Fred (Howard Keel) and Lilli (Kathryn Grayson) are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter (Ron Randell) who has written a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and wants them to play the roles of Petruchio and Katherine – despite the fact that they absolutely loathe one another.
A fight on the opening night threatens the production, as well as two thugs (Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore) who have the mistaken idea that Fred owes their boss money and insist on staying next to him all night (it is actually Bill (Tommy Rall) who has run up the debt).
Big, funny, bright, colourful and with a superb Cole Porter score, Kiss Me Kate is arguably the best musical of the ’50s – maybe ever.
The film was originally shot and released in the new 3-D gimmick in an effort to tempt the old cinema audience back from their new-fangled television sets. Hence members of the cast are constantly tossing things into the audience – a banana, a tankard, a headscarf – which becomes boring very quickly.
Lilli Vanessi (Katherine)
Fred Graham (Petruchio)
Lois Lane (Bianca)
Bill Calhoun (Lucentio)