- Singin' in the Rain (film)
name = Singin' in the Rain
image_size = 215px
caption = theatrical poster
Gene Kelly Stanley Donen
Betty Comden Adolph Green
Gene Kelly Donald O'Connor Debbie Reynolds Jean Hagen
Nacio Herb Brown(music) Arthur Freed(lyrics)
Harold Rosson, ASC
March 27, fy|1952
runtime = 103 minutes
country = FilmUS
language = English
budget = US$2,540,800
imdb_id = 0045152
"Singin' in the Rain" is a 1952
comedy musical filmstarring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynoldsand directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography. It offers a comic depiction of Hollywood's transition from silent films to " talkies".
The movie is frequently described as one of the best musicals ever made, [Haley Jr., Jack: "
That's Entertainment!", Frank Sinatra segments. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1974] topping the AFI's 100 Years of Musicalslist, and ranking fifth in its updated list of the greatest American films in 2007.
Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer and stunt man. Don barely tolerates his vapid, shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (
Jean Hagen), who has convinced herself that the fake romance their studio concocted and publicized is real.
One day, to escape from overenthusiastic fans, Don jumps into a passing car driven by Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). She drops him off, but not before claiming to be a stage actress and sneering at his undignified accomplishments. Later, at a party, the head of Don's studio, R.F. Simpson (
Millard Mitchell), shows a short demonstration of a talking picture, but his guests are unimpressed. Don runs into Kathy again at the party. To his amusement and her embarrassment, he discovers that Kathy is only a chorus girl, part of the entertainment. Furious, she throws a pie at him, only to hit Lina right in the face. Later, Don makes up with Kathy and they begin falling in love.
After a rival studio releases its first talking picture, "The Jazz Singer", and it proves to be a smash hit, R.F. decides he has no choice but to convert the new Lockwood and Lamont film, "The Dueling Cavalier", into a talkie. The production is beset with difficulties (most, if not all, taken from real life), by far the worst being Lina's comically grating voice. A test screening is a disaster. In one scene, for instance, Don repeats "I love you" to Lina over and over, to the audience's derisive laughter (a reference to a scene by John Gilbert in his first talkieBetty Comden, Adolph Green (2002). "The story Behind Singin' in the Rain: Now It Can be Told", reprint of the "Singin' In the Rain" screenplay introduction, originally published in 1972, included in the liner notes of the "Music from the original motion picture soundtrack (deluxe edition) Singin' in the Rain" double CD by
Rhino Entertainmentand Turner Classic Movies.] ).
Don's best friend, Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), comes up with the idea to dub Lina's voice with Kathy's and they persuade R.F. to turn "The Dueling Cavalier" into a musical called "The Dancing Cavalier". When Lina finds out that Kathy is dubbing her voice, she is furious and does everything possible to sabotage the romance between Don and Kathy. She becomes even more angry when she discovers that R.F. intends to give Kathy a screen credit and a big publicity buildup. Lina blackmails R.F. into backing down and demands that Kathy continue to provide her singing voice anonymously. As a contract player, Kathy has no choice in the matter.
The premiere of "The Dancing Cavalier" is a tremendous success. When the audience clamors for Lina to sing live, Don, Cosmo and R.F. improvise and get Lina to
lip-synchwhile Kathy sings into a second microphone while hidden behind thestage's curtain. Later, while Lina is "singing", Don, Cosmo and R.F. gleefully open the stage curtain behind her, revealing the deception — Lina then flees in embarrassment. When Kathy tries to run away as well, Don stops her and introduces the audience to "the real star of the film".
The movie ends with Don and Kathy kissing in front of a billboard that says "Singin' in the Rain with Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden."
Gene Kellyas Don Lockwood. Although his performance in the song "Singin' in the Rain" is now considered iconic, Kelly was not the first choice for the role — Howard Keelwas originally cast. However, Keel was replaced by Kelly as the screenwriters evolved the character from a "Western actor" to a "song-and-dance vaudeville" performer.
Debbie Reynoldsas Kathy Selden. Early on in production, Judy Garland(shortly before her contract termination from MGM), Kathryn Grayson, Jane Powell, Leslie Caron, and June Allysonwere among the names thrown around for the role of the "ingenue".
Donald O'Connoras Cosmo Brown. The role was based on, and was initially written for, Oscar Levant.
Jean Hagenas Lina Lamont. Judy Hollidaywas strongly considered for the role of Lina, until she suggested Hagen, who had been her understudyin the Broadway production of " Born Yesterday". Fresh off her role in " The Asphalt Jungle", Hagen read for the part for Arthur Freed and did a dead-on impression of Holliday's Billie Dawn character, which won her the role.
Millard Mitchellas R.F. Simpson. The initials of the fictional head of Monumental Pictures are a reference to producer Freed. R.F. also uses one of Freed's favorite expressions when he says that he "cannot quite visualize it" and has to see it on film first, referring to the Broadway ballet sequence, a joke, since the audience "has" just seen it.
Cyd Charisseas Don's dance partner in the "Broadway Melody" ballet
Rita Morenoas Zelda Zanders, the "Zip Girl" and Lina's informant friend
"Singin' in the Rain" was originally conceived by MGM producer
Arthur Freed, the head of the "Freed Unit" responsible for turning out MGM's lavish musicals, as a vehicle for his catalog of songs written with Nacio Herb Brownfor previous MGM musical films of the 1929-1939 period.George Feltenstein (2002). "Producer's Note", included in the liner notes of the "Music from the original motion picture soundtrack (deluxe edition) Singin' in the Rain" double CD by Rhino Entertainmentand Turner Classic Movies] Screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green contributed lyrics to one new song.Track list in the liner notes of the "Music from the original motion picture soundtrack (deluxe edition) Singin' in the Rain" double CD by Rhino Entertainmentand Turner Classic Movies.]
All songs have lyrics by Freed and music by Brown, unless otherwise indicated. Some of the songs, such as "Broadway Rhythm", "Should I?" and most notably "Singin' in the Rain", were featured in numerous films. The films listed below mark the first time each song was presented on screen.
*"Singin' in the Rain", from "
Hollywood Revue Of 1929" (1929)
Fit as a Fiddle (And Ready for Love)", from " College Coach" (1933)"CineBooks' Motion Picture Guide" review of the movie included on the Microsoft Cinemania1997 CD] (music by Al Hoffmanand Al Goodhart)
*"Temptation" (instrumental only), from "
Going Hollywood" (1933)
All I Do Is Dream of You", from " Sadie McKee" (1934)
Make 'Em Laugh" - considered an original song, but a near-plagiarism of Cole Porter's " Be a Clown", although it is said Porter gave his tacit permission.Fact|date=February 2007 In the lead in to the song, O'Connor/Cosmo sarcastically references the tragic line "ridi pagliaccio" ("Laugh, clown") from the opera " Pagliacci". O'Connor was hospitalized for a week for exhaustion after shooting this number.Fact|date=June 2007
*"Beautiful Girl Montage" comprising "
I Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'" from " Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935), " The Wedding of the Painted Doll" from " The Broadway Melody" (1929) and "Should I?" from " Lord Byron of Broadway" (1930)
*"Beautiful Girl", from "Going Hollywood" (1933) or from "
Stage Mother" (1933)
*"You Were Meant for Me", from "The Broadway Melody" (1929)
*"You Are My Lucky Star", from "Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935)
*"Moses Supposes" (music by
Roger Edens, lyrics by Comden and Green)
*"Good Morning", from "Babes In Arms" (1939)
*"Would You?", from "San Francisco" (1936)
*"Broadway Melody Ballet" composed of "The Broadway Melody" from "The Broadway Melody" (1929) and "Broadway Rhythm" from "Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935) (music by Nacio Herb Brown and
In an early draft of the script, the musical number "Singin' in the Rain" was to be sung by Debbie Reynolds,
Donald O'Connorand Gene Kelly on the way back from the flop preview of "The Dueling Cavalier". "You Were Meant For Me" was not included in that draft. Instead, the love song was supposed to be Gene Kelly's version of "All I Do is Dream of You," which would be sung after the party at R.F. Simpson's house, when Kelly chases after Reynolds. The song would have ended up at Kelly's house. The footage of this scene has been lost. Reynolds' solo rendition of "You Are My Lucky Star" (to a billboard showing an image of Lockwood) was cut from the film, but has survived and is included on the DVD version of the film.
In the famous dance routine in which Gene Kelly sings the title song while twirling an umbrella, splashing through puddles and getting soaked to the skin, he was actually dancing in water with a little bit of milk added, so that the water puddles and raindrops would show up in the filming. Kelly was sick with a 103-degree fever at the time. [cite web|title = The Biography Channel| url=http://www.thebiographychannel.co.uk/biography_story/255:304/1/Eugene_Gene_Kelly.htm| accessdate = 2008-06-03 ]
Debbie Reynolds was not a dancer at the time she made "Singin' in the Rain" — her background was as a gymnast.New 50th Anniversary Documentary "What a Glorious Feeling", hosted by Debbie Reynolds] Kelly apparently insulted her for her lack of dance experience, upsetting her.
Fred Astairewas hanging around the studio and found Reynolds crying under a piano. Hearing what had happened, Astaire volunteered to help her with her dancing. Kelly later admitted that he had not been kind to Reynolds and was surprised that she was still willing to talk to him afterwards. After shooting the "Good Morning" routine, Reynolds' feet were bleeding. Years later, she was quoted as saying that making this film and surviving childbirth were the two most difficult experiences of her life.
Donald O'Connor also apparently did not enjoy working with Kelly, finding him to be somewhat of a tyrant on the set, despite being quoted as saying that Kelly was "patient" with him Fact|date=August 2008.
Awards and honors
Jean Hagen was nominated for the
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and the film for Best Original Music Score.
"Singin' in the Rain" has appeared twice on "
Sight and Sound"'s list of the ten best films of all time, in 1982and 2002
In 1989, "Singin' in the Rain" was also deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the United States
Library of Congressand selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
American Film Institute recognition
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies- #10;
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs- #16;
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Passions- #16;
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs:
**"Singin' in the Rain" - #3
Make 'em Laugh" - #49
**"Good Morning" - #72
AFI's 100 Years of Musicals- #1
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)- #5
Home video releases
The 40th Anniversary Edition VHS version includes a documentary, the original trailer, and Reynolds' solo rendition of "Singin' in the Rain", which was cut from the film.
According to the audio commentary on the Special Edition DVD, the original negative was destroyed in a fire, but despite this, the film has been digitally restored for its DVD release.
* A similar
plothad been used in the 1946 French film" Étoile sans lumière" (aka "Star without Light"), directed by Marcel Blistene, starring Edith Piafand Mila Parelyand later in the 1959 British film" Follow a Star", directed by Robert Asherand starring Norman Wisdomand Jerry Desmonde.
* "Singin' in the Rain" is sung mockingly by
Alex DeLarge, played by Malcolm McDowell, in the rapescene in Stanley Kubrick's film "A Clockwork Orange" (1971). An edited version of Gene Kelly's rendition is heard during the end credits.
*The "Singin' in the Rain" routine has been parodied or imitated numerous times, including by
Morecambe and Wiseand Paddington Bearand The Wombles. The dance was also parodied, briefly, by The Goodiesduring their television episode Saturday Night Grease, where the music for the dance sequence was "Singin' in the Rain". It was also once sung (very badly) by Bill Owen outside Nora Batty's house in an episode of " Last of the Summer Wine". In the 1980 film "Fame", the character Coco Hernandez (played by Irene Cara) dances in a puddle on a train station while singing "Singin' in the Rain". Canadian figure skater Kurt Browningdid an on-ice (and water) recreation in a Stars on Icetelevision special. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNNNGjZm6hQ Youtube.com] ] Actor Tom Hanksalso performed a version of the dance routine in the 1988 filme Punchline.
*The sequence was also the subject of a
2005advertisement for the new Volkswagen Golf GTI. Kelly appeared to replace his routine with a combination of breakdanceand body pop dancing styles, culminating when he stopped to look at the aforementioned car. To create this illusion, three breakdancers performed different parts of the routine on a painstakingly recreated replica of the original set. Kelly's face was digitally superimposed upon each dancer in post-production for the close-ups, while prosthetic makeup was sufficient for most of the footage. A big beat remixof the original song by Mint Royaleprovided the soundtrack.
* A predominant theme in season four of "
The Spencer Howard Show" is Spencer's starring role in a shot-for-shot remake of "Singin' in the Rain".
* The popular Bollywood film "
Om Shanti Om" (2007) is, like "Singin' in the Rain", set in a film studio. The sequence for the song 'Main Agar Kahoon' is a clear homage to the sound-stage sequence for 'You Were Meant for Me'.
* The dance to the title song is parodied in the Broadway musical "Spamalot" in the dance break to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," complete with tap dancing in raincoats and twirling umbrellas.
* In the Broadway musical "The Full Monty", one of the characters (Ethan) spends the better part of the show unsuccessfully trying to replicate Donald O'Connor's famed "running up the wall thing" from "Make 'Em Laugh."
* An episode of
Family Guyhas Quagmire dancing and singing a parody of "Make 'Em Laugh" in an adult movie store, while in another episode, Joe, Quagmire, Cleveland, Peter, and Stewie recreate the song and choreography of "Good Morning."
Ewan McGregor's character in " Moulin Rouge!" does a similar dance, spinning with an umbrella during " Your Song".
* [http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F19990214%2FREVIEWS08%2F401010359%2F1023 Roger Ebert's review]
* [http://www.filmsite.org/sing.html Very detailed review from filmsite.org]
* [http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/movie-pages/movie_musicals.php 100 Greatest Film Musicals]
* [http://cinemaclassic.free.fr/sing/singin.html Movie photos and lobby posters]
* [http://www.cinemademerde.com/Essay-Singin_Rain.shtml Speaking vs. Dancing in the Rain: An essay on the importance of the "completely unrelated" 14-minute ballet sequence]
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