It. tit.: È sempre bel tempo; Scen.: Betty Com – den, Adolph Green; F.: Robert J. Bronner (Cin – emascope); Mo.: Adrienne Fazan; Scgf.: Hugh Hunt, Edwin B. Willis; Co.: Helen Rose; Mu. e orchestr: André Previn (testi delle canzoni di Betty Comden e Adolph Green); Int.: Gene Kelly (Ted Riley), Dan Dailey (Doug Haller – ton), Cyd Charisse (Jackie Leighton), Dolores Gray (Madeline Bradville), Michael Kidd (Angie Valentine), David Burns (Tim), Jay C. Flippen (Charles Z. Culloran), Steve Mitchell (Kid Mari – acchi), Hal March (Rocky Heldon), Paul Moxie (Mr. Fielding), Peter Leeds (Mr. Trasker), Alex Gerry (Mr. Stamper); Prod.: Arthur Freed per MGM-Metro Goldwyn Mayer; Pri. pro.: 11 agosto 1955. 35mm. D.: 102’. Col.
It is 1945, the war is over. Three soldiers meet up for their last drink at Tim’s Bar on Third Avenue before setting on their separate ways. They are young and alive, and America and the world (what they fought for) are theirs. They take for granted that they will meet up again: ten years later, at the same time and same place, challenging life and its glitches. Unbeknownst to them, they are the brothers of the sailors played by Kelly, Sinatra and Munshin in On the Town; in fact, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Gene Kelly himself imagined It’s Always Fair Weather as the sequel: then MGM failed to sign on Sinatra and the project changed in appearance, but not in its soul. Ten years later, once again on the town, but the air of that memorable day in New York has changed. Colours are darker, and their friendship, has soured with each man focused on himself and his small failures. A bitter city, a dim, existential and ironic musical (everything seems to work out at the end, but through a ridiculous television show that shows them all as Friends once again). It must have been a set that caused Donen a lot of anxiety, if years later he defined working on it as “an absolute one hundred percent nightmare”. And yet what we like most about the film today are the hints of darkness scattered throughout the film, the slowed down, wandering rhythm, the wild fun of certain numbers and the hyper realistic quality of others. “The most original and boldest of the musical comedies written by Comden and Green, directed by Donen and Kelly and produced by Arthur Freed” (Jacques Lourcelles): in the meantime Gene circles around Times Square as if he were not wearing roller skates. Last but not least, here Donen uses Cinemascope with such energy and experimental complexity that if you haven’t seen It’s Always Fair Weather on the right screen, you haven’t seen it at all.