MCM: Gene Kelly


Gene Kelly wasn’t in a lot of historical films, but I think we should appreciate the ones he was in.


Du Barry Was a Lady (1939)

Hey, girl, hey.


The Pirate (1948)

Looking good in whatever the hell he’s wearing.


Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)

My favorite period … 1940s Hollywood does 1890s, and manages to vaguely pull it off.


Singin’ in the Rain (1952)



Brigadoon (1954)

Ok, so he plays a modern guy who falls in love with a chick from the 1740s … Wait, does that sound familiar???


Jack and the Beanstalk (1967)

I am unable to tell from the images online if this film is set in a particular time period, or if it’s just “Ye Old-y Time-y”, but whatever, I’m including it.


How much do you love Gene Kelly’s butt? Because, seriously, have you been paying attention?


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

24 Responses

  1. Lynda Del Genis

    Also Inherit the Wind…no singing or dancing but DAMN does he rock a porkpie boater

    • M.E. Lawrence

      Yes! Not exactly subtle, but entertaining, and what a cast of great performers hamming it up.

  2. Lynne Connolly

    I love his movies. Not so much the man. Apparently he made Debbie Reynolds cry so hard when they were working on Singing In The Rain that she hid under a piano. Fred Astaire found her there, and worked with her on the dances. Astaire was a gent, and he’s my favourite. However, some of the things Kelly did were amazing. Love American In Paris, and of course Singing In The Rain. Jean Hagen, who played Lena and stole the show for me, actually did the singing. So that scene at the end, where Debbie Reynolds is singing behind the curtain, and Hagen is miming to the song, is actually Hagen singing. Hagen singing, Reynolds miming and Hagen miming. Like some kind of perpetual hall of mirrors.
    The costumes in his movies were very much costumes. Interesting to compare the Georgian get-up for the movie in the movie in SITR, and compare it to something like Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire.

  3. Hopscotch-Butterscotch

    Oh dang, I do have a soft spot for the “GLORIOUS eye-ball searing Technicolour” of his Three Musketeers – and the suspiciously fake looking D’Artagnan wig he rocks…

  4. Colleen

    I have a soft spot for Singin’ in the Rain because those costumes were the closest thing to historically accurate I’ve seen for the 1950s. They look like they stepped out of a Rococo painting, but it’s nice.

  5. Shannon Russell

    While I don’t think Brigadoon is his best movies I really like Irene Sharaff’s costumes though they are not period accurate. (200-years-ago’1950s New Look peasant dresses” was how ya’ll put it.) In particular I have always wondered what material the skirts were made with and the how they were constructed as they move so deliciously during the dancing!

    • Katie

      The film that launched a thousand dubious SCA and Ren faire costumes

  6. Nzie

    Singin’ in the Rain was a childhood favorite. Not the most accurate but definitely influenced how I understood 20s fashion for quite a while. Take Me Out to the Ballgame looks fun (and I am missing baseball!) but why are his socks at his ankles? It is bothering me lol. :-)

    • Colleen

      He has full socks on. They’re just several different colors.

      • Colleen

        Never mind. I was looking at the wrong person.

  7. mmcquown

    You left out The Three Musketeers. First Kelly movie I ever saw and it stuck with me into fencing, later HEMA and historical reenactment. And, oh yeah, some jazz and ballet.

  8. broughps

    I could watch Gene Kelly movies all day long.

  9. LydiaR

    Gene Kelly is my Number One, Eternal, Enduring, and Forever, Hollywood crush.

  10. Sarah

    For Me and My Gal was great too!! Love Gene Kelly

  11. Susan Pola Staples

    Singing in the Rain is a favourite of my for Debbie and Jean Hagen. Wonder how it would have played off if it was made today and the women were Lebian and the men gay. But I think An American in Paris is my all time favourite Gene Kelly film. His combination of Ballet – Leslie Caaron and Modern Dance – Kelly is classic. I also enjoy Brigadoon.

  12. Clare

    In Brigadoon towards the end of Almost like being in love, a bush suddenly gets pushed on stage from the right. Love his films

  13. Lily Lotus Rose

    Gene Kelly…! I’m loving this Man Candy Monday choice. He was so….rawr! My favorite pics are the top pic (in black and white–what a smile!) and the picture from Singin’ in the Rain. He’s rockin’ that baseball uniform too. And like someone else said, I’m really missing baseball right now!!!!

  14. Rebecca

    If you need the butt- American in Paris is your film..

  15. B

    Great movie, not great man. He’s easy on the eyes but multiple (on and on) sources indicate he was very difficult during filming and directed his vitriol towards Debbie Reynolds. Can’t celebrate a man like that.
    All you have to do is wikipedia the film and its there.
    Google the rest and it’s there.
    He was a nightmare to work with.

  16. woostersauce2014

    I first saw Gene Kelly in Jack in the Beanstalk where I learned later that he directed and choreographed the dance numbers then Singing in the Rain – that dance number to “Good Morning” still remains one of my favourites.

  17. Karin

    Love him – in anything, but particularly “Singing in the Rain” and always, always, “The Pirate”! Saw that one first as a teenager when I would just watch anything with Gene Kelly in it, and it got me so hooked. He was really hot in that one! And I still love it. Crazy, but so good.