From Concert to Film: The Transformation of George Gershwin's Music in the Film "An American in Paris"
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn 1951, Saul Chaplin, John Green, and Conrad Salinger adapted the music of composer George Gershwin (1898-1937) for a film musical titled An American in Paris, the finale of which was a 17-minute ballet scene set to a modified version of the composer’s tone poem from 1928. The plot bears broad similarities to isolated aspects of George Gershwin’s life. Such narrative elements offered a scaffold for an attractive subtext explored through the film score: a review of the trajectory and breadth of George Gershwin's compositional career from 1922-1937. My own analysis of the film and its score, using the techniques of Lars Franke, further illustrates how the creators of An American in Paris used the cinematic frame to comment on George Gershwin's life and to respond to contemporary critics as well as fans of his music.
Degree ProgramGraduate College