Scene from the film Brigadoon
Scene from the film BRIGADOON

Cinemascope was perfect for the spectacle of musicals, and MGM was quick to adopt it, putting four musicals into production in 1954: remakes of the operettas Rose Marie and The Student Prince, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and from Broadway, Lerner & Loewe’s first hit, Brigadoon.

Two Americans stumble upon a village in the Scottish Highlands that appears only once every hundred years. Lerner & Lowe’s score mixes haunting Scottish-inflected songs, and a sword dance, with jazzier Broadway style ballads, including the standard “It’s Almost Like Falling in Love.” Veteran director Vincente Minelli (An American in Paris, 1951) and MGM’s lead musical producer, Arthur Freed, were assigned, but their desire to film on location was nixed.

Will American Tommy (Kelly) follow his Scottish lass Fiona (Charisse) into the heather and mists of Brigadoon or lose her forever? A colorful, if truncated, rendering of this still charming musical.

Part of our Cinemascope series.