TIL the movie, Singin’ in the Rain was only a modest hit when released with 2 Oscar nominations but is now considered one of the greatest movies ever made. Gene Kelly had a 103 degree fever after filming over 2-3 days the rainy title song and Debbie Reynolds’ feet bled after a long dancing practice.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singin%27_in_the_Rain

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  1. In the nearly seven decades since the film’s release, Singin’ in the Rain has come to be regarded as the apotheosis of Hollywood’s golden age of movie musicals. The production was initially conceived as a framework to showcase the songs of legendary MGM producer Arthur Freed and composer Nacio Brown, whose string of memorable tunes had all been featured in earlier movies. Freed assigned scriptwriting duties to Betty Comden and Adolph Green, the acclaimed duo who had created On the Town for Broadway with Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. Since most of the songs dated from the 20s and 30s, once Gene Kelly became attached to the project Comden and Green hit on the idea of lightly satirizing Hollywood’s silent era, which provided a charming variety of witty situations to use as settings for the songs and production numbers.

    As lighthearted as it all looks, all that “singin’ in the rain” wasn’t easy. While shooting the title number, Gene Kelly toughed it out with a 103-degree temperature, enduring two days of drenching artificial rain, which was filmed during a Culver City water shortage. Nineteen-year-old Debbie Reynolds was not a trained dancer, and after strenuous rehearsals and multiple retakes of the “Good Morning” number under Kelly’s grueling direction, she left the set with bloody feet. Despite a childhood upbringing in a circus family, Donald O’Connor’s heavy smoking habit required a week of bed rest after filming “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

    The production also offered plum opportunities for the supporting cast. Comden and Green had originally written the role of Lina Lamont for their friend Judy Holliday. However, after Holliday’s Oscar-winning success in 1950 with the movie version of Born Yesterday, she was considered too big a star for a supporting role, so Holliday’s Broadway understudy Jean Hagen ended up snagging the greatest role of her career. After years of lingering at the edges of several MGM films, Cyd Charisse finally vaulted to leading lady status with her alternatingly smoldering and lyrical appearances in the lavish “Broadway Melody” dance number.

    The film is also a good lesson in film history. The movies transition to sound was a difficult process, as beautifully depicted in the filming of Don and Lina’s first sound sequence. There were multiple problems—range, pitch, directionality, focus, not to mention synchronization—that plagued early sound filmmaking, working with still primitive recording equipment. Happily, within a few years the technology caught up with the cinema’s needs, and creative filmmakers were soon integrating sound into the very fabric of their films.

    While it’s hard to believe now, Singin’ in the Rain was initially overshadowed by more “artistic” musicals of the era like An American in Paris, and only garnered two Oscar nominations—one for music scoring, the other a richly deserved Supporting Actress nod for Jean Hagen. However, the film was a box office success, and over the decades has steadily grown in both popularity and critical estimation as the Golden Age of the movie musical—much like the silent era—entered its own twilight with the arrival of the 1960s. Even critic and filmmaker François Truffaut once declared that Singin’ in the Rain was his favorite film.


  2. So… it’s only considered a “greatest movie” cause some guy got a fever and a lady’s feet bled after a long dancing practice…

    So it would still be an “ok” movie if they took his vitamins and the lady already knew how to dance? …hmm

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