Anchors Aweigh, Beautiful Men, Gene Kelly, Gene Kelly's ass, Jerry the Mouse, male dancers, McCarthyism, Sexy Irish Americans, Singin in the Rain, The Pirate
Much to my delight, I recently discovered that Gene Kelly’s amazing, muscular rear end still thrills legions of fans. It has a well-deserved tumblr page of its own. Once you start looking, you find that the internet is full of joyous paeans of praise for the spectacular Kelly glutei (along with the occasional mean-spirited suggestion that he used padding).
Kelly was an Irish-American boy from Pittsburgh (and a Steelers fan) who made it his goal to demonstrate that male dancing could be athletic, robust, and masculine. He abandoned a planned career in law to start a dance studio, and got his big break leading the original cast of Pal Joey on Broadway.
As choreographer, dancer and director, he revolutionized the way dance was shown on film, attempting to convey the three-dimensionality of dance by using camera movement, lighting, color, and special effects like double exposure.
Physically speaking, Kelly was rather diminutive, only 5’7″, but he always seemed larger-than-life. Instead of Fred Astaire’s perfectly tailored suits, shirts and tails, he wore sailor’s suits, “everyman” trousers and tight T-shirts (often with short sleeves) that emphasized his broad shoulders and muscular physique.
He looked, simultaneously, like a matinée idol and the handsome fellow next door. Always, he projected an aura of decency, kindness and joie de vivre — the latter quality never more fully expressed than in the exuberant title scene of Singin’ In The Rain.
Gene Kelly’s style of dance was unashamedly, zestfully sexy, a celebration of the expressive potential of the fit male body. Although he was not as accomplished a singer as Astaire, he too made the most of his instrument. His singing was more gentle than his dancing–sweet, charming and unaffected.
By all accounts, Kelly was a man of conviction who stood up for what he believed in. With a group of other Hollywood stars, he flew to Washington to protest McCarthyism. He also had strong views on the Irish Troubles, and gave substantial amounts of money to the IRA and NORAID. A lifelong Democrat and union supporter, he eventually gave up his Roman Catholicism in favor of agnosticism. All this… and an outrageous serving of sex appeal. Get a load of Kelly in The Pirate, a film that is most remembered today for this outfit:
Gene Kelly died on Feb. 2, 1996, eighteen years ago. Beautiful Man, I miss you! Thank you for your smile and your enduring Talent.
For an excellent article about the Nachleben of Kelly’s rear end (and other juicy bits) on the internet, click here. And for one of the most beautiful and sexiest pieces of fan art I’ve ever seen, click here.
His rear…? I had no idea! Born too late, that’s why. And I don’t get to say that very often anymore 😉
I take it you’ve never seen “An American in Paris,” where his beauteous ass is the star of the show…
No…anything with a title like that would have set off a fatal cliche explosion in my head 😉 Ta for the link!
Oh, good heavens, when I think about the many, many hours I forced my younger brother to sit and watch, memorize and attempt to duplicate Gene Kelly’s, Fred Astaire’s and Danny Thomas’ goofy, beautiful and mesmerizing dances so that we could “be” those phenomenal people for just a few minutes in our living room, I surely must owe him a huge apology. But it was the best time we shared as siblings in our youth. (And he DID turn out to be a fantastic dancer!)
Thank you for sharing and taking me back to those wonderful days, Linnet! 😉
Great comment! I am a huge Astaire fan too. But my Older Brother did NOT dance…
Expat Eye said:
That outfit was a bit Miley Cyrus – all he needs is a wrecking ball 😉
To bad there are no scenes of him twerking… so far as we know!
Expat Eye said:
He could have done it too, I’m sure!
He would have blown Miley out of the water!
Expat Eye said:
Sweet Sue said:
He was just shy of 5’8″, tremendously talented and yes, he had a world class ass.