Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Stanley Donen, director of Singin' in the Rain, dies aged 94


Swithin
 Share

Recommended Posts

One of the great directors has left us. His legacy includes so many great and beloved films, including the very enjoyable Bedazzled, which he produced and directed. Of his musical films, I'm particularly fond of Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game, on which he collaborated with George Abbott.

2636b99878e42851a4305e10419112c7.jpg

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/feb/23/stanley-donen-director-singin-in-the-rain-dies

  • Thanks 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

HIS FULL DIRECTOR'S CREDITS from imdb:

Note: each of these titles is a link, so if you click on it, it will take you to the film's corresponding imdb page.

Another Note: seriously, how many filmmakers would be lucky as Hell to have JUST ONE of these titles to their name?

Director (32 credits)
 2003 The Lionel Richie Collection (Video documentary) (video "Dancing on the Ceiling")
 1999 Love Letters (TV Movie)
 1986 Moonlighting (TV Series) (1 episode)
- Big Man on Mulberry Street (1986) ... (musical number)
 1980 Saturn 3
 1978 Movie Movie
 1975 Lucky Lady
 1969 Staircase
 1967 Bedazzled
 1966 Arabesque
 1963 Charade
 1958 Damn Yankees
 1958 Indiscreet
 1957 Funny Face
 1955 Kismet (fill-in director - uncredited)
 1951 Royal Wedding
 1949 On the Town
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Donen also gave the best acceptance speech ever at the Academy Awards. On February 10, 1998, he received an honorary Oscar "in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation." He proved the old saying: "Once a hoofer, always a hoofer."

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since it came out completely unheralded and under the radar, I'll also point out that Donen's Movie Movie (1978) (with script by Larry Gelbart) is now available on Blu-ray, and has resurfaced from years of limbo on Amazon Prime.  With its B&W first half restored, which may have created the problem that led to its sudden vanishing act in the first place.

 

1 hour ago, jakeem said:

Donen also gave the best acceptance speech ever at the Academy Awards. On February 10, 1998, he received an honorary Oscar "in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation." He proved the old saying: "Once a hoofer, always a hoofer."

Darn, just yesterday another thread was asking for "Most memorable Oscar speeches", and I forgot about hoofer Stanley.  😅

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How sad to lose Stanley Donen.  He made many of my favorite musicals.  I also remember his moment at the Oscars... back in the day when the ceremonies were actually fun to watch.

Stanley sure lucked out meeting Gene Kelly during the early part of his career and it just goes to show the immense amount of talent he possessed, if Kelly was willing to take on a 20-something and co-direct a series of films with him. I know they had a falling out however during the making of It's Always Fair Weather.  Stanley by then had hit it big with Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and didn't want to go back to co-directing a film.  

Of Stanley's films, I love On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, Funny Face and The Pajama Game.  As someone else mentioned, he was great at directing a variety of film genres.  Charade is fantastic as is Two For the Road.  I also enjoy Arabesque and Indiscreet.  I've been wanting to see Surprise Package because I'm a fan of Mitzi Gaynor. 

Reading over his filmography, he was also a big choreographer.  He worked as a choreographer on many of my favorite films: Cover Girl, Anchors Aweigh, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame

RIP Stanley Donen.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, Stanley Donen may be the last major figure of the Arthur Freed MGM musical unit to die.

A fine dancer and director himself, he sublimated his own career and ego to make possible those legendary musicals by Gene Kelly. Stanley Donen will never get the credit that he deserves for " On the Town", "Singin' in the Rain "or "It's Always Fair Weather".

But as he went on in his career to prove that he was, indeed, a major force in those Gene Kelly accomplishments and in the MGM Freed unit, he showed a profound skill and diversity in his Cinema.

One of the most interesting Freed Unit musicals there ever was, wasn't produced at MGM.

Stanley Donen and producer Roger Edens took the Freed unit to Paramount to make "Funny Face" because Fred Astaire wanted Audrey Hepburn and that's where Audrey was. Actually they took everyone to Paris, even Kay Thompson. LOL

Gene Kelly has the reputation, and rightfully so, for being a French speaker and a knowledgeable afcionado and participant in French culture. But it was Stanley Donen who twice photographed Paris beautifully in 2 films:  "Charade" and "Funny Face".

He showed not just how skillfully he could select cinematic locations, but also how well he knew Paris in order to give the audience the sensational feeling of actually being there.

 When I first saw these films as a child, they made me want to go to Paris. I finally got there as a young adult. I was shocked to see how realistic and how brilliant Stanley Donen's work had been.

Speaking of Stanley Donen's love of French culture, his last musical was a very sweet tribute to the most beloved children's book for adults in French literature, " Le Petit Prince " by  Antoine St. Exupery.

Unfortunately this beautiful film did not have wide distribution, but it was somewhat of a wrap for Donen because he was actually directing Bob Fosse-- the choreographer of "Pajama Game" and "Damn Yankees" in a movie-- and it was the last collaboration for Lerner and Loewe. Alan Jay Lerner had been an important part of the Freed Unit, as both Lyricist and  Screenwriter. He wrote lyrics for Donen's First direction of Fred Astaire, "Royal Wedding".

 So the next time you see "Singin' in the Rain" and you're applauding Gene Kelly,

don't forget to give a little silent Bravo to the man who was behind the camera trying to get it all right.

 

 

 

  

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had almost forgotten that Donen directed the musical dream sequence -- set to Billy Joel's "Big Man on Mulberry Street" -- in a Season 3 episode of ABC's "Moonlighting." It aired on November 18, 1986 and featured Sandahl Bergman as Bruce Willis' dance partner.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just heard this late last evening, not surprised given the man was close to a century in age though  I'll never 4-get R. 0sborne at I think it was another Classic Film Festival & had Donen come out for an interview & before the two even sat down Osborne blurted out that 7 of Stanley's pictures ranked in his own all-time top ten, Stanley pretended to immediately get up to leave, just saying "We'll That Covers That, No reason To talk anymore, Huh"   But he her wasn't ever even up for a competitive BD Oscar though. Was awarded an honorary statue though?   Singin' In the Rain  obviously being the biggest outrage!?  Probably thee single most perfect movie musical in Hollywood history

Fr the record the 7 Osbo spoke of in his all-time favorite films were> On the Town, Singin' in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Charade & Two for the Road  Robert adding Arabesque was close    So, most know they go in threes, Albert Finney, Stanley Donen & who else???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Bogie56 said:

Bedazzled was one of my favourite films as an adolescent.  And later I came to appreciate Peter Cook and Dudley Moore too.

raquel-welch-portrait-from-the-film-beda

Stanley Donen was well-known for his collaborations.

In "Bedazzled", he brought us the genius of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, rayban said:

"Arabesque" doesn't get much love - but it was certainly an effective thriller.

He also knew his way around wordy comedies - and could turn them into movies - like "Indiscreet" and "The Grass Is Greener". 

Yes, I enjoy all three of these films. Especially THE GRASS IS GREENER, which seems rather unheralded. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, rayban said:

"Arabesque" doesn't get much love - but it was certainly an effective thriller.

Probably because the plot is a mess.

It's still a fun movie though.  (I just rewatched it last night to blog about it after Donen's death.)

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...