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Invitation To The Dance

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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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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Special Features

None.

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
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: May 16, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004T5VYX4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,342 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invitation To The Dance" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film, as most people know, is in three segments, each with a different style and cast of characters...except for Gene Kelly, who stars in all three...apparently at the behest of Louis B. Mayer, who wouldn't green-light the project unless he did star in all three.

The first two segments aren't, to me, anything near as entertaining as the third one. The kid who plays the genie of the lamp, who transforms into a little sailor, is brilliant and adorable. His dancing with Kelly is wonderful. Wikipedia has no information on him other than his name, David Kasday. Did he grow up to be an adult dancer?

Some credit should be given to the two dancers who portray the evil guardsmen...unless Kelly danced for both of them and the animation artists used his footage for their drawings

...which brings us to a major complaint: Where are the bonus features for this film? The DVD is one of those made-to-order things, which means they didn't figure it would sell, so why make thousands of copies, only to have them sit in a warehouse. (That's what I do with my albums!) After all, the film was pretty much a flop in its day. In fact, it was made in 1952 but held back by MGM until 1956 because they didn't have any faith in its commercial viability...and they were right! Anyway, with this made-to-order deal, they manufacture them on demand, but without any frills and no great expense in promoting it. A pity, too, because a making-of documentary would have been wonderful.
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