Part one of two. In this special, the American Film Institute salutes dancer-actor-director Gene Kelly. Highlights in this part include the following: clips from the films "For Me and My Gal" (1942), "Cover Girl" (1944), "Ziegfeld Follies" (1946), "The Pirate" (1948), "Words and Music" (1948), "Anchors Aweigh" (1945), "What a Way to Go" (1946), "Singin' in the Rain" (1952), "An American in Paris" (1951), "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (1949), "On the Town" (1949), "Summer Stock" (1950), and "It's Always Fair Weather" (1955); and clips from past AFI Life Achievement Award ceremonies, featuring John Ford, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, Fred Astaire, John Huston, Orson Welles, William Wyler, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Frank Capra, and Lillian Gish. In other highlights, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Leslie Caron pay tribute to Kelly; songwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green recall the making of "Singin' in the Rain", and are joined by the film's co-stars Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds; Gregory Hines performs as solo tap dance and speaks to the audience; and Jean Firstenberg, director of the AFI, introduces AFI students.

Further tributes feature performers who worked with Kelly, including Betty Garrett, the Nicholas Brothers, Kathryn Grayson, Carl Reiner, Olivia Newton-John, Steve Martin, and James Stewart. Richard Brandt, chairman of the AFI, also pays tribute to Kelly, and George Stevens, Jr., co-chairman of the AFI, presents the Life Achievement Award to Kelly, who delivers an acceptance speech. Commercials deleted; This program is closed-captioned.


  • DATE: May 7, 1985 Tuesday 9:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:12:57
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T85:0391
  • GENRE: Specials
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1985


  • George Stevens Jr. … Producer, Writer
  • Michael B. Seligman … Associate Producer
  • Gail Schumann … Film Producer
  • Don Mischer … Director
  • Jeffrey Lane … Writer
  • Shirley MacLaine … Host
  • Gene Kelly … Guest
  • Gregory Hines
  • Cyd Charisse
  • Debbie Reynolds
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • James Cagney
  • Judy Garland
  • Vera-Ellen
  • Frank Capra
  • William Wyler
  • Rita Hayworth
  • Fred Astaire
  • Leslie Caron
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Orson Welles
  • John Huston
  • Lillian Gish
  • John Ford
  • Henry Fonda
  • James Stewart
  • Adolph Green
  • Donald O'Connor
  • Bette Davis
  • Jean Firstenberg
  • Fayard Nicholas
  • Harold Nicholas
  • Nicholas Brothers, The
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Betty Comden
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