This is the kind of old-school Hollywood musical that gives old-school Hollywood musicals a bad name, which is a shame, because the Broadway show it was based on is an immortal classic that, unlike this movie, has held up remarkably well over the years. The stage version had one of Lerner and Loewe’s most beautiful and moving scores, with such classic songs as “Waitin’ For My Dearie”, “The Heather On the Hill”, “Almost Like Being In Love”, “Come To Me, Bend To Me”, “There But For You Go I”, and “From This Day On”. That score is vastly cut here to make room for the dancing that ended up taking over the movie, but even with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse doing the dancing, the choreography is never interesting enough to justify this. To make matters worse, the leads are inadequate: Gene Kelly has charm in the book scenes, but his voice, while perfectly serviceable for something like Singin’ In the Rain, is not remotely up to this operetta-like music, and manages to ruin much of the remaining score. Cyd Charisse is dubbed (by Carol Richards, a rather good singer), but her acting is irritating and uncomfortably modern, and she isn’t remotely convincing as a 17th century Scottish country lass. The locations are also damaging: it’s transparently obvious that the movie was filmed in a studio back lot, which kind of screws a show that traded so heavily on the atmosphere of the Scottish hills in its stage version. Worst of all, with the score so vastly diminished and the sense of atmosphere obliterated, the huge gaping holes in the show’s premise that were somewhat obscured by those things in the stage version become impossible to ignore. The only perk is Van Johnson as the resident cynic, in a role that was cut down for the movie to make even more room for mediocre dancing, but still more interesting than anything else in the film. In short, one of the richest and most moving musicals of the classic era is reduced to a conflict-anemic floporetta with a lot of extraneous dance and a plot you could drive a truck through. There are still some fans of old movie musicals who will stick up for this one, but very few, and their numbers are dwindling further with each passing year, and even they can think of little to say in its defense apart from the few good qualities from its source it didn’t manage to ruin. My recommendation…buy the studio cast album with Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones if you want to hear this material done right.