Although I have an endless love of both Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, I have pretty much no experience with either of them. Of course my introduction to Charisse came just a film previous with Silk Stockings, but I was quite taken with her charisma and her skill on the dancefloor. The same can be said of Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, whose only outing to date I had seen was the iconic Singin' in the Rain, a film which happens to be my #2 of all time. When Sandy indicated it would be next in her marathon, I was excited despite having never heard of it, and I managed to not read the short plot description on the sleeve the film came in through Netflix, so when I sat down I didn't know what magical journey on which I might be taken.
As the film started and we were swept across the Scottish hills I began to think of my heritage, having a very small portion of Scot in my own blood, but I too grew tired of the direction of Vincente Minnelli quite quickly. Not really familiar with him either, other than the disappointingly forgetful Gigi. True the set design was remarkable and the cinematography gorgeous, but I also couldn't help but feel the color in the film was poorly used and to the point that I felt it ugly and unbecoming of the film. But more than anything else from Minnelli, the direction just felt flat and uninspired. The film was underplayed a bit, which can be fine, but it was done so to the point that it did lose me a bit. It was quickly 40 minutes in and I felt nothing much had happened. In a way it was a success because that time seemed to fly by, but also a failure for taking that 40 minutes and not infusing it with very much which is memorable.
Charisse and Kelly are still magic, though less so than the previous films I had enjoyed them in, and overall the film is a fun little ride with a bit of magic and a lot of heart behind it. But I definitely do not hold the film in the same Top 100 contention regard as Sandy, as much as I am magnetically attracted to musicals. I just feel like it has been so much better, and in the case of the film, could have been done so much better. It was disappointing in its mediocrity, but also marginally successful in its charm and entertainment, albeit fleeting.