A look back at this day in film history
October 27
October 4, 1951
An American in Paris premieres

While director Vincente Minnelli and performer Gene Kelly were solid earners for MGM, their new film An American in Paris caused slight trepidation. For one thing, executives wondered whether the public could sit through a nearly 20-minute ballet section that bordered on the surreal (and cost the studios over $500,000 to make). The answer turned out to a resounding yes. The movie was not only a box office smash, but won six Academy Awards including Best Picture. Arthur Freed, who oversaw the musical unit of MGM, initiated the project with only a title and a composer. He explained to Alan Jay Lerner, who was to write the script, that the film would be named (and about) An American in Paris with Gershwin music, especially his 1938 suite “An American in Paris.” The rest was dreamed up by Freed’s exceptionally talented team as they went along. Since they were unable to shoot in Paris, the designers created a magical copy in the MGM back lot. Freed picked Kelly as the lead, and worked closely with him and director Minnelli to create a ballet sequence that recreated Paris in the painterly styles of six of its most famous impressionistic and modernist painters (Raoul Dufy, Claude Renoir, Maurice Utrillo, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec). The high art touches were not lost on all. One MGM responded, “Am I wrong? It seems to me that I once saw some paintings on 57th Street that looked like certain sets in the ballet.”

More Flashbacks
Rebel Without A Cause October 27, 1955
Rebel Without A Cause opens

There is teen angst, and then there is Rebel without a Cause, the film that to this day personifies the pains of the young at heart and body.

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October 27, 2006
Controversy over Shut Up and Sing

On October 27, 2006, Variety ran a story that recounted claims by the Weinstein Company that NBC and the CW refused to run ads for the Dixie Chicks' movie, Shut Up and Sing, a documentary by Barbara Kopple that recounted the country group's tour following their public criticism of the Bush administration.

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October 27, 2000
A Very Presidential Beginning

David Gordon Green stuns critics with his Malick-esque debut.

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