganza came at a time when MGM could do no wrong, especially the Freed Unit (named for producer Arthur Freed), which released the justly famous Singin’ in the Rain the prior year to rapturous critical and audience reception. Minnelli’s film—produced by Freed and written by the same team behind Singin’—while lesser known, offers much of the same visual and aural pleasure and self-reflexivity while adding a melancholic edge, focusing on declining star Tony Hunter (Fred Astaire), who seeks to revitalize his career on Broadway. However, Tony, along with co-star Gaby (Cyd Charisse), must overcome a pretentious director who seeks to turn a light comedy into a retelling of the Faust legend—and, somehow, fall in love on the way to saving the show.