Released in November 1951 by MGM. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. Screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. Produced by Arthur Freed. Cast included Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, and Nina Foch.
Legendary MGM producer Arthur Freed approached Ira about creating an original film musical based on the songs he wrote with his brother, centered on George’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. Ira signed on, and what emerged was a film classic that took home six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Gene Kelly and Freed were both honored with special Oscars that year as well. It wasn’t the first time that AN AMERICAN IN PARIS — originally written in 1928 — had been used in a Gershwin musical. It had been staged as part of the 1929 Broadway musical SHOW GIRL.