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29

SUNDAY

In the 1955 MGM Cinemascope film It’s Always Fair Weather, Gene Kelly and two World War II buddies return from combat and drunkenly sing a song with the chorus “We’ll be friends until we die.” A pact is made to meet in 10 years—and then nobody stays in touch. As my mother always said, “To have a friend, you must be a friend.” This lesson was ignored by writers/lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who received an Academy Award nomination for this more-or-less musical. If much of the effort seems perfunctory, the movie now works as a widescreen view into the vanished world of gung-ho ’50s America. The smoking, the hats, the gender stereotypes, the dancing on metal trash cans—what fun! And you can maintain your Olympic fix by watching Cyd Charisse’s Romanian-gymnast-worthy number “Baby You Knock Me Out.” (This judge gives it a 9.752.) The film screens as part of “The Golden Age of MGM” series at 5:40 p.m. (see Showtimes for a complete schedule) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Dave Nuttycombe)