She goes to Don for support: "Donny, how can you let him talk to me like that, your fiansee?" And he tries to play down their romantic pairing off-screen by the rumor mills and fan magazines:
But wait. Why don’t you buy the love story between Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood and Debbie Reynolds’ Kathy Selden? She was meant for him! He sings a song about it!
Kelly and O'Connor were established stars when the film was made in 1952. Debbie Reynolds was a newcomer with five previous smaller roles, and this was her big break. She has to keep up with two veteran hoofers, and does; note the determination on her pert little face as she takes giant strides when they all march toward a couch in the "Good Morning” number.
According to the audio commentary on the 2002 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 Blu-ray Ultimate Collector's Edition was released in July 2012.
According to MGM records, during the film's initial theatrical release it made $3,263,000 in the US and Canada and $2,367,000 internationally, earning the studio a profit of $666,000. It was the tenth highest-grossing movie of the year in the US and Canada.
Adapted from the motion picture, the plot closely adheres to the original. Set in Hollywood in the waning days of the silent screen era, it focuses on romantic lead Don Lockwood, his sidekick Cosmo Brown, aspiring actress Kathy Selden, and Lockwood's leading lady Lina Lamont, whose less-than-dulcet vocal tones make her an unlikely candidate for stardom in talking pictures.
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.
Now Lina, you've been reading those fan magazines again. Now look Lina, you shouldn't believe all that banana oil that Dora Bailey and the columnists dish out. Now try to get this straight. There is nothing between us. There has never been anything between us. Just air.
For her role as Lina Lamont, Jean Hagen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was also nominated for Best Original Music Score.
Kelly and O'Connor had dancing styles that were more robust and acrobatic than the grandmaster, Fred Astaire. O'Connor's "Make 'em Laugh” number remains one of the most amazing dance sequences ever filmed -- a lot of it in longer takes. He wrestles with a dummy, runs up walls and does backflips, tosses his body around like a rag doll, turns cartwheels on the floor, runs into a brick wall and a lumber plank, and crashes through a backdrop.
The narrative images on the screen belie every embellished, fabricated word he speaks - in reality, the pictures and descriptions are terribly disjointed. [The film's theme is the 'out of sync' disjunction of words / sounds / movie images from reality - what can be believed in the magical world of film? Can we believe our eyes and our ears?] What actually happened to Cosmo and Don is seen entirely differently - as an uphill struggle for two musicians/performers.
Ah, it’s just all breathtaking, and a perfect updating of the earliest days of movie musicals for the Technicolor Generation. Heck, isn’t Kelly doing Jolson when he sings “Broadway Melody”?
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For a film that in many ways itself represents the golden age of the Hollywood star system, featuring Gene Kelly and “America’s Sweetheart” Debbie Reynolds, the film cuts acerbically into the vacuousness of celebrity worship and the phoniness inherent in it. “She’s so refined, I think kill I’ll myself”, sighs one fan while watching the secretly unrefined Lina Lamont on screen.
Discuss Singin' in the Rain on our Movie forum!
Pick: Well, if you want to be all formalistic about things, half the picture is shoe-horned in around a bare-bones plot that turns now and again on suddenly created conflicts which resolve at random intervals. I’d say the insanely complex production of “The Broadway Ballet” is second only to the title sequence itself as a purely delightful experience.
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 Brown for previous MGM musical films of the 1929–39 period. Screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green contributed lyrics to one new song.
He begins his conveniently-laundered version of his rise to stardom with one motto he has always lived by, instilled in him by his parents from the very beginning:
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The love story at the heart of the plot barely makes any sense, and the introduction of a villainous complication waits until the movie is nearly over, but who cares? Singin’ in the Rain is about movement; it’s about song; it’s about ridiculous, silly, triumphant, joyously shiny delights.
Simpson: Lina, you were gorgeous. Cosmo: Yeah, Lina, you looked pretty good for a girl.
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.
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
A fancy package of musical entertainment with wide appeal and bright grossing prospects.
Don Lockwood (Kelly) is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer and stuntman. Don barely tolerates his vain, shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (Hagen), though their studio, Monumental Pictures, links them romantically to increase their popularity. Lina herself is convinced they are in love, despite Don's protestations otherwise.
Which is still fine with me, because Kelly (and sometimes O’Connor) dances up a storm in Singin’ In the Rain, and that’s what I want from his movies. Unlike Fred Astaire, his most storied rival for the crown of Classic Movie Dance Man, Kelly’s moves are much less about relating to a partner than they are about storming the screen. Astaire draws us in as if he’s leading us in a foxtrot, while Kelly pushes us away and forces us to drop to our knees in awe.
Donald O'Connor won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Cosmo Brown. Betty Comden and Adolph Green received the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical.
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Singin In The Rain (1952)
Part of the opening credits feature the three stars from the film, briefly singing the title song with black umbrellas and yellow raincoats.
Singin' in the Rain (1952) is one of the most-loved and celebrated film musicals of all time from MGM, before a mass exodus to filmed adaptations of Broadway plays emerged as a standard pattern. It was made directly for film, and was not a Broadway adaptation.
Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.
By 1952, the public consensus was that the silents, with the possible exception of Chaplin, were a primitive, formulaic, and mostly worthless precursor to the explosions of sound (and color, come to think of it) that seemed so sophisticated to modern viewers. My final question to you, then, is do you think Singin’ In the Rain helped or hurt the ability to look back at the achievements of the past?
F' heaven's sake, what's the big idea? Can't a girl get a word in edge-wise? After all, they're my public too!
Donald O'Connor had to stay in bed for several days after filming the "Make 'Em Laugh" sequence. He smoked up to four packs of cigarettes a day.
A Louella Parsons-like radio interviewer Dora Bailey (Madge Blake) announces the arrivals of all the stars. The first limousines pull up at the show with lesser stars and their escorts, as fans cheer, anticipating the arrival of the major stars.
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For humour and sheer energy, no musical betters Singin' In The Rain.