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katiekat

singin' in the rain- hollywood magic?

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well, you really have to look at that scene in a symbolic way rather than another scene in the movie. You see, In the beginning of the scene when Gene's on the conveyer belt like walking down the street and he's looking for a break it really does tie in with the plot because it symbolizes Gene's life and how he has tryed getting into the entertainment buisness as he talks about in the beginning, him and Donald...and then he meets that woman, in the scene, which could really symbolize his lust for fame and the spot light or his love for Debby. See Debby's the only one who hasn't fallen in love with him at first sight like the other girls Gene's flirted with before.....you could look at it in any light and wind up with some symbolisum from the movie so it's not completely random. I liked it. That's what really gave the movie Gene's signature.

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I get it, katiekat... Actually, you made me think alot about it and what it means in relation with the film. I guess I have never thought about it that way. What good perception you have!

 

johnm... LOL no no you can't cut it! What would you put in its place?

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to cut the scene would be to take away part of the reason it's called a musical...

music + dancing = musical...if you add a dash of Gene Kelly it would come out to one of the best musicals ever created! you can check my answer if you think I'm wrong.

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Well, you don't have to explain musicals to me. I spent the years between ages 9 and 31, as a professional stage actor, mostly, in musicals. I just hate that number. I think it detracts from the film (it's very much a Kelly ego-piece); and, I skip right over it, whenever I'm in the mood to watch the film.

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The best way to view the song "Broadway Rhythm" is to catch the movie it was introduced in, "Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935 MGM). Frances Langford's rendition of the song and Eleanor Powell's brilliant dancing are extraordinary. Other songs introduced in this movie were "You are My Lucky Star", and "I've Got a Feeling I'm Foolin". I think "Singin' In the Rain" is indeed a great film with an extremely funny and satirical screenplay by Comden & Green, a hilarious performance by Jean Hagen, and Gene Kelly's rendition of the title song, whcih has become a timeless classic. Still, I do agree that the Gene Kelly egoism creeps in from time to time,especailly during the "Broadway Rhythm" number.

 

PFriedman

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Not to change the subject, but I thought I'd open up another can of worms.

 

I've run across opinions that say that Debbie Reynolds was miscast in the part, that she couldn't dance, that she was too young for the Don Lockwood character, etc.

 

I don't know. To me the movie is so near-perfect, it's hard to second guess now and think of someone else in the part. I truly love everybody in it and to make any changes would make it not the film so many people love.

 

BUT...just curious...IF you could go back in time and recast Selden, who would you pick of the leading ladies of the day? I know this has probably been covered elsewhere, but I'm new here and haven't yet read everything lol.

 

For the record, my vote is still with Reynolds. I enjoyed watching every minute of her and kind of liked that she was young, and wasn't super-slick and polished, considering the character and that the film was about a new emerging medium. But I'd love to hear what you all think.

 

:-)

 

Jolie

 

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Debbie Reynolds couldn't dance before making the picture, but she sure came through like a trouper. She walked to the set as a gymnast, and walked out a dancer.

 

It'd be interest to see what Cyd Charisse would have done with the entire role. Or Vera Ellen. But these are merely curiosities; I wouldn't exchange Ms. Reynolds for anyone.

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As much as I find SINGIN' IN THE RAIN a lot of fun, it does hit a brick wall, for me, during that awful "Broadway Rhythm" (Gotta Dance) number. It's just so unnecessary, and dull, imo.

 

Agreed, Johnm:

 

I like the number, as a number, (though even in that context, I see no reason for that bizzare "Crazy Veil" dance sequence with Cyd Charisse), but I don't think it serves any real point/plot device in the film. It's inserted into the proceedings like a muscial block of concrete, and (thankfully, temporarily) brings the film's considerable comedic momentum and energy to a screeching halt.

 

So why is it there at all? Many afficianados were argue it's simply an extended inside "joke" by members of the Freed Unit on producer Arthur Freed. Millard Mitchell's "R.F. Simpson" character is reportedly based on Freed, and Kelly's "Don Lockwood" sets the stage for the number by describing his vision for it to Simpson/Freed.

 

After the number ends, Kelly asks Mitchell, "Well, what do you think?," and Mitchell responds with something along the lines of, "I can't quite visualize it. I'll have to see it on film." This was reportedly a frequent comment of Freed's when some of the more visionary members of his "Unit" tried to explain their ideas for a proposed musical number.

 

Personally, I don't think the "joke" like the number, quite works in the context of the film's plot, and I'd rather they'd left it out, but most viewers enjoy it, and it really doesn't do any harm: except, of course, that I always cite it whenever anyone argues that SITR is the only "perfect" film musical ever made. lol!

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I can't imagine anyone thinking Debbie Reynolds being miscast in SITR! I wouldn't recast it, with anyone

 

I agree. I can think of other performers under contract to Metro at the time who could have played the part (e.g., Jane Powell), but I don't think anyone was as well-suited to the role of "Kathy Selden" as Debbie Reynolds was at the time. She may not have been a trained dancer, but her tapping in "Good Mornin'," still impresses me tremendously. She clearly worked her head off to pull of the role and it shows. Not surprisingly, many of her subsequent films featured Debbie in at least one elaborate dance routine. She really proved her mettle with SITR.

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What is everyone's thoughts on the making of the film? IMDb has many behind the scene notes that really don't put a good light on Kelly. I've heard some people say this was not true, or were far too biased against Kelly? It also states that Kelly did apologize to Reynolds for the way he treated her during production...

 

I think at some points in the film, the troubled production becomes apparent. What do you think?

 

Message was edited by:

bobhopefan1940

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I don't really know....The only part that I always thought was a little...well, wasn't exactly in unison was the moses supposes part when donald and gene are dancing on the table and chairs...gene just didn't seem as sure as Donald when he was jumping off furnature, not that I wouldn't either, but I can see your thinking their misunderstandings off set may have set the movie a tad bit off balance.

p.s. I'm sorry johnm 001 if I offended you, that was not at all my intention. I always wanted to be in a musical....instead my mother made me play in the pit.

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I wasn't offended, in the slightest. No apology necessary. It's kind of you to do so, katiekat. :-) I met my wife doing theater, and we've been married 30 years!

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One thing I read about the Kelly/Reynolds/O'Connor awkwardness was during the rehearsal for Good Mornin', Kelly would yell at Donald, saying things like you're so stupid, you can't do this step, you're stupid. It turns out that Kelly was yelling at Donald because he didn't want to risk losing Debbie by yelling at HER, so he directed his anger at Donald. Supposedly, Donald told Kelly that if he did it again, he would kick him in the *****. ROFLMAO!!!!

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I've never heard that story before! But here are a few that are on the IMDb, I'm sure everyone has read them before...

 

Donald O'Connor admitted that he did not enjoy working with Gene Kelly, since Kelly was somewhat of a tyrant. O'Connor said that for the first several weeks he was terrified of making a mistake and being yelled at by Kelly.

 

And the Good Mornin' number, IMDb:

 

After they finished the "Good Morning" number, Debbie Reynolds had to be carried to her dressing room because she had burst some blood vessels in her feet. Despite her hard work on the "Good Morning" number, Gene Kelly decided that someone should dub her tap sounds, so he went into a dubbing room to dub the sound of her feet as well as his own.

 

Gene Kelly insulted Debbie Reynolds for not being able to dance. Fred Astaire, who was hanging around the studio, found her crying under a piano and helped her with her dancing.

 

And the quote of Gene Kelly apologizing to Reynolds later on:

"I wasn't nice to Debbie. It's a wonder she still speaks to me." - On his working experience with Debbie Reynolds while filming

 

I have a friend who would kill me for posting these, because she believes them to be totally untrue.

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It's terrible thinking that Gene made everything so awful for them. They looked so happy on screen I thought it would've been alot of fun doing the movie....but looks can definitely be deceiving....that's why they're called actors right....but yeah, that's slightly disappointing. Donald and Debby seemed like really nice people to me even off screen and for Gene to be so cruel to them like that makes me sad. I knew he had a big ego, but that's just a shame how he was to everybody.

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I once worked with Bobby Van and one night, Donald O'Connor came backstage, and I had the pleasure of meeting him, and spending some nice quality time, while he waited for Bobby. I could never quote him, all these years later; but there was a not so flattering comment made, by him, about Gene Kelly, with regard to Kelly's work on a Julie Andrews special. We didn't discuss SITR, at all. But, I always remembered being struck by the fact that there didn't seem to be any love lost between he and Kelly.

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wow! If I ever met Donald I would probably make some really obnoxious high pitched squeaking noise and that would be the part where he gives me a weird look and walk away, but I would be excited even if he just left me with the weird look. That's really awesome johnm! But if I had a chance to meet Fred Astaire I would die. My life would have been complete from that moment on.......wow....(dreaming)...

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Well, I don't know. O'Connor always seemed like a sweetheart to me... But I also hear Kelly was very nice to Judy Garland during filmings. The fact that he apologized to Reynolds says alot about his character reguardless, wouldn't you say?

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Well, Judy Garland was certainly a bigger star than Gene Kelly, so, I'm not sure his being "nice" to her really matters. Plus, she was very nice to HIM, in his first film. But, I agree about his apologizing. I have no clue what he was like. Besides, everybody doesn't like everyone else, anyway. I remember Ernest Lehman, the famous screen author, was being interviewed by Larry King. Lehman was an easy interview. He loved to talk and told some wonderful stories. He was speaking about the film version of HELLO, DOLLY!, which he produced, and was just getting into issues he had with Kelly, who directed, when goofy, old Larry King, cut him off! I wanted to jumped right into the television set and strangle him. I'd always heard that he was completely overwhelmed by the bigness of the production, and that, in reality, Lehman and Michael Kidd, did most of the directing duties. But, of course, that's just heresay.

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I've said it before and got somewhat shouted down for it, that Gene Kelly's entire body is one big ego. At the time SITR was made, Donald was 27 and Debbie was 20, on the other hand, Kelly was 40, so I'm sure working with the 'great master' was not only thrilling, but fearful also. Many actresses have told stories about both Kelly and Astaire, and invariably the ones about Kelly are about crying, and literally bloody feet, as in the case of both Debbie and Ann Miller. The stories about Astaire however, although a hard task master, include warmth in the telling, with fond smiles. Both of them drove themselves to achieve perfection, but Astaire knew when to give it a rest apparently. My dislike for Kelly came about long before I was old enough to research these items, so it's a personal thing with me. He just always came across as very egotistical, and a scene stealer.

 

Anne

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