Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Kiss Me Kate”

Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel in "Kiss Me Kate" (MGM, 1953)

Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel in “Kiss Me Kate” (MGM, 1953)

It was so much fun to re-watch MGM’s 1953 musical “Kiss Me Kate” this week. Based on Cole Porter’s hit Broadway show, the story is a show-within-a-show musical retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” On the stage, people are performing the play. Backstage, all sorts of craziness is going on with feuding lovers, gangsters, etc. This film was originally filmed in 3D, but only half of the theaters that showed the movie in its initial run used a 3D print due to decreased interest in the format (but it explains why the actors are looking at and throwing things at the camera). With its fantastic songs, colorful production design, and terrific cast, this movie is another great musical from the MGM hit factory. If nothing else, make sure to check out the “From This Moment On” number. Stars Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Keenan Wynn, and James Whitmore. Based on the stage play by Sam and Bella Spewack. Written by Dorothy Kingsley. Directed by George Sidney. “We open in Venice…”