Vincente Minnelli

"Vincente Minnelli has influenced directors from Pedro Almodóvar to Martin Scorsese. Above all, he was a stylist. From his debut - the musical Cabin in the Sky (1943) - onwards, the consummate craftsman effortlessly flitted from genre to genre as a contract director." - Lloyd Hughes (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Vincente Minnelli

Director
(1903-1986) Born February 28, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Musical, Drama, Musical Romance, Comedy, Romance, Musical Fantasy, Musical Comedy, Psychological Drama, Domestic Comedy, Family Drama, Melodrama, Showbiz Drama
Key Collaborators: Cedric Gibbons (Production Designer), Arthur Freed (Producer), Adrienne Fazan (Editor), Preston Ames (Production Designer), Pandro S. Berman (Producer), Milton Krasner (Cinematographer), Ferris Webster (Editor), George W. Davis (Production Designer), Urie McCleary (Production Designer), Judy Garland (Leading Actress), Gene Kelly (Leading Actor), Frances Goodrich (Screenwriter)

"Minnelli’s films, especially his melodramas, have been the focus of attention for film theorists for a variety of reasons. For some, the rhetoric of Minnelli’s musicals exemplifies the stylistic and narrative strategies of the genre; while for others the filmic devices of both Minnelli’s musicals and his melodramas demonstrate repressed ideological conflicts and tensions that erupt at moments of high drama through music and mise-en-scène. From this perspective, the films may be read through recourse to the psychoanalytic concept of conversion hysteria, which accounts for the excessive and stylized quality of Minnelli’s work. For still others, Minnelli stands as a good example of the distinction between the auteur, whose work possesses and is governed by a consistency of artistic vision, and the stylist or metteur en scène, the category that Andrew Sarris claims Minnelli typifies." - John Mercer (Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, 2007)
"Minnelli's career presents great problems as soon as one looks beyond that initial fondness. Do the fragments come together? Do those melodious camera movements, the most inventive conception of background action, and such ceaseless use of color, costume, and sets make him a major director? Or is he a stylist, unconcerned with subject matter, for years content to film whatever material MGM assigned him. Certainly, the loyalty to one studio seems to have been borne without the agonies that beset, say, Nicholas Ray." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"We must certainly categorize Minnelli as something more than a decorative artist, for the stylistic devices of his films are informed with a remarkably resilient intelligence. Even if we are finally to conclude that, throughout his work, there is a dominance of style over theme, it ultimately serves only to confirm his contribution to the refinement of those techniques by which Hollywood translates meanings into style and presents both as entertainment." - Ed Lowry (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"If he has a fatal flaw as an artist, it his his naïve belief that style can invariably transcend substance and that our way of looking at the world is more important than the world itself. Critic-film-makers like Godard and Truffaut pay lip service to these doctrines, but they don't really believe them. Only Minnelli believes implicitly in the power of his camera to transform trash into art, and corn into caviar. Minnelli believes more in beauty than art." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"Former set and costume designer of Earl Carroll's Vanities and the Ziegfeld Follies, whose films at their best have an excellent, sometimes exhilarating, sense of visual design and colour, but at their worst are far less baroque than mid-Thirties Hollywood rococo." - Georges Sadoul (Dictionary of Film Makers, 1972)
"A brilliant director of musicals who brought a unity of song and drama to the screen in the 1940s, Minnelli is also adept at garish, frequently penetrating dramas. He has one of the best moving cameras in Hollywood." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Having started as a designer I have a lot to do with settings and costumes, because I think they relate to the story and character, explain it." - Vincente Minnelli
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) , The Band Wagon (1953) , Some Came Running (1958) , Home from the Hill (1960), Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
Recommended
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) , The Clock (1945), Undercurrent (1946) ⦿, The Pirate (1948), Father of the Bride (1950), An American in Paris (1951) , The Cobweb (1955), Lust for Life (1956), Tea and Sympathy (1956), Gigi (1958)
Worth a Look
Cabin in the Sky (1943), Father's Little Dividend (1951), The Story of Three Loves (1953) [co-directed by Gottfried Reinhardt], Brigadoon (1954), Bells Are Ringing (1960), The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
Approach with Caution
Yolanda and the Thief (1945), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), Madame Bovary (1949), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), Kismet (1955), Designing Woman (1957), The Sandpiper (1965), A Matter of Time (1976)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films ⦿ 250 Quintessential Noir Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Band Wagon
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