AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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On the Town
Director: Gene Kelly (Dir)
Release Date:   30 Dec 1949
Duration (in mins):  97-98
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Cast: Gene Kelly  (Gabey)
  Frank Sinatra  (Chip)
  Betty Garrett  (Brunhilde Esterhazy)

Summary: Chip, Gabey and Ozzie, three sailors on a twenty-four hour shore leave, look for adventure and romance in New York City and seek out the city's best known attractions. Following a whirlwind tour of Manhattan that includes stops at the Empire State Building, Central Park and Rockefeller Center, Ozzie and Gabey decide to forgo sightseeing and instead pursue the beautiful women of New York. While riding on a subway, the three sailors see a poster of Ivy Smith, "Miss Turnstiles" for the month of June, and fall instantly in love with her. As they gaze dreamily at the poster, they imagine Ivy coming to life and revealing her life story in a dance. Although they all are taken with her beauty, Gabey is especially smitten with Ivy and vows to find her. To their astonishment, the sailors find Ivy as soon as they step off the train into the subway station, whiere Ivy is posing for a photo shoot. Gabey poses with her for a photograph, but before he can make an impression on her, she disappears. Gabey, Chip and Ozzie follow Ivy and pile into a taxicab driven by the flirtatious Brunhilde Esterhazy, who tries to seduce Chip. With the facts on the poster about Ivy's life as their only clues to her whereabouts, Gabey and his pals search for her in places she is likely to be found. Accompanied by Brunhilde, who is determined to snare Chip, the sailors look for Ivy at the Museum of Natural History, where Ozzie meets Claire Huddeson, an anthropologist who quickly succumbs to his charms. While celebrating their new love with a kiss and a dance, Ozzie and Claire accidentally destroy a dinosaur skeleton at the museum. They flee, but the police are on their trail. The search for Ivy continues at various museums around the city. Finally the group decides to split up and search for her separately, agreeing to meet at 8:30 that evening at the Empire State Building. Alone at last with Chip, Brunhilde takes him to her apartment, only to be greeted by her annoying, ailing roommate, Lucy Shmeeler. Meanwhile, Gabey finds Ivy in a dance studio, and she consents to go on a date with him that evening. As she owes her dance instructor, the unpleasant, dipsomaniacal Madame Dilyovska, a great deal of money, Ivy promises to return from her date at 11:30, in time to make her performance as a cooch dancer at Coney Island. At 8:30, Chip, Brunhilde, Ozzie, Claire and Gabey meet at the top of the Empire State Building, where they hide Ozzie from the policemen who are looking for him. When Ivy arrives, the three couples begin their wild night on the town. The merriment soon comes to an end, however, when, at 11:30, Ivy vanishes without explanation, leaving behind only a brief farewell note. Although his pals try to cheer him up by quickly substituting Lucy for Ivy, Gabey gets drunk and sadly recalls his time with Ivy. Later, acting on a tip from Madame Dilyovska, Gabey and his pals find Ivy at Coney Island, where she admits that shame made her keep her job a secret from him. Gabey and Ivy soon resume their romance, but they only have a few hours remaining before the end of Gabey's shore leave. After Ivy, Claire and Brunhilde persuade the police to drop the charges against the men, the three women bid their sailors farewell at the shipyard. 

Distribution Company: Loew's Inc.
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Director: Gene Kelly (Dir)
  Stanley Donen (Dir)
  Jack Gertsman (Asst dir)
Producer: Arthur Freed (Prod)
  Roger Edens (Assoc prod)
Writer: Adolph Green (Scr)
  Betty Comden (Scr)

Subject Major: Chases
  New York City
Subject Minor: Alcoholics
  Dance teachers
  Empire State Building (New York City)
  Female impersonation
  Head colds
  Museum of Anthropological History (New York City)
  New York City--Brooklyn Navy Yard
  New York City--Central Park
  New York City--Coney Island
  Statue of Liberty National Monument (New York City)
  Taxicab drivers

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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