Three war buddies have just returned home, and they think that their friendships will last forever, but their favorite local bartender says differently. So, the three men make a bet. They will all meet back in that same bar in ten years, and they know they will be as good of friends as ever. They all go off in their separate directions, and over the years they lose sight of their dreams. Angie Valentine (Michael Kidd) owns a burger joint that he wishes was a five-star restaurant. Doug Hallerton (Dan Daily) gave up his dreams of being an artist to follow a more practical career, and Ted Riley (Gene Kelly) has made his living by gambling and cheating. They have all changed, so when they meet once more they can’t seem to get along, but a local TV host has decided to secretly lure them onto her stage to showcase their “happy” reunion.
Cyd Charisse also stars in this film as the know-it-all woman who is charged with the task of concocting this whole scheme. She played her character wonderfully, and it was fantastic to see her and Kelly reunite after doing Brigadoon together. Her dancing was as entertaining and looked as effortless as ever, though it was the three men who really stole the show. All of them did a fantastic job in capturing many great moments in dance. Gene Kelly had one scene in particular where he rode around on roller-skates, it was the type of dance that could rival his classic number in Singin’ In the Rain, where he dazzled us all dancing and singing to the number the movie is named for. While the score is fairly ordinary, I still believe this movie just missed being a classic. Many of the actors had their voices dubbed over in this movie, including Charisse and Kidd, so it is clear that they really wanted to focus on the choreography rather than vocals. If they had a little bit more of the latter this movie would have hit it out of the park.
Gene Kelly who acted in, and co-directed this film, is one of my favorites, and I don’t think you could go wrong with one of his movies. The novelty dance numbers make this movie worth seeing alone, and the slightly darker story line tops it off. This is a supremely underrated movie for anyone who wants to be visually wowed.