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On the Town is a 1949 movie musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It is an adaptation of a Broadwaymarker stage musical produced in 1944, although many changes in script and score were made from the original stage version; for instance, most of Bernstein's music was dropped in favor of new songs by Edens.

The film was directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, and stars Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller, Betty Garrett, Jules Munshin, and Vera-Ellen and features Alice Pearce. It was a product of producer Arthur Freed's Unit at MGM, and is notable for its combination of studio and location filming, as a result of Gene Kelly's insistence that some scenes be shot in New York Citymarker itself, including at the American Museum of Natural Historymarker, the Brooklyn Bridgemarker, and Rockefeller Centermarker.

The movie was an instant success and won the Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Cinematography (Color). Screenwriters Comden and Green won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical.

In 2006 the film version ranked #19 on the American Film Institute's list of best musicals.


As three sailors – Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra), and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) – begin their shore leave, Gabey falls in love with the picture of "Miss Turnstiles", who is actually Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). The sailors race around New York attempting to find her in the brief period they have ("New York, New York").

They are assisted by, and become romantically involved with, two women, and pair up: Ozzie with Claire (Ann Miller), an anthropologist; and Chip with Hildy Esterhazy (Betty Garrett), an aggressively amorous taxi driver; and eventually, Gabey with Ivy, an aspiring actress. Hildy invites Chip to "Come Up to My Place". Claire claims that she's found her passionate "Prehistoric Man" in Ozzie at the Museum of Natural Historymarker. Gabey takes Ivy on an imaginary date down "Mainstreet" in a studio in Carnegie Hallmarker. Later, Chip sincerely falls for Hildy telling her "You're Awful"--awful nice to be with. That evening, all the couples meet at the top of the Empire State Buildingmarker to celebrate a night "On the Town".

But when Ivy must leave early to work as a cooch dancer, the friends tell a despondent Gabey, "You Can Count on Me", joined by Hildy's hilarious roommate, Lucy Schmeeler (Alice Pearce). They have a number of adventures reuniting with Ivy at Coney Islandmarker before their 24-hour leave ends and they must return to their ship to head off to sea. Although their future is uncertain, the boys and girls share one last kiss on the pier as a new crew of sailors heads out into the city for their leave ("New York, New York reprise").


Cast notes

  • Carol Haney, Gene Kelly's assistant, performed with Kelly in the "Day in New York" ballet sequence, but was not credited.
  • Bea Benaderet has a small, uncredited role as a girl from Brooklyn on the subway.
  • Bern Hoffman has an uncredited role as a shipyard singer.

Musical numbers

  • I Feel Like I'm Not Out of Bed Yet
  • New York, New York
  • Miss Turnstiles Ballet (instrumental)
  • Prehistoric Man
  • Come Up to My Place
  • When You Walk Down Mainstreet with Me
  • You're Awful
  • On the Town
  • Count on Me
  • A Day in New York (instrumental)
  • New York, New York (Reprise)

[Note: italics - in the stage musical]


See also


  1. "Hollywood Musicals Year By Year", Second Edition, 1990, Green, Stanley, Revised and Updated by Elaine Schmidt, Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 0634007653

It appears that DD443, the ship in the background for the opening two numbers, is the USS Swenson.

External links

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