1927 Hollywood. Monumental Pictures' biggest stars, glamorous on-screen couple Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood, are also an off-screen couple if the trade papers and gossip columns are to be believed. Both perpetuate the public perception if only to please their adoring fans and bring people into the movie theaters. In reality, Don barely tolerates her, while Lina, despite thinking Don beneath her, simplemindedly believes what she sees on screen in order to bolster her own stardom and sense of self-importance. R.F. Simpson, Monumental's head, dismisses what he thinks is a flash in the pan: talking pictures. It isn't until The Jazz Singer (1927) becomes a bona fide hit which results in all the movie theaters installing sound equipment that R.F. knows Monumental, most specifically in the form of Don and Lina, have to jump on the talking picture bandwagon, despite no one at the studio knowing anything about the technology. Musician Cosmo Brown, Don's best friend, gets hired as Monumental's ... Written by
Contrary to popular belief, Jean Hagen didn't base the voice of Lina Lamont on any actual silent film stars. The entire performance--the squeaky, raspy voice; the Sunnyside, Queens, accent; the hair, makeup and body language-- was based on the characters Judy Holliday often portrayed, especially Holliday's Oscar-winning performance in Born Yesterday (1950). Hagen had had the opportunity to observe Holliday in person when they were co-stars in Adam's Rib (1949). See more »
The scene where Gene Kelly is shown performing in an action sequence from the silent film "The Dueling Cavalier" actually uses footage from his earlier film The Three Musketeers. At one point, Lana Turner, who played Lady de Winter in that film, is briefly seen coming through a door to embrace Kelly before being immediately replaced by new footage of Jean Hagen hugging Kelly. See more »
[broadcasting on radio]
This is Dora Bailey, ladies and gentlemen, talking to you from the front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. What a night, ladies and gentlemen, what a night! Every star in Hollywood's heaven is here to make Monumental Pictures' premiere of "The Royal Rascal" the outstanding event of 1927! Everyone is breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood!
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One thing I noticed in reading the comments of this movie is that nobody recognized the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Without their screenplay the movie does not get made. It is a great script that was made better by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donens' fluid direction. Everything in this movie glides effortlessly. Throw in dancing by Donald O'connor, Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse and of course Gene Kelly, Great songs and the willingness of producer Arthur Freed to let the creative people to do their thing and you have a classic.
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