Billed as “a gigantic and joyous musical,” part of the appeal of MGM’s Stanley Donen-directed It’s Always Fair Weather is that it often isn’t that way at all. In contrast to the cheerful optimism of the studio’s typical output, this film admits that life can be disappointing and that one time friends can turn out to be insufferable, though somehow it ends up shuffling away with a smile anyway. Now this television-age take on the Hollywood musical is available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive.
Musical biographies were a popular theme in Hollywood during the Golden Age. Most of these are (apparently) factually inaccurate, but they generally feature a wonderful anthology of a musician’s work. Critics are quick to cast aside many of these films for their historical inaccuracies. But if you’re like me, that’s of secondary importance. If I want to learn facts about a musician’s life and career, I’ll read a book. If I want to see and hear his/her music in song and dance, I’ll watch a musical. Besides, in most cases, I’m more interested in the fruits of their labors than the cold hard facts of their lives. So, just take the story at face value and enjoy some outstanding musical entertainment!