Gene Kelly looked at dance in an entirely different way than most other people did and soon his ideas started getting a lot of attention. He was asked to choreograph a ballet sequence in the 1951 movie An American In Paris. Gene Kelly's 17 minute ballet piece in the movie cost over $500,000 to film back in 1951 and that was unheard of money for a one movie scene in those days. But such was Gene Kelly's demand and reputation that the studio allowed him to complete the sequence and An American In Paris went on to huge financial success and won 6 Academy Awards as well. Gene Kelly was at the peak of his success and at the peak of his success he released his masterpiece.
Gene Kelly had already been nominated for an Oscar for his work in the 1945 movie Anchors Aweigh and in 1952 the Academy felt so highly of him that they gave him an Honorary Oscar for the versatility he has shown in all of his work and for making singing and dancing such a huge part of the movies. But in 1952 he would star in the movie that would leave the biggest impression on the entire world. Gene Kelly's work in Singin' In The Rain in 1952 captivated audiences then and it still captivates them to this day. His world famous title sequence from the movie has him dancing all over city streets in a rain storm carrying an umbrella and it is a scene that not many movie fans will ever forget. Fred Astaire himself could not have done it better and it was a breakthrough movie for Gene Kelly and his athletic style of dancing.
Gene Kelly passed away in 1996 due to a stroke but the work he has left behind still dazzles audiences to this day. His work ethic has inspired such other physical actors as Jackie Chan and you can see Gene Kelly's inspiration in almost any Chan movie. Gene Kelly cast a huge shadow over Hollywood and Hollywood was lucky to bask in the light of that shadow. There will never be another Gene Kelly.