April in Paris

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "April in Paris"?

Poor
4
8%
Average
15
30%
Good
20
40%
Excellent
11
22%
 
Total votes: 50

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Ralph
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Who Can Dance?

Unread post by Ralph »

Tom Ryan wrote:I rated it "good" but certainly most of the movie was only average at best. The highlights of the movie to me are Doris's singing, especially the title song and "I Know a Place", and the dancing of Ray Bolger. I agree that Bolger was an outstanding dancer, one of the all-time bests. He had an unusally style of dancing but he was very, very good at it. (I am a former dancer.) I have watched his dance routine on that table top more than a few times and there are one or two steps he did that are hard for me to see how he was able to do them. I don't know if he lucked into it or if it was planned. Definitely unusual.
______________________________________

As a dancer, Tom, rate the following as Excellent, Very good, good, fair, poor:

Fred Astaire
Gene Nelson
Gene Kelly
Ray Bolger
Gregory Hines
Judy Garland
Jane Powell
Ann Miller
Doris Day
Eleanor Powell
Bill "Bo Jangles" Robinson
Buddy Ebsen
Bob Fosse
Michael Jackson
Gower Champion
Marge Champion
Cyd Charisse
Shirley Temple
Virginia Mayo
James Cagney
Bill Robinson
Nicholas Brothers
Shirley MacLaine
Savion Glover
Donald O'Conner
Carol Haney
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Rita Moreno
Ginger Rogers

Tom Ryan
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Re: Who Can Dance?

Unread post by Tom Ryan »

Ralph wrote:
Tom Ryan wrote:I rated it "good" but certainly most of the movie was only average at best. The highlights of the movie to me are Doris's singing, especially the title song and "I Know a Place", and the dancing of Ray Bolger. I agree that Bolger was an outstanding dancer, one of the all-time bests. He had an unusally style of dancing but he was very, very good at it. (I am a former dancer.) I have watched his dance routine on that table top more than a few times and there are one or two steps he did that are hard for me to see how he was able to do them. I don't know if he lucked into it or if it was planned. Definitely unusual.
______________________________________

As a dancer, Tom, rate the following as Excellent, Very good, good, fair, poor:

Fred Astaire -- Excellent
Gene Nelson -- Excellent
Gene Kelly -- Excellent
Ray Bolger -- Excellent
Gregory Hines
Judy Garland -- Fair
Jane Powell -- Good
Ann Miller -- Excellent as a tap dancer, very good overall
Doris Day -- Very Good
Eleanor Powell -- Excellent as a tap dancer
Bob Fosse -- Very Good
Michael Jackson
Gower Champion
Marge Champion
Cyd Charisse -- Very Good
Shirley Temple
Virginia Mayo -- Good
James Cagney
Bill Robinson
Nicholas Brothers -- Excellent
Shirley MacLaine
Carol Haney -- Very Good
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Rita Moreno
Ginger Rogers -- Very Good
Ralph, I think you are trying to put me to work here. Do I get paid for this? LOL I didn't rate all of them because I have not watched the dancing of some of them closely enough to be able to give them a rating with which I would be comfortable.

Let me make a few comments about some of those people whom I did rate.

I wish you had asked me to rate Vera-Ellen, as I would have rated her "Excellent". I consider her to be the best female all-around dancer of all time, as do many others. We can use Fred Astaire as a benchmark and see how crisply his partner executes dance steps relative to his execution of those steps. Vera-Ellen scores high in my book for her dancing with Astaire in "Belle of New York".

With this benchmark in mind, I would rate Ginger Rogers as something like a "Very Good minus". She could dance, but I don't consider her to be one of the all-time greats.

We can only conjecture how good Doris would have been had she pursued a career as a dancer. With her athletic ability and rhythm, she might possibly have pushed Vera-Ellen for the top spot.

When speaking of superlative dancers, we should not overlook Lorene Yarnell of Shields and Yarnell. She was a dedicated dancer who was very good.

At the other extreme, Judy Garland was no dancer. This was especially apparent when she danced with Gene Kelly in "Summer Stock". Of course she was having personal problems during the filming of that movie, so we can only guess how much that affected her performance, but what I remember convinces me that she simply wasn't a dancer.

I believe that Virginia Mayo was underrated as a dancer. I felt that her dancing in "She's Working Her Way Through College" was actually pretty good.

Of course Carol Haney had a short dancing career and a short life and was better known for her choreographic work than for her dancing.

Among the others, Bob Fosse showed that he could dance as well as choreograph when he did some athletic dancing (back somersault) with Carol Haney in "Kiss Me Kate", and the "Moses Supposes" tap dancing routine of Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in "Singing in the Rain" is an absolute masterpiece and is quite possibly the best tap dance performance ever captured on film. Gene Nelson was a very talented dancer who did some novel dancing, including dancing on a staircase and its railing in "Tea for Two". Not quite in the same class with Astaire and Kelly, however, in my opinion.

Although I rated the Nicholas Brothers as Excellent, I would rather talk about Harold Nicholas because he was clearly the superior dancer. In terms of pure dancing ability, Harold Nicholas is quite possibly the best dancer who ever lived. Of course his volume of work does not compare with that of Astaire because the latter had far more opportunities to showcase his talents, but if they had been equal in this respect, I believe that a careful analysis of their respective performances would probably lead me to give Nicholas a very slight edge.

Okay, Ralph, I have the Index for a book to finish, so I need to get back to my income-producing work.

Tom

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Unread post by Tom Ryan »

As an addendum, I will mention that, when age is factored in, I could not expect to see a better dancing performance than the one I witnessed in person from a 64-year old Tommy Tune on the evening of May 17, 2003 in Atlanta. Astaire was essentially retired from dancing by that age (except for Finian's Rainbow) and Gene Kelly's dancing in "Xanadu" was not at the same skill level.

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Unread post by dayniac »

Image
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That's What Makes Paris, Paree

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That's What Makes Paris, Paree:

Follow Remembering Doris Day: https://twitter.com/DayRemembering

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Re: That's What Makes Paris, Paree

Unread post by miss maxwell »

bryan wrote:Image

That's What Makes Paris, Paree:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXTsfaoPARw
I don't believe it... I've been listening to this song all day (and driving everyone mad by repeating "the Eiffel tower") and I was just getting ready to upload it on youtube and then saw this... of all her movies and musical numbers... this! Great song and performance, thanks for posting - and saving me the time too, I guess. :lol:

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April in Paris

Unread post by webmaster »

I was just getting ready to upload it on youtube
Perhaps us Doris fans are psychic? Well, you should still do that! Would love to see it (unless it's the same).
It's great number, probably a bit camp now with 'the gay cafes' etc.
Love the big wink that Doris gives the camera! 8)

Interesting posts above.
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Unread post by webmaster »

While I'm on YouTube; "Liza Minelli talks to Doris Day"
Wonder why this is the most popular video I've posted on YouTube?:



Any idea? Actually they deleted my account last year because Warner Bros complained about copyright - not accepting that this is 'free publicity' for their 'products' - so I'm always expecting the same to happen again.
But you can't keep a good Doris fan down, can you? So I'll just start again! :wink:
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dayniac
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Unread post by dayniac »

Thanks for That's What Makes Paris Paree -- I just love it !

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miss maxwell
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Unread post by miss maxwell »

Bryan, it was this very same scene I was going to upload.

About "April in Paris", I second Toni - "talk about spunk!" She's such a thrill to watch. I didn't even pay much attention to the plot [perhaps cause I didn't particularly care whether she'd end up with Ray Bolger or not], her singing and dancing numbers had me enthralled. The wink in "Paris, Paree" is super, I agree. And Doris at the dining scene with the gentlemen and her trying to follow the savoir-vivre slightly reminded me of "Romance in the high seas". Ray Bolger, whom I saw for the first time, was great in his numbers too. And am I the only one who loved Claude Dauphin as Philippe? He and the "Captain" trying to stop the newly 'married' couple from consumating their marriage (such a sign of those times) provoked some funny moments.

I remember seeing a picture of Doris with all the colored dogs, anyone happen to have it?

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Peter Flapper
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April in Paris Doris and dogs

Unread post by Peter Flapper »

Hi miss Maxwell,

I think this is the picture you mean.

Image

(Don't think Doris will aprove that one of her dogs is colord this way now.)

Peter

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Unread post by miss maxwell »

That's the one, thanks Peter! Poor dogs, if they could only speak. :lol: Interesting outfit this one, by the way. Not too crazy about the hat but the dress reveals some terrific abs in that scene in the movie.

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puck
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Image

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Unread post by BabeWilliams »

I found a cool April in Paris wallpaper... so Enjoy!!!

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Megan
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Doris Martin
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Doris Martin »

I can understand some people not being very fond of April in Paris.....but....when I am down, a bit off....I put the scene of that film....the one in the boat....when our Doris sings and dances...and all my problems go away.......thank you Doris...Marti

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by suzie »

Marti, you are such a good person, I would hate to think you were ever feeling down :cry: I have to agree with you I just love the dance scene in the kitchen, it really does make you feel good. Doris has so much energy, I would bet she can still dance great. :wink: I love april in paris, its what I call a feel good movie.It may look just like alot of the warners movies (fresh off the assembly line) but I for one just love it.
suzie

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mikeydv
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by mikeydv »

"I'm Gonna Ring The Bell Tonight", i think, is one of the best choregraphed number of many of Doris' musical numbers on film. It is energetic, athletic, fun to watch, a cute song, and she is having a ball doing it..so we have a ball watching it!

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by suzie »

Thats for sure mike. I think its priceless.
suzie

Theodomus
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Theodomus »

I watched the movie a couple nights ago and was positively surprised.

I didn't care much for Ray Bolger, like others on here I asked myself why she fell in love with that stiff guy (appearently already before the scene in the kitchen seeing how she acts in the dining room), but otherwise it was a cute movie I thought.

However I think RB appears to be so foolishly in love (the scene when they say goodnight in front of their cabins) that it is kinda cute again - And nobody would have believed in a "serious", "sophisticated" love affair, between the two like with Rock Hudson etc., would they? (I hope you understand what I mean)

I actually liked AIP better than Tea for Two, to be honest, and rated it good.
Marion

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pillowtalk
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by pillowtalk »

I just watched April in Paris tonight. I LOVED it!!!!! It was absolutely adorable. The dance scenes in the kitchen were so cute, funny, and happy! And I laughed so hard when Doris slapped Marcia! The ending was cute too. I don't think there was much chemistry between Doris and Ray Bolger (he was not very attractive), but I loved everything else about it! I'm surprised at how much I loved this movie!!! :D :D :D
"New York, this is your last chance!"

~Nicki~

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by littlepinetree »

I'm sorry, but I didn't like this movie much. If Doris were not in it, I wouldn't have watched it. Also, I love movies that are filmed in Paris, and this could have been all done from a sound stage.
I did like it when she slapped Marcia too. One of the good scenes that shows Doris isn't always a goody two shoes! And, the dancing was really good, but I've seen better musicals overall.
I don't mean to insult anyone that like this movie, but I can't help how I feel.
I have to admit however, some of the songs were good like the title song, "April in Paris."

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by John M »

I agree with you, LittlePineTree. I think this is a pretty bad film. I also dislike Tea For Two. They're both bottom of the barrel type musicals. But it's amazing how Doris transcends her material so often.
"I wouldn't bring up Paris if I were you. It's poor salesmanship."
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Josh Wagner
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by Josh Wagner »

I just watched April in Paris , for the first time ( just bought the new box set).

The chemistry between DD and bolger did not exist.
But I rate the movie good because,

Doris is as Beautiful and Charming as EVER!
What WARMTH ! and What FIRE ! ( someone else called it Spunk )

What Doris has goes beyond Spunk or girl next door
In my opinion

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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by BabeWilliams »

I've just seen this one on my DVR, (I recorded it when it was on TCM) And I absolutely loved it. Can't really explain why though. The leading man wasn't very attractive, and even if the french man were available he wouldn't have been much competition anyway. So, I'm not really sure why I loved this movie. I suppose it was the Doris glow that was all about it. In any case I gave it an excellent because I really did like it. The songs, the ones where Doris sang anyway, were all great too.
Megan
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Re: April in Paris

Unread post by littlepinetree »

Like Josh, I also watched it from my new box set.
Amazing, I liked it much better the second time!! I even bashed this movie on this thread!
I think I know why. I have a big passion for movies taking place in Europe. I kept wondering when they were going to get to Paris. They were in Paris for only about 20 minutes, and it wasn't really even filmed in Paris. :cry:
But, I also have a passion for Doris Day, so the second time I saw it, I only thought of it as a Doris Day movie,
and not a Paris movie, which it's not! I enjoyed the singing and dancing, and everything about it so much better since I was in a better frame of mind. I surprised myself for liking it!! :shock:

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