Singin' in the Rain
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Singin' in the Rain can be found here.

In 1927, when the film industry was transitioning from silent movies to 'talkies,' the latest film featuring the on-screen romantic duo, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), is being transformed into a musical. Unfortunately, Lina's voice leaves much to be desired, so aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) is brought in to dub for her. Don, who is not in love with Lina offscreen, falls for Kathy. Lina, who is in love with Don offscreen, conspires to ruin Kathy's future as an actress.

Singin' in the Rain is a musical comedy written by longtime screenwriting partners Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Music is by American songwriter Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Arthur Freed, who also produced the movie. Singin' in the Rain is number one on the list of the American Film Institute's Greatest Movie Musicals.

The Jazz Singer (1927) was the first full length movie with sound, but not all of the film was a 'talkie'. The first feature film with all synchronous dialog was Lights of New York (1928).

When Lina finds out that Kathy is dubbing her voice, she consults her lawyer and learns that her contract gives her the right to manage her own publicity, so she grants 'exclusive' interviews to all the newspapers claiming that it is her real voice in 'The Dancing Cavalier.' She further blackmails R.F. (Millard Mitchell) into forcing Kathy to dub her voice for five years with no public exposure otherwise. At the premiere of the movie, the audience is so enchanted with Lina's voice that they beg her to sing for them. So, Don, R.F., and Cosmo (Donald O'Connor) make Kathy sing into a microphone behind the curtain while Lina lip-synchs onstage. In the middle of the number, however, they open the curtain to reveal Kathy doing the actual singing. Utterly embarrassed, Lina storms off the stage. Just as embarrassed, Kathy also runs off crying, but Don asks the audience to stop her because 'she's the real star of the picture.' Don begins to sing 'You are my lucky star...' Kathy returns to the stage, and they duet while holding each other in their arms. In the final scene, Don and Kathy stand arm-in-arm in front of a large billboard advertizing the movie 'Singin' in the Rain' starring Don Lockwood and Kathy Selden. They turn toward each other and kiss.

There is a rumor that Hagen spoke and sang with her real voice in the scenes where Lina is supposedly being dubbed by Kathy. This is only partly true. Hagen did "dub" her own speaking voice in those scenes, but she did not do her own singing. The singing done on "Would You?" was done neither by Hagen nor Reynolds but by Betty Noyes, who also dubs Reynolds in the finale, a duet of "You Are My Lucky Star" with Gene Kelly. Reynolds did her own singing on "Good Morning" and Kathy's rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" as well as in a deleted solo version of "You Are My Lucky Star" sung in front of a billboard of Don Lockwood.

What makes Singin' In The Rain great started when MGM producer Arthur Freed had very good experiences working with writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green on movies such as Good News (1947) and The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), so he approached them with a new write a film spotlighting all the songs he'd written with composer Nacio Herb Brown. Since most of those songs had been written in the late 20s and early 30s, Comden and Green decided to set their script in that time period, and they came up with the story of two silent screen stars making the transition to talking pictures. While Gene Kelly was finishing An American in Paris (1951), he read what Comden and Green had prepared and decided it would be his next film. Kelly and co-director Stanley Donen were at the peak of their powers, and the cast they assembled was perfection (as was Kelly's choreography). The rest of the technical aspects of the film were handled by MGM's extraordinary team of creative artists. Every single aspect of Singin' In The Rain reflected state-of-the-art quality and, although the film was meant to be a spoof of the era, many of the incidents were based on actual events. The results was a light-hearted film with just enough comedy, music, and dancing to give the audiences a good time and leave them with a happy feeling.

Viewers who have enjoyed Singin' in the Rain for its light-hearted entertainment suggest starting with other musicals produced by Arthur Freed, such as The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), The Pirate (1948), Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949), The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), An American in Paris (1951), The Band Wagon (1953), and Gigi (1958). In fact, the 1950s and 60s were golden years for musicals and resulted in some of the most memorable of them, such as There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), White Christmas (1954), A Star Is Born (1954), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), The King and I (1956), Funny Face (1957), Silk Stockings (1957), South Pacific (1958), West Side Story (1961), The Music Man (1962), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), My Fair Lady (1964), Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), Camelot (1967), Oliver! (1968), and Funny Girl (1968). Musicals after the 60s seemed to dwindle, the most notable being Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Cabaret (1972), Grease (1978), Hair (1979), Annie (1982), Chicago (2002), and The Phantom of the Opera (2004).

Filming rain is not easy - if the rain isn't backlit, it doesn't show up on film. All the rain in the scene had to be lit from the rear to work the way it did. Also, the scene was filmed outdoors in the middle of the day. This required the entire set to be covered with a big, heavy tarp. Read more about filming the scene here.


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