There is much that I could say about Gene Kelly. But ultimately my affection for him comes down to two things:
Gene Kelly means joy. When I watch him dance, it never fails: I feel a grin as wide as his spreading across my face. He seems to take immense pleasure in the mere ability to move and to bound across the screen with unceasing energy. Even when he’s not dancing, that disarming boyishness informs his presence and persona.
Gene Kelly means inspiration. He makes dancing look fun, but not necessarily easy. Because he puts his heart on his sleeve and lets you see how hard he is working, he instills in you the hope (and in most cases, it’s only a hope) that if you work as hard as he does, you, too, can do what he does. Few influences in my life have been as inspirational as the great Eugenius C. Kelly. He’s like an old friend to me, and I wish somehow he were still here so I could tell him.
Tough question! In the movies, “Love is Here to Stay.” Outside of the movies, “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” And I also love “If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight),” which one can hear on Sue’s website.
The titular number from Singin’ in the Rain, of course. But since everybody knows that one, I’ll highlight a close second: "Newspaper/Squeaky Board" from Summer Stock. I love the way it slowly builds and then explodes with energy. No one was more inventive. When he splits that newspaper with his feet, it is a perfect cinematic moment.