Wednesday, November 18, 2009

ON THE TOWN (1949)

ON THE TOWN (1949). A wonderful musical, about three sailors (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin) on a twenty-four hour shore leave, looking for adventure and romance.

The three sailors go on a sightseeing tour of Manhattan. First on their list: the Empire State Building, Central Park and Rockefeller Center. Ozzie and Gabey, quickly becoming bored with sightseeing and want to check out the beautiful women of New York. The three sailors see a poster of Ivy Smith, "Miss Turnstiles", for the month of June. Ozzie thinking that she is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.

They tell her life story in a dance number. They can not believe that they find her, as soon as they arrive at the subway station, where Ivy is posing for a photo shoot. Gabey poses with her for a photograph, but she quickly disappears. Gabey, Chip and Ozzie follow Ivy in a taxicab driven by Brunhilde, who has eyes for Chip. With the poster of Ivy's as their only information, Gabey and his friends look for her in places where she might be working.

Brunhilde, takes the sailors to look for Ivy at the Museum of Natural History, where Ozzie meets Claire, an anthropologist, who quickly joins them in their search. When they break into a dance, Ozzie and Claire accidentally knock over a dinosaur skeleton at the museum. They run for their lives, but the police are hot on their heels. The group splits up and search for her separately, agreeing to meet later that evening at the Empire State Building.

Alone at last with Chip, Brunhilde takes him to her apartment, only to be disturbed by her quirky, roommate, Lucy.

Gabey eventually finds Ivy in a dance studio, where they make plans to go on a date later that evening. Ivy promises to return from her date, in time to make her performance as a coach dancer at Coney Island. Because she owes her dance instructor a lot of money for her lessons.

Chip, Brunhilde, Ozzie, Claire and Gabey meet at the top of the Empire State Building, where they hide Ozzie from the policemen who are still looking for him. When Ivy arrives, the three couples begin their night... "ON THE TOWN".

The evening comes to an abrupt halt when Ivy disappears without explanation, leaving behind only a note. His friends try to cheer him up by quickly having Lucy fill in for for Ivy. Gabey has a few drinks and thinks about his new love, Ivy. Will the two love birds find each other again?

I loved the fact that this movie was filmed on location in New York. I really enjoyed the dance numbers, for me they seemed to go with the plot instead strictly for entertainment. I also, loved the dance number where the guys dress up in Hiram costumes and sing like girls.

In her screen debut, Alice Pearce (the roommate with the sneezing problem). Alice is also known as the first actress to play the nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz on the show Bewitched (1964).

Jules Munshin (February 22, 1915 – February 19, 1970) was a Jewish song-and-dance artist who had made his name on Broadway when he starred in, Call Me Mister(picture to the left).

Additional Broadway credits: The Gay Life and Barefoot in the Park.

Although Munshin was in successful MGM musicals such as Easter Parade and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, audiences would always remember him as one of the trio of sailors (along with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra) singing "New York, New York" in the hit film On the Town (1949).

Another of his great roles was Bibinski, a Russian Commisar in Silk Stockings (1957).


  1. Dawn, I have seen this wonderful film and enjoyed it. It is worth watching just for the sightseeing tour of Manhattan. I actually live in a New Jersey town that is 7 minutes away from midtown Manhattan, which is where most of the sights from the film are taken. I especially love to see the tree at Rockefeller Center during the holiday season.

  2. Silent, That is wonderful. I would love to see the Rockefeller Center's Christmas Tree. I live in Arizona,where we decorate cactus.;)

  3. I love this movie! I have seen it a few times and it is always a joy to watch. I am always amazed by Gene Kelly's dancing. That dude was superhuman! I live pretty close to the city too, about 40 minutes. I will be going into the city to see the tree this year :) I want to go for the tree lighting ceremony, but noone wants to stand in the cold with me LoL! Dawn, you keep those cactuses looking Christmas fabulous. HaHA!


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