Kiss Me Kate is Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew done over in eminently satisfying fasion via a collaboration of superior song, dance and comedy talents. The pictorial effects achieved with the 3-D lensing mean little in added entertainment.

Kiss Me Kate is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew done over in eminently satisfying fasion via a collaboration of superior song, dance and comedy talents. The pictorial effects achieved with the 3-D lensing mean little in added entertainment.

But the play’s the thing, of course, and Kate has it. Dorothy Kingsley’s screenplay, from the [1948] Samuel and Bella Spewack legiter, was hep handling of a tricky assignment. Under George Sidney’s skilled direction, Kate unfolds smoothly all the way as it goes back and forth from the backstage story to the play within the play and works in the numerous – and brilliant – Cole Porter tunes.

Howard Keel is a dynamic male lead, in complete command of the acting role and registering superbly with the songs. Kathryn Grayson is fiery and thoroughly engaging as Kate, tamed by Keel in Shrew (play within play) and succumbing to his charms backstage after much romantic maneuvering.

Only song not from the play prototype is ‘From This Moment On’ and it’s an agreeable newcomer, as delivered by Tommy Rall.

Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore play a couple of hoods bent on collecting an IOU received in a floating crapgame. In a bit of delightful incongruity they segue into a song and dance piece titled ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ that has hilarious effect.

Choreography (Hermes Pan) and musical direction (Andre Previn and Saul Chaplin) round out the list of important credits.

1953: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Kiss Me Kate

Production

M-G-M. Director George Sidney; Producer Jack Cummings; Screenplay Dorothy Kingsley; Camera Charles Rosher; Editor Ralph E. Winters; Music Andre Previn, Saul Chaplin (dir.); Art Director Cedric Gibbons, Urie McLeary

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Kathryn Grayson Howard Keel Ann Miller Keenan Wynn Bobby Van James Whitmore
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