His father walks off in the middle of it, leaving Mac in tears on the dance floor. Mac in tears! I get it. McElhenney says he decided to beef up Mac because of a trend he noticed over the last few years. This challenge was different and required not just a total body transformation, but also learning to move in a new way.
His new diet consisted of no alcohol, no eating after 7 p. He also lifted weights six days a week, ran three miles a day, and stretched for an hour a day — and all that was before he also started training a few times a week for a couple of hours a day with choreographers Alison Faulk and Leo Moctezuma. But it took time for McElhenney to settle on the type of dance he wanted to do. Should it be funny? He knew that he wanted it to be a partner dance, which is why Faulk brought in Moctezuma, her choreography partner of ten years.
There was a practical reason for Mac to have a partner, too. My purpose in the dance is to exalt her and make her look as good as possible. When they opened auditions for dancers, they wondered if they needed someone who was at the top of her technical game or should be more raw and emotional. But the one the three of us kept coming back to was Kylie.
The audition consisted of about a minute and a half of the actual choreography, which the prospective dancers performed with different male dancers. During callbacks, the finalists auditioned with McElhenney. He wowed me from the very first day with his abilities as a dancer. They signed on immediately, which was great. For McElhenney to learn a few dance moves was one thing. To learn how to partner dance was an entirely different test, one that required establishing complete trust.
Shea, who spent three years partner dancing for a Seattle dance company, knows a thing or two about being dropped. But in the two-and-a-half months she rehearsed with McElhenney, she says it never even got close.
McElhenney says the realization that he could actually pull off the routine struck him bit by bit. Just garbage. But we can definitely create something specifically for you that has this water element. Still, McElhenney was not deterred. It just feels dangerous and cool and makes it more of a struggle. And also, the trust in the water was at a whole other level. He was supposed to swing her around, twirl her with one hand, and then let her go in the gushing water, but something unexpected happened when he moved his foot and lost the grip.
The ladies had to stand ankle-deep in a drum full of water to match the soggy on-screen action. Debbie Reynolds had no dancing experience before she made the film. She pointed this out when she was asked to be in the film, but Gene Kelly said he could teach her, just as he'd done with Frank Sinatra for Anchors Aweigh Reynolds had been a gymnast, so she wasn't completely unfamiliar with physical movement requiring grace and stamina.
Ever the trouper, she buckled down and rehearsed day and night until she could share a dance floor with Kelly and Donald O'Connor without embarrassing herself. The last shot of the "Good Morning" number, with Don, Kathy and Cosmo falling over the couch, took forty takes to film. Most of the characters are based on actual people: R. Simpson, the studio head, is obviously a parody on Louis B.
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With the death of Debbie Reynolds on December 28, , Rita Moreno , who played the part of Zelda, is the last surviving star of the movie. Costume Designer Walter Plunkett said that this was the most work he ever did on a film, including Gone with the Wind Both films were period pieces, but Singin' in the Rain required a greater number of elaborate, ornately detailed costumes than Gone With the Wind did.
They had to be more accurate, too, since audiences remembered Hollywood of the late '20s more clearly than audiences remembered the Civil War. All told, Plunkett designed about costumes for the film. Before this film, Cyd Charisse had appeared in films as a "dance specialty" or as a supporting player since her arrival at MGM in Her torrid performance as the Louise Brooks -like vamp in the "Broadway Ballet" was so revelatory that producer Arthur Freed was moved to elevate her to star status. This film was well received by theatergoers but recalled from Lowe's Theaters by the spring of , so as to not compete with the reissue of An American in Paris , which also starred Gene Kelly.
It was commonplace, at that time, for a film to have a second run after winning an Academy Award, as it did for Best Picture. Freed's song, "Make 'Em Laugh" bore a striking similarity to Cole Porter 's "Be a Clown" from the producer's film The Pirate although no one ever accused him of plagiarism. Gene Kelly choreographed his dance scenes with Cyd Charisse to hide the fact that she was taller than he was. To keep the height difference from being obvious, Kelly staged the routine so that the two were rarely upright when standing next to each other, always bending toward or away from one another instead.
The title number was originally supposed to be a showcase for the three leads but Gene Kelly figured it would work well to illustrate his character's joie de vivre. Cyd Charisse had to be taught how to smoke a cigarette for the "Broadway Ballet" sequence. She stated that she never smoked another cigarette after that.
Milk was added to the water for the title number to make the rain appear more visible. For the dream segment within the "Broadway Ballet" sequence, Gene Kelly choreographed a scarf dance, using an enormous foot veil of white China silk attached to Cyd Charisse 's costume. Most of the costumes from this film were eventually acquired by Debbie Reynolds and housed in her massive collection of original film costumes, sets and props.
Many of these items were sold at a auction in Hollywood. 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 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 Holliday and Hagen had worked together in Adam's Rib both in key supporting 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. Howard Keel was the original choice to play Don Lockwood; however, he was replaced by Gene Kelly as the screenwriters evolved the character from a "Western actor" background to a "song-and-dance vaudeville" background. Cyd Charisse said that the long veil she wore during the "Broadway Ballet" sequence caught enough breeze from the fan that the pull almost caused her to lose her balance during some of the steps. Like the character of Cosmo Brown, producer Arthur Freed was once employed as a mood-music pianist who played on movie sets during the silent film era.
Very early on in the pre-production stage, Judy Garland , June Allyson and Ann Miller were considered for the role of Kathy Selden, but all were considered "too old". Jane Powell and Leslie Caron were also briefly considered before Debbie Reynolds then a newcomer was cast. The prerecording can be heard on Rhino's soundtrack CD. Closing the movie is the "billboard duet" of this song by Miss Reynolds and Gene Kelly with a chorus.
The initials of the fictional Monumental Pictures' owner, R. Simpson, are a reference to Arthur Freed. Simpson also uses one of Freed's frequent expressions when he says that he "cannot quite visualize it" and has to see it on film first, referring to the Broadway ballet sequence--this is an obvious cinematic joke, since the audience has just seen it on film.
Even though Donald O'Connor was hired to play Gene Kelly 's friend, the first thing Kelly asked him while on set for "Moses Supposes" was if his fouettes were mostly left. He replied yes and Kelly smiled and said, "That's great". O'Connor would later late s in an interview say that it made his day. After the duet they became closer on set. While the film makes a central point of the idea that Kathy's voice is dubbed over Lina Lamont's, what is not told is that, ironically, in "Would You?
However, Reynolds' own singing voice is used in the rest of the score. Was voted the 10th Greatest Film of all time by Entertainment Weekly, being the highest ranked musical. The film's network television premiere, scheduled for 23 November on NBC, had to be postponed by two weeks due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and its aftermath. It was voted the 1 movie musical in American film history by the American Film Institute in The song "Singin' In The Rain" ranks 3 in their top songs.
Don and Cosmo were shown as touring through a variety of small towns as part of their vaudeville career. These are all fictional although there is a town called Oatmeal in Texas and one called Coyoteville in California.
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Although there is no precise documentation of what or where it was, close examination of footage toward the end of the dance shows an abrupt cut when Charisse is wrapped around Kelly, indicating the probable location. As O'Connor noted in an interview, "Gene didn't have a clue as to the kind of number it was meant to be. The two of them brainstormed ideas in the rehearsal room, and came up with a compendium of gags and "shtick" that O'Connor had done for years, some of which he had performed in vaudeville. O'Connor recalled, "Every time I got a new idea or remembered something that had worked well for me in the past, Gene wrote it down and, bit by bit, the entire number was constructed.
In an early version of the script, the musical number "Singin' in the Rain" was to be sung by Debbie Reynolds , Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly on the way back from the flop of a talkie movie. Simpson's house, when Kelly chases after Reynolds. The song would have ended up at Kelly's house. The footage of this scene has been lost, but the prerecording is featured on the soundtrack from Rhino. Originally, Debbie Reynolds was going to play Gene Kelly 's partner in the "Broadway Melody" sequence, but her dancing wasn't up to the task. Leslie Caron , who had danced with Kelly in An American in Paris , was the second choice, but she was unavailable.
When Kathy is dubbing Lina's voice for the "Nothing can keep us apart, our love will last till the stars turn cold" line, it is actually the real voice of Jean Hagen. Given that the plot of this movie centers around a worthy performer working in an uncredited and unrecognized capacity in a movie, it is ironic that many of the film's on-camera performers even ones with relatively major supporting speaking roles and significant behind-the-scenes crew members did not receive onscreen credits.
Likewise, accomplished Broadway dancers Carol Haney and Gwen Verdon were both uncredited choreography assistants to Gene Kelly , whose job as the film's main choreographer also went uncredited. To give himself confidence for the "Make Em Laugh" sequence, Donald O'Connor invited his brother over to help him rehearse the stunt with a rope. The title song was shot out of doors on one of the permanent streets built on the studio back lot--the East Side Street.
The area was blacked out with tarpaulins rather than shooting "day-for-night" and had to be lit from behind so that the rain was visible to the camera but without the carbon arc lights reflecting in the shop windows. The movie poster behind them for the silent film Lovey Mary prominently features the name of that movie's male star, William Haines.
Befitting the plot of the film, Haines was a wildly popular heartthrob star of the silent era whose career abruptly ended soon after the advent of talkies--but in Haines's case, this had nothing to do with the suitability of his speaking or singing voice. In fact, Haines made a successful transition to talkies, and was under contract to MGM during the late s and early s.
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But Haines was openly gay in an era when this was highly unusual, and in , Louis B. Mayer the head of MGM insisted that Haines had to enter into a sham marriage for publicity. Blacklisted from an acting career, Haines opened a popular antiques dealership and interior design firm with Shields; they catered to Southern California's elite, including many movie stars among their clients were Joan Crawford and Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.
Their renown as interior designers was well-established by , when Singin' in the Rain was released, so the appearance of a Lovey Mary poster in the film is both a genuine artifact of the silent-film era and a contemporary in-joke for the Hollywood intelligentsia who saw the movie on its first release. Shields and Haines remained together until Haines's death in John Alton was initially hired as cinematographer after impressing Gene Kelly with his lensing of the ballet sequence in An American in Paris , but was fired over the objections of Kelly and Stanley Donen due to what Donen later described as "political reasons.
Contrary to popular belief, Jean Hagen didn't base the voice of Lina Lamont on any actual silent film stars.
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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 Hagen had had the opportunity to observe Holliday in person when they were co-stars in Adam's Rib As the film's stature grows with each passing year, it becomes all the more mystifying that, at the time of its release, it was considered nothing more than an enjoyable and profitable MGM musical, one of many released the same year.
It received only two Academy Award nominations, none in major categories, and lost both. In hindsight, the film was likely unappreciated because it was released in the shadow of the previous year's triumphant, Oscar-winning An American in Paris , also an MGM musical, equally joyous, but with high art pretensions that Singin' in the Rain utterly lacked. Whereas An American in Paris had elevated the movie musical to a new level of artistic expression, Singin' in the Rain, an unabashed musical comedy, appeared to once again lower the bar.
In hindsight, this is not the case, but at the time of the film's release, comparisons to An American in Paris, also produced by Arthur Freed , also starring Gene Kelly , were inevitable and damning. To get a sense of how colossal the former film was, both Freed and Kelly had received special honorary Oscars for their contributions to the industry, these in addition to the six competitive awards the film won.
In such a climate, the unpretentious charms of Singin' in the Rain were lost. Prior to filming, Gene Kelly had a meeting with studio head Louis B. Mayer in his office to discuss casting. Mayer had Debbie Reynolds enter during the meeting. When Kelly rose to greet her, Mayer said "I'd like to introduce you to your leading lady. Kelly stared at Mayer for a minute, looked at Reynolds and asked "Can you dance?
He worked her hard and brutally during production and Debbie really suffered she was, in fact, hospitalized during production for exhaustion! When the film was released, it was only then she could see why Kelly was so hard on her. Together, they made a true Hollywood masterpiece. Many real-life silent-film personalities are parodied, especially in the opening sequence. In the Italian version "Make 'Em Laugh" is sung in Italian and has similar, but a little different, lyrics. It's the only song they did this to.
Features Jean Hagen 's only Oscar nominated performance. The highest ranked film on the AFI's Years Previews were held in October, November, and December of , so a number of people got to see the completed film before it went into general release in Kathleen Freeman 's character of Phoebe Dinsmore was patterned after the actress Constance Collier who came to Hollywood in the late s as a vocal coach for the likes of Marion Davies and Norma Talmadge.
The "Broadway Melody" scene was a late addition to the film. Arthur Freed was encouraged by how well a similar sequence in An American in Paris had turned out, so he suggested that Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen conceive a similar scene-after most of the rest of the film had been shot. Gene was suffering from a temperature of when filming the title number. Jean Hagen had some previous experience in playing the role of Lina Lamont. Just a couple of years earlier she played the role of a ditzy female in Adam's Rib , her film debut, but as a brunette.
When they decide to take the completed silent film and re-shoot parts of it as a talkie, which was commonly done during the transition from silents to talkies, this was termed a "goat-gland" film. Gene Kelly lived up to his reputation as a a taskmaster, reducing Debbie Reynolds to tears at one point.
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Despite her admission that she needed the pressure to develop the necessary discipline, the two never had a chance to work together again. This film was selected into the National Film Registry in the first year of inductions for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
What appears to be an outtake from the film is part of of a stunt montage sequence in the opening credits of the s series The Fall Guy In this brief clip, the stuntman doubling for Gene Kelly , is supposed to jump from the top of a streetcar into the front seat of Debbie Reynolds ' Model T.
In this take, however, he misses the car entirely and lands, seated, in the street. Arthur Freed wrote the title song in Gene Kelly's favourite number from the film was Broadway Melody. The film takes place in