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
The role of the ditzy movie diva Lina Lamont was written with Judy Holliday in mind. Holliday was a close friend of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and they even modeled the character on routines they had worked up with Holliday back when they were part of a satirical group called The Revuers in New York. Timing was everything, however, and the idea of casting Holliday was vetoed after she hit it big in Born Yesterday (1950). Everyone figured she'd be uninterested in the supporting part but, as it turned out, Jean Hagen, Holliday's understudy on Broadway for "Born Yesterday", got the part. Additionally, both Holiday and Hagen had worked together in Adam's Rib (1949) both in supporting, but key roles, Hagen playing a woman involved with Judy's husband. Hagen's speech in that film was similar in "pitch" to what she later exhibited as Lina Lamont . See more »
The same crowd cheering noise is used twice in the opening scene outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre - first after Don Lockwood says "Not in front of all these people!", and secondly after Dora Bailey presses Don Lockwood to tell his life story. 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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Many good things can be and have been said about this one and they're all true. It's a great movie. The title number gives us Don Lockwood (Kelly)...In love as no other person has ever been in love, no doubt. He steps out the door and it's raining but he's oblivious to the rain. Who needs an umbrella when you've got wings on your heart and on your feet? Not the incomparable Gene Kelly as he treats us to THE single finest moment in the history of cinema. Do not miss this one.
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