Brigadoon [1954]

Anything is possible in Brigadoon, the Lerner and Loewe musical put to celluloid in 1954 by director Vincente Minnelli: a village can reappear for only one day each century, and Gene Kelly can tap-dance on a dirt path. Kelly and Van Johnson play a pair of New Yorkers who go on a hunting vacation in the highlands of Scotland. But what Tommy Albright (Kelly) captures is the heart of a bonny Scottish lass, Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse). The catch: Fiona lives in Brigadoon, an enchanted town that appears for only one day every 100 years. If Tommy stays, he must give up everything (including his fiancé back home); if Fiona leaves with Tommy, Brigadoon will vanish into the highland mist, never to be seen again. Not that this keeps anyone from having a good time. The men are clad in vivid tartan kilts and leggings, and the women swish about in multicolored petticoats. Fiona's sister Jean is getting married, and the whole town is drinking ale and singing cheery songs--except for Jean's ex-beau, who threatens to leave and thereby end the town's existence. Brigadoon is a charming escape into a sweet fairy tale. Some of the songs may be less than memorable, but Kelly's choreography is often as witty as the banter. When the hectic pace of the modern world threatens to overtake you, consider a brief vacation in the highlands of Scotland. As one character says, "There must be an awful lot of folk searching for a Brigadoon"--even if it only lasts for a couple of hours. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

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