He's Got Rhythm
The Life and Career of Gene Kelly
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
Imprint: The University Press of Kentucky
Sales Date: 05/16/2017
576 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 78 b&w halftones
- Published: May 2017
He sang and danced in the rain, proclaimed New York to be a wonderful town, and convinced a group of Parisian children that they had rhythm. One of the most influential and respected entertainers of Hollywood's golden age, Gene Kelly revolutionized film musicals with his innovative and timeless choreography. A would-be baseball player and one-time law student, Kelly captured the nation's imagination in films such as Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and Singin' in the Rain (1952).
In the first comprehensive biography written since the legendary star's death, authors Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson disclose new details of Kelly's complex life. Not only do they examine his contributions to the world of entertainment in depth, but they also consider his political activities—including his opposition to the Hollywood blacklist. The authors even confront Kelly's darker side and explore his notorious competitive streak, his tendency to be a taskmaster on set, and his multiple marriages.
Drawing on previously untapped articles and interviews with Kelly's wives, friends, and colleagues, Brideson and Brideson illuminate new and unexpected aspects of the actor's life and work. He's Got Rhythm is a balanced and compelling view of one of the screen's enduring legends.
Introduction: Ballet Dancer and Swaggering Tough
Part 1: "Who wants a choreographer from Pittsburgh?" 1912–1941
1. The Reluctant Dancer
2. A Depression-Era Kid
3. Kelly Mania
4. "It wasn't elegant, but it's me"
5. The Time of His Life
6. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Part 2: Riding on a Rocket: 1941–1957
7. At the MGM University
8. New Heights
9. "I'm asking for the Navy"
10. The American Line
11. A Flaming Trail of Masculinity
12. The Renaissance Man
13. You Can Count on Me
14. Who Could Ask for Anything More?
15. Laughing at Clouds
16. What a Day This Has Been
17. The Unhappy Road
Part 3: Still Going Strong: 1957–1972
18. A Hundred Million Miracles
19. "I wear so many hats"
20. Looking for Enchantment
Part 4: Ambassador of His Art: 1972–Present
21. True Talent Shows Itself in Kindness
22. Contemporary Yet Timeless
Epilogue: Think of Him and Smile
Appendix A: Selected Stage Work
Appendix B: Selected Filmography
Appendix C: Selected Television Work
The authors have created a comprehensive biography of Gene Kelly that balances his extensive career with his complex private life. Although there have been several biographical studies published about this Irish American star, He's Got Rhythm is by far the most detailed and encompassing work on its subject. This book should become the new definitive biography on the multitalented Gene Kelly.~James Robert Parish, author of The Hollywood Book of Extravagance
Any biographer of Gene Kelly had better be light on his/her literary feet. The Bridesons have given us a thoroughly readable biography of Kelly that is conscientiously researched and authoritative.~Page Laws, Norfolk State University
Readers will get a well-documented recounting of a man who, despite shortcomings, believed that 'true talent seems to show itself most often in kindness.'~Library Journal
The Brideson sisters—the authors of Ziegfeld and His Follies—cover Kelly's professional story in full detail.... He's Got Rhythm provides a comprehensive overview enhanced by references to many previously published works.~New York Times Book Review
A solidly written and researched biography.~Book Reviews by David Marshall James
A stellar new work.~Open Letters Monthly
The authors' expansive knowledge of – and equally expansive affection and respect for – their subject is unmistakable, to say nothing of infectious. It's an extensively researched, expertly assembled, and almost compulsively readable chronicle of a talent who made it to the top through sheer determination, hard work, and not a little talent.~Yes! Weekly
Cynthia and Sara Brideson's comprehensive biography He's Got Rhythm: The Life and Career of Gene Kelly expands on periods in the multihyphenate performer's career not already covered in other biographies.~Movie City News
The book is an engaging, thoughtful, and comprehensive look at the great hoofer.~AV Club
He's Got Rhythm is a balanced and compelling view of one of the screen's most enduring legends.~Lane Report
In this superb book, Cynthia Brideson and her late sister Sara Brideson bring us what will likely become the definitive biography of Gene Kelly, as they pay tribute to both an innovative creative artist, who was also a devoted parent and caring citizen of the world.~TheaterJones.com
Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson have written a wonderful, readable and enjoyable biography of Gene Kelly.~Bismarck Tribune
This book is an excellent tribute to Kelly, which makes a strong case for his art and his enduring popularity.~Great Old Movies
The book meticulously details the production of Kelly's films with emphasis on his dance and choreography. More interesting is delving into his personal life as Kelly guarded his privacy. Even if not a Gene Kelly fan as I am, the biography is a good read to learn about this hoofer.~My Lot