Movie and stage icon Debbie Reynolds hosts the making of "Singin' in the Rain". The short documentary includes Donald O'Connor, who played the comical "Cosmo Brown", Stanley Donen, one half...
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Movie and stage icon Debbie Reynolds hosts the making of "Singin' in the Rain". The short documentary includes Donald O'Connor, who played the comical "Cosmo Brown", Stanley Donen, one half of the directors next to Gene Kelly, and Kathleen Freeman, who played Phoebe Dinsmore, Lina Lamont's (Jean Hagen) voice coach. Written by
Kathleen Freeman, about Jean Hagen, says: "If you see her in that ("Singin' in the Rain") and in Blackboard Jungle, people did not know it was the same person." In fact, Jean Hagen didn't act in "Blackboard Jungle", but in "The Asphalt Jungle". See more »
Debbie Reynolds With A Lot Of Back-Stage Details Of This Famous Film
Not surprising, host Debbie Reynolds said everyone connected with this movie thought they were "just making another splashy MGM musical, like so many that were so popular in the 1950s. We had no idea this film would be listed, years later, as one of the greatest films of all time."
This 35-minute feature is part of the two-disc special-edition DVD of "Singin' In The Rain" which celebrates the 50th anniversary of this famous musical. It starred our host, along with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Jean Hagen. This has to be Kelly's most famous film. Even those who never watched the movie have, at some time in their life, has seen clips of him dancing to the title number.
Many silent screen stars did not survive the "talkie" revolution, the switch to silent to talking films. That transitional period is the primary story of "Singin' In The Rain."
Debbie gives us the history of musicals at MGM, beginning with the "The Broadway Melody" in 1929. I was shocked to hear that in the next musical, "The Hollywood Revue Of 1929," the key song was "Singin' In The Rain." I guess like others I presumed the song was made for this 1952 hit movie.
Reynolds, director Stanley Donen, screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green heap praise on Arthur Freed, who produced those first musicals, and more after that including, of course, this film. He also wrote the lyrics to the songs and those were written back in the late '20s.
It was nice to see Donald O'Connor again, along with Kathleen Freeman, Cyd Charisse and Stanely Donan. O'Connor, however, was only on briefly here. My guess was that he was ill because O'Connor died the following year after this interview.
Kelly, who co-directed as well as starring in the film, was a perfectionist and had to have everything, not just the dancing, to be perfect, such as set decorations and having everything look just as it would in the 1920s. Yet, no one resented this because they liked the guy. Like fellow hoofer Fred Astaire, Gene worked his partners hard. Reynolds feet bled at times and Cyrisse would go home black-and-blue.
Reynolds covers a lot of ground and, of course, a fair amount is about herself but, that's okay. She was fair to everyone. If you really love this film, you'll enjoy all the details she provides.
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