Even though Hermes Pan is the credited choreographer on the film, the steamy duet between Bob Fosse and Carol Haney in "From This Moment On" (which includes Fosse doing a complete back-flip) was choreographed by Fosse himself, and lasts only 66 seconds. But it is the sequence that made critics take notice of the future award-winning choreographer and director.
In supplemental information on the DVD mention is made that Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore neglected to rehearse their "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" number more than once or twice because they thought it was silly. When it came time to shoot it they made numerous fumbles and mistakes which the director thought was on purpose. He later complemented them on making it look like something a couple of thugs would perform. They never told him the truth.
In the song "We Open In Venice" they state "No theater guild attraction are we". Theater Guild shows tended to be of the 'story, stop for a song, resume story' variety. Following the success of _Oklahoma_, recognized as the first "integrated" show where the songs were part of the story, rather than a separate entity, many shows, including this one, started following the integrated format. This line is merely telling the audience what to expect.
The original Broadway production of "Kiss Me Kate" opened at the New Century Theater on Thursday, December 30th, 1948. It ran for 1077 performances and won the 1949 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Best Book & Best Musical Score.
Three songs from this show, "Wunderbar", "I'm Always True To You, Darlin' (In My Fashion)" and "So In Love (With You Am I)", were recorded by numerous artists in the late 1940s and were on the music hit charts for several months.
The pictures on the piano in the opening scene in Fred Graham's apartment feature photos from Howard Keel's prior films roles, including "Showboat" (also starring Kathryn Grayson) and "Annie Get Your Gun."
The movie was shot full frame (1.33:1, including soundtrack area) and then printed with optical soundtrack and interlocked with a magnetic, full-coated strip of film in the theater. While shot on Ansocolor film stock, the prints were by Technicolor, who optically centered the picture to fit the soundtrack on the film (unfortunately, new prints do not have this advantage and the left portion of the picture is cut off prematurely). According to trade ads, the film was only shot in 3-D and except for the premiere (at Radio City), played at almost all major theaters across the USA in 3-D. According to the director in a 1953 interview, the aspect ratio was intended to be 1.75:1, although it was protected for almost every ratio, due to the ever-changing standards of flat widescreen at the time.
Deanna Durbin had been MGM's first choice for the role of Lilli Vanessi, but despite a visit by producer Jack Cummings to Deanna's home near Paris, she could not be persuaded to emerge from retirement. Miss Durbin already had rejected the chance to portray Lili in London's West End, where the British production played 400 performances at the Coliseum Theatre, running from March 8, 1951 until February 23, 1952. Patricia Morison, Broadway's original Lilli, re-created the part in London.
Several of the Broadway lyrics were considered too "spicy" for a film. For instance, "according to the Kinsey Report" (Alfred Kinsey) was changed to "according to the latest report" in the song, "Too Darn Hot", and a verse containing bawdy puns was omitted from "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" (William Shakespeare).