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Invitation To The Dance (1956)

Gene Kelly , Tamara Toumanova , Gene Kelly  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Invitation To The Dance + Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer + That's Dancing!
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Kelly, Tamara Toumanova, Igor Youskevitch
  • Directors: Gene Kelly
  • Writers: Gene Kelly
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004T5VYX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invitation To The Dance" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r) winner* Gene Kelly brings his remarkable talents as star, director and choreographer to this glittering gala of music, dance and pantomime - and the result is a lush, one-of-a-kind musical flight of fancy. The film has three episodes, each with its own distinct period and mood. In Circus, a clown (Kelly) in a small carnival troupe is hopelessly in love with the show's high-wire walker. Ring Around the Rosy is a satiric tale about a bracelet which travels from the wrist of one fickle lover to another. Sinbad the Sailor blends live action and animation as Kelly dances his way into an Arabian Nights world after rubbing Aladdin's Lamp. Showcasing talents from ballet companies of New York, Paris, London and Rome, this imaginative tour de force is a must-see for dance lovers everywhere!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and unusual November 9, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Kelly doesn't dance here as much as you might expect, but it was written, directed and choreographed by him, and is quite imaginative. He was a gifted choreographer as well as dancer. This also gave him a chance to create sexier dance numbers than you will find in the average musical. And there's a funny take off on Sinatra.
The tragic clown sequence touched me more than I expected it to.There's a beautiful dance between the lovers. Ring around the Rosy was more sophisticated and wry, with livelier dancing. Each place the "ring" goes is a little story, and that's fun to watch, though it did take me two viewings for it to really open up. Both sequences owe something to silent film and to mime. The animated sequence at the end is a wonderful flight of fancy and stands up pretty well against modern computer generated stuff. It's not as technically flawless, but still pretty sophisticated, considering it's almost 50 years old. If you have children, the Sinbad sequence is guaranteed to entertain them, and adults, too.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but good just the same March 4, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I'm torn between giving this five stars or four stars. I'm settling on five because it's Gene Kelly and because I just love him. I also think five stars is fair because this film is fifty years old. Some of the stuff that he does as director might seem fairly pedestrian to us but we have to remember that when he was doing it it was pretty much brand new. What an innovator! The film itself consists of three thirty minute minifilms; the stories are all told through dance, music, and mime with no spoken words. The first one was the least enjoyable of the three, IMO. It's mostly ballet and while Gene does do some dancing, you don't get to enjoy him the way you do in other films. For one thing, he's almost unrecognizable under all that white face paint; I typically don't care for costumes and masks and such. I'm also not a big fan of mime and this segment relies on it more than any of the others.
The second segment was both funny and sad as it follows the path of an anniversary bracelet from one owner to the next. The best parts to this segment involve the crooner whose "singing" just slays the ladies. Gene was really having fun when he directed this scene. I also enjoyed the part with the pianist and the hat check girl who turns out to be quite a dancer with quite a pair of gams. You have to be very patient to get to Gene in this one; he doesn't appear until nearly the end but it is worth the wait. He does a very ... dance with a woman who literally lights his fire. His dancing is ..., but he really lets the female shine; she clearly has the lead here. (Throughout this entire film it is clear that Gene was content to let others have lots of screen time.)
The last segment is easily the most enjoyable.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHERE IS THE DVD ??? !!!!! September 7, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
Once again we are forgotten !!! By us I mean all of the people that love musicals from this era. How many of these great MGM films are not getting the treatment they deserve? Why do we have to beg over and over again for Warner to get with the times and re-master this and so many other musicals on DVD? For Gods sake its 2007 guys!!!! Nobody has VHS anymore!!!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Gene Kelly's Invitation to the Dance is a rare and wonderful movie musical; it was under-appreciated when it was first released, but is wonderful to enjoy today and I'm glad it's available. The three segments, the broken- hearted clown dance, the Sinbad the Sailor (with cartoons and live action combined) ballet and the dance about a ring that gets around, are delightful to watch. An interesting note: Dancer Carol Haney did the live-action dancing later redone by an animated girl in the Sinbad number. I wish someone were making musicals these days!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't Invitation to the Dance on DVD? March 9, 2008
By Lisa
Format:VHS Tape
Gene Kelly was one of the world's most innovative dancers and this movie is proof thereof. It should be in DVD format. This is a part of my and all baby-boomers youth; it showed us how imagination can be found in so many unsuspected forms. This is a beautiful movie and I want to see it on DVD. PLEASE!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why not on DVD yet? October 9, 2007
By Loge
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is one of the greatest musicals. Why is not on DVD yet?? I hope MGM put it on DVD soon. It is a must!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophisticated Dance Still Great on VHS, But Why? December 22, 2010
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Well into the second half of my life, I'm only now seeing this movie for the first time, having purchased a copy of the VHS tape. What a treat! First, just to correct a few previous comments, this is not a musical: this is pure dance and theatre. There is no dialog and no singing. That's probably why it is so unknown in the US: it is art, not just entertainment. Unlike the ernest and generally capable endeavors of many of his contributors in Kelly's "mainstream" musicals, the cast in "Invitation" are all extraordinary pros. The creativity, precision and expressiveness of every one of these folks does Kelly justice and then some in a couple of cases, most notably Tamara Tourmanova as the vamp in the second number. I can't say which of the three pieces I like best: each is delightful and moving in its own way and compliment the others beautifully. The animation in the last number by Hanna and Barbera is, as many have pointed out, a pure delight. For my money, as much as I love "Fantasia," the subtlety and wit of the work here is superior. Integrating these numbers with Kelly's live action is a minor miracle for 1956. The music--Ibert for the first, a delightful original composition by Andre Previn for the second and a fantastic re-working of Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Scheherazade" for the "Sinbad" number--are all first-rate and transfer surprising well to VHS.

Unfortunately, the only time this magnificent work has been released to the home consumer was in 1983 on VHS. Fortunately, I still have a VHS player, lucked into a tape in excellent condition here on Amazon and was able to transfer a copy to DVD to preserve it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites
I love this film. Gene Kelly is such a beautiful dancer. The Sailor and the Genie dance is a masterpiece. Live action dancing with animation.
Published 24 days ago by Judith Rosenbaum
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for dancing and Gene Kelly fans
Not well received when it was released, apparently. No talking, just music, dancing, cartoons, and Gene Kelly doing what he did best
Published 29 days ago by L. Kobler
2.0 out of 5 stars I suspect that most people will find this experiement in dance movies...
Despite excellent dance segments, the movie as a whole did very little for me. I found the lack of dialogue created a lack of forward motion, plot, or theme. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Good watching for Ballet Enthusiasts
Actually, I love traditional ballet -- like Swan Lake and the Nutcracker -- but this DVD is mainly modern ballet. I purchased it, however, because I like Gene Kelly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. del Uno
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but good.
At the time this was top notch. It's still good, but better films have been made since then. Still worth watching.
Published 2 months ago by E. Bullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing classical dance
Love this movie if you're into classical dancing!!! Both my daughters are onto Ballet and Tap...a must see if you love Gene Kelly... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Helena
5.0 out of 5 stars Invitation to the Dance
Wow, this was so very fabulous to see again. I hadn't seen it in years since I an adolescent probably and I simply went nuts to watch Gene Kelly float. He was so amazing.
Published 8 months ago by Deborah Hartman
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful fil
I have been looking for this dvd since many, many years. In my opinion, the film is one of Gene Kelly's best, perhaps of his very best. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Helmut Six
2.0 out of 5 stars INVITATION TO THE DANCE
ALL MUSICAL AND BALLET DANCING IT COOL LOVE GENE KELLY. IF YOU ENJOY DANCING THIS IS THE MOVIE FOR YOU
Published 16 months ago by Maribel Gonsalves
4.0 out of 5 stars Three sides of Gene Kelly
This is not your run of the mill dance movie. In fact I would say it would mainly appeal to Gene Kelly fans more than fans of movie musicals in general. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Roseann S.
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