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Singin' In The Rain

The movie was a little quirky to begin with, but towards the end all those out of place dance sequences made me feel like I should have been tripping on drugs or something. Am I the only one that feels that way?

Without the hilarious performance from Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont, the show would have been a dud.

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by Anonymousreply 33311/20/2020

Gene Kelly was something beautiful to look at. He always played his roles with a bit of arrogance, and it always worked.

I agree about the many dance sequences. There were too many in this film.

I found Debbie Reynolds to be absolutely lovely in this and never knew she was so pretty in her youth with a lovely body.

by Anonymousreply 104/18/2019

The sound film that gets shot - the long dance sequence with Gene Kelly - makes no sense to me. Isn't the movie they're re-shooting, with sound, a version of The Dueling Cavalier?

I enjoy so much of the early film, but the ending is puzzling... I know that the only way to sell it was to have a masterpiece of Gene's dancing (and much of it incredible) but it has nothing to do with rest of the plot.

by Anonymousreply 204/18/2019

That whole "Broadway Melody" sequence is a bit anachronistic, but I think it's fun as shit. It's good to remember the producer Arthur Freed wrote all of the songs in the film (along with writing partner Nacio Herb Brown) so when Mr. Freed says, "Squeeze in my 'Broadway Melody' number" you just go along with it, right?

by Anonymousreply 304/18/2019

[quote]hat whole "Broadway Melody" sequence is a bit anachronistic, but I think it's fun as shit. It's good to remember the producer Arthur Freed wrote all of the songs in the film (along with writing partner Nacio Herb Brown) so when Mr. Freed says, "Squeeze in my 'Broadway Melody' number" you just go along with it, right?

I'm going to see the stage version of "SITR" on Sunday; I got an email advertising the performance with an attribution of the music to one "Nacho" Herb Brown. Sigh.

by Anonymousreply 404/18/2019

I loved the pure joy of the song and it was one of my favorite songs in childhood. I haven't seen the movie in a very long time, musicals aren't really my thing. What are the other hit (known) songs from it?

by Anonymousreply 504/18/2019

I've never been able to watch this movie all the way through. The romance between Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds made me want to puke. I didn't find their May-December love story (she was 19; he was 39) appealing at all. Donald O'Connor's character was equally annoying. Although she was supposed to be the antagonist Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont was much more interesting and funny than any of the other main characters. I could never watch this movie till the end because I wanted Lina to win at the end. She was so wonderfully dim and zany.

by Anonymousreply 604/18/2019

R2- I think the rewrite of the Duelling Cavalier was supposed to be a dancer gets hits on the head and dreams that he's back in the 1800s which is how they were going to use the historical set numbers. But it really didn't make much sense and it was clearly an excuse to put Kelly into a whole bunch of modern dance numbers.

by Anonymousreply 704/18/2019

R7: you are correct; the Broadway Melody number was placed in the Dueling Cavalier as part of the "Modern" sequence. Gene's character is a dancer in a show, gets hit n the head and dreams he is in the French Revolution (which is where they will use the bits from the original film).

The placement of Broadway Melody seems forced; Millard Mitchell as the studio producer says as much to Gene and Donald after he sees the rushes "I can;t quite see it"...

Fun Fact: when Debbie throws the pie in Jean Hagen's face, Jean told her: "If we have to film this scene more than once, you get slapped - with this" - and she had turned her diamond ring around her finger so that the slap would hurt a lot more.

by Anonymousreply 804/18/2019

Didn't they do the same thing in An American In Paris? I seem to remember a very, very long dance sequence right at the end that went on far too long. And then the film ends abruptly; it was like they didn't even write a proper ending.

by Anonymousreply 904/18/2019

My Mother's friend sounds exactly like Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont. She has another friend who sounds just like Miss Adelaide, either by Vivian Blaine or Faith Prince, both equally great. When I was young I videotaped them talking about marijuana at my parents pool party. Very 1980's. Our Brazilian Maid and Chauffeur brought their friends to teach everyone the Lambada. My parents drunk, high friends were all over them and hit on all the young Brazilians. One guy was caught by his wife buying cocaine from one of the Brazilian guys. He told her it was a surprise for her.

by Anonymousreply 1004/18/2019

Jean was hilarious as Lina. I was surprised to learn she was Danny Thomas' first wife in Make Room For Daddy. When she wanted off the show after several seasons, they killed off her character.

She made more money than Calvin Coolidge...put together.

by Anonymousreply 1104/18/2019

SITR is overrated as a musical imo. It is average and only has one or two original songs, most are old 20s/30s songs. I find American in Paris and On the Town much more enjoyable. I bet when it was released the studio just saw it as a run of the mill musical, and only in time did it become " the best musical ever"

by Anonymousreply 1204/18/2019

The 20s/30s songs were used BECAUSE they were from the era depicted in the movie. They were written for the MGM musicals of the early sound era. Geez.

by Anonymousreply 1304/18/2019

R8, that was a riff on Arthur Freed’s habit of saying he “couldn’t quite picture it” to numbers being pitched- it’s also a joke because we the audience have, in fact, just seen the entire sequence.

Don’t any of you people get old-movie humour?

by Anonymousreply 1404/18/2019

I used to watch this movie all the time as a kid and never noticed an age difference between Debbie and Gene. I was shocked to learn later he was 39 at the time. But now in HD the wrinkles are more apparent

by Anonymousreply 1504/18/2019

Gene was an incredible dancer. Legendary.

But I feel he never got his due as a singer. He had such a nice, soothing tone to his voice.

by Anonymousreply 1604/18/2019

I find the Daliesque fan and ladder ballet and the Broadway Melody sequences a bit tiresome and real plotstoppers. But they treated Gene like a wunderkind, and those were his vanity pieces. Much prefer On The Town overall.

by Anonymousreply 1704/18/2019

Gotta Dance! Gotta Dance!

by Anonymousreply 1804/18/2019

It’s a musical and the point was the musical numbers, the end.

by Anonymousreply 1904/18/2019

People try to picture this slick, clicky Comden and Green mess as a big classic. All I liked was the Gene Kelly/ Cyd Charisse dance number.

by Anonymousreply 2004/18/2019

Lots of talent on all fronts, obviously, but it's too cutesy and corny for my taste.

by Anonymousreply 2104/18/2019

R5 The Good Morning song from the movie was featured in orange juice commercials.

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by Anonymousreply 2204/18/2019

Singin' In The Rain is not "overrated." Jesus Christ. Morons. It's likely the very best of the MGM musicals and perhaps the greatest Hollywood musical of all time. On every film critic's list as at or near the very top. What are you people smoking because I want some.

by Anonymousreply 2304/18/2019

Did they have dishwashers in the early 50's?

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by Anonymousreply 2404/18/2019

Why do so many morons care so much about film critics' lists and opinions?

by Anonymousreply 2504/18/2019

I agree the "Broadway rhythm" sequence makes no sense, and the "Crazy Veil" sequence belongs even less in the movie; but when you hear Jean Hagen deliver a line like "l can syuuuue youuuu for the entire styuuuudio," you just have to forgive everything else.

PLUS there's the great surreal sequence when they show how movies made the transition to sound by showing three once-famous Nacio Herb Brown songs for old MGM musicals played in a kind of nightmarish counterpoint--"I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling," "The Wedding of the Painted Doll," and "Should I?"--that then resolve into a fourth one, "Beautiful Girl." The orchestration is genius.

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by Anonymousreply 2604/18/2019

Round tones, Miss Lamont!

by Anonymousreply 2704/18/2019

Kathleen Freeman as Phoebe Dinsmore!

by Anonymousreply 2804/18/2019

I'm stunned by the love for On the Town. Except for the opening and Vera Ellen it's a travesty of a great Broadway musical. Maybe the worst adaptation ever? Or is that Finian's Rainbow?

by Anonymousreply 2904/18/2019

R29 After seeing the recent Broadway revival of "On the Town" (twice), I question my love for the movie. The only good new song is "You Can Count on Me" because of Alice Pearce. Everything about the Broadway production, when done right, makes it a classic that didn't need to be altered. "Lonely Town" is one of the best Broadway songs not to be used in the movie, a crying shame.

by Anonymousreply 3004/18/2019

Thanks, R23. Where else but on the DataLounge could one find so many haters of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, which is almost universally regarded as one of the all-time Hollywood classics.

by Anonymousreply 3104/18/2019
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by Anonymousreply 3204/18/2019

I like the movie adaptation of On the Town but r30 is absolutely right. The Broadway revival was one of the best shows I've ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 3304/18/2019

Get the studio recording of OTT conducted by Bernstein with most of the original cast. Non original cast member John Reardon sings the Lonely Town of one's dreams.

How they left this song out of the movie along with a few others is incomprehensible.

by Anonymousreply 3404/18/2019

The film of ON THE TOWN is fatally marred by the cutting of so many great songs and so much great dance music by Leonard Bernstein in favor of crappy songs by Roger Edens, who may have been nice to Judy Garland and may have had some talent as an arranger but who was talent-free when it came to songwriting.

by Anonymousreply 3504/18/2019

Edens worked with the very best in a golden age period of the American musical so why did these people not hear what we hear today? That Edens had zilch talent as a composer?.

by Anonymousreply 3604/18/2019

[quote]Kathleen Freeman as Phoebe Dinsmore!

And Madge Blake as Dora Bailey!

by Anonymousreply 3704/18/2019

I feel the need to watch this when I realize I have a humdrum little life.

by Anonymousreply 3804/18/2019

People?! I ain't people!

by Anonymousreply 3904/18/2019

So who did Rita sleep with to get the role of Zelda Zanders? Or Jimmy Thompson to get his Beautiful Girl number?

I assume Rita with Arthur and Jimmy with everybody else.

by Anonymousreply 4004/18/2019

Which character in OTT sings Lonely Town? Sinatra could have done a great job. But 30s and 40s stage musicals usually had most of their songs tossed out before reaching the screen. (I guess Show Boat was as always, the exception to the rule) Some Other Time is another great song that was cut. But they were making room to accomodate numbers tailored to the cast- an Ann Miller specialty tap number, a Kelly/Vera-Ellen hoofing duet, and so on

by Anonymousreply 4104/18/2019

[quote]Without the hilarious performance from Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont, the show would have been a dud.

Patricia Neal wrote that her longtime friend Hagen died relatively young, an alcoholic

They were roommates in college.

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by Anonymousreply 4204/18/2019

On The Town the movie is set after the war, not during it, and is probably why they eliminated all the bittersweet songs for a purely entertaining feelgood flick, which it does very well, but one regrets what might have been

by Anonymousreply 4304/18/2019

Yes, supposedly Jean Hagen lived a sad life and died young from alcoholism and mental health issues. So heartbreaking. She was unforgettable in this and in Adam's Rib. It's unbelievable that she was never given a great follow-up to SITR by MGM.

by Anonymousreply 4404/18/2019

r6 you sound like a determined FUN HATER!

MILLIONS of people, though clearly not you, have enjoyed "Singing in the Rain" for over sixty five YEARS....but what do they know!?

by Anonymousreply 4504/18/2019

If Spielberg's WSS is a great success I hope he films On the Town. The show deserves a brilliant film version. The last Broadway revival was incredible.

by Anonymousreply 4604/18/2019

Spielberg hasn’t had a good film in years. WSS has flop written all over it.

by Anonymousreply 4704/18/2019

I loved Spielberg's Lincoln.

by Anonymousreply 4804/18/2019

Lonely Town is Gabey's song. But either Kelly or Sinatra could have done it.

But we'll give Lonely Town to Sinatra and Lucky to Be Me to Kelly.

by Anonymousreply 4904/18/2019

OP, I could do without the plodding "You Were Meant For Me." But all of the other songs, even the ones that seem less connected to the plot, have redeeming qualities. I agree with R26 that "Beautiful Girls" is a masterpiece. And forget Gene: "Broadway Melody" is worth it for Cyd Charisse alone.

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by Anonymousreply 5004/18/2019

You Were Meant For Me is wonderful in the film The Broadway Melody. Charles King just sits there and sings it to a very lovely young Anita Page. The camera does nothing but record it. At that point in time it could do nothing else fortunately.

by Anonymousreply 5104/18/2019

Why you're in luck, r46. Spielberg is going to do nothing from now on but midcentury musical remakes. He already has CALL ME MADAM with Caitlyn Jenner lined up, and FLOWER DRUM SONG with Awkwafina and Bai Ling after that.

by Anonymousreply 5204/18/2019

I love the “You Were Meant for Me” number is perfection. The whole film is

by Anonymousreply 5304/18/2019

SITR is magnificent, one of the purest musicals of all time. But like ALL Metro's musicals of the 40s and 50s, it's overproduced, overstuffed, and overdone. Whether it's SITR, or Meet Me In St Louis, or fucking TORCH SONG, all of them are bloated by the MGM'ness of it all.

Outside of gangster flicks, noirs, and Bette's brilliant melodramas Warner Bros output generally sucked, but I wonder how some of these films would have turned out had they been made on a smaller scale (and budget) as Warner's might have made them.

Still glad they exist as they are, because all the talent showcased in them is brilliant, regardless of the schlocky sets and overstuffed productions they're surrounded by.

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by Anonymousreply 5404/18/2019

I love Singin in the Rain, but I agree it's a patchy musical. My least favorite song is the cringe-worthy "Moses Supposes." I don't even like typing it. Still, it's a classic "Hollywood" musical.

No one has mentioned "The Band Wagon" which I also love but is also very patchy. I've always felt that the final musical the characters put together is charming on screen, but would never play in a 50s Broadway Theater. Most annoying song? "Louisiana Hayride."

"I'se here!"

by Anonymousreply 5504/18/2019

[quote]"Lonely Town" is one of the best Broadway songs not to be used in the movie, a crying shame.

"My Funny Valentine" was cut from the movie version of "Babes in Arms".

by Anonymousreply 5604/18/2019

Another funny Jean Hagen performance in Adam's Rib.

"like a loud sound, goin' goff"

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by Anonymousreply 5704/18/2019

“I've always felt that the final musical the characters put together is charming on screen, but would never play in a 50s Broadway Theater”

No shit, Einstein. All those Busby Berkeley numbers with the camera twirling overhead would have looked pretty bad from the stalls, too.

by Anonymousreply 5804/18/2019


by Anonymousreply 5904/18/2019

Best thing about "On the Town" watching Kelly and Sinatra dance side by side and realize that your eyes are following Sinatra. Try it. Sinatra is the one you can't take your eyes off.

As for "The Band Wagon" - forget the rest of it because it DOES have the sublime "Dancing the Dark" with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.

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by Anonymousreply 6004/18/2019

overproduced, overstuffed, and overdone, bloated.

But first you call it magnificent. You're not making sense. The production design here as it is for St Louis is perfect.

The word is 'lavish.'

by Anonymousreply 6104/18/2019

R8, if Jean Hagen had hit Deb with that ring, Deb should have bitten her gash.

by Anonymousreply 6204/18/2019


I think "Meet Me In St Louis" is a masterpiece. For a light on plot story, its goal was to paint a picture and evoke feelings from a now gone era. I can't see anything about it that fails, and on further viewings more of the details reveal themselves. Then there are the musical numbers which are unusually emotional. Scorsese thinks it is a very important film for the innovations in color, camerawork and storytelling. I agree!

by Anonymousreply 6304/18/2019

I have seen both Band Wagon and Silk Stockings a million times. All of You is the better number.

by Anonymousreply 6404/18/2019

[quote]r54 Like ALL Metro's musicals of the 40s and 50s, it's overproduced, overstuffed, and overdone.

Your MOM is overstuffed!

by Anonymousreply 6504/18/2019


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by Anonymousreply 6604/18/2019

I agree with you R63, MMIS is a masterpiece. I’ve seen it dozens of times and it never fails to move me

by Anonymousreply 6704/18/2019

Costume Designer Walter Plunkett quoted as saying this is the most work he ever did for a film.....and he worked on Gone With The Wind!

by Anonymousreply 6804/18/2019

I adore this movie!

It's probably the only musical that would have been successful as a comedy, if they'd cut all the musical numbers for some reason, but since I adore good song and dance it's a win all around for me.

by Anonymousreply 6904/18/2019

I love the part where Cathy sings "You Are My Lucky Star" to the xenomorph as she escapes the Nostromo.

by Anonymousreply 7004/18/2019

Singing in the Rain is one of my Top Five favorite movies.

Adore the Singing in the Rain segment. Always makes me so happy when I see it. Gene is incredible in it.

Agree that Jean Hagen really makes the movie with her comic turn. Very underappreciated performance.

First time I saw the movie, I, like OP, was scratching my head about the dance sequences at the end. Seemed tacked on, like filler that added nothing to the movie. But after many subsequent viewings over the years, I just accept that it is part of the movie. It's not my favorite part of the movie, and it still fells like filler, but it's just part of the movie. Cyd Charisse is great in that small part.

by Anonymousreply 7104/19/2019

Reenactment of the Good Mornin' number. It's a tribute to Debbie. It was done by real life couple Christopher Rice and Clay Thomson (the one in glasses).

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by Anonymousreply 7204/19/2019

And I cin’t stind hur!

by Anonymousreply 7304/19/2019

The best movie ever!

by Anonymousreply 7404/19/2019

For those who have praised the 2014 On the Town revival. Tony Yazbeck did this promo video for it that is just incredible. The earlier 1996 revival was dull for the most part, but everything about this revival just jelled. In one crazy moment, there was a bit of "Conga!" from "Wonderful Town" tossed in, reminding me of how much I had lloved the revival of that in 2003.

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by Anonymousreply 7504/19/2019

Oh my God I love that OTT promo R75 - thank you. I saw that production in Pittsfield when it was first mounted and in NYC after the transfer. Tony Yazbeck was amazing - the entire cast was a delight - and in the summer production he did not shave his chest, but he did for the run in Manhattan (he's without a shirt during the entire ballet sequence!). He's incredibly sexy on stage... just a casual, laid back masculinity that is enhanced by his dancing and singing.

by Anonymousreply 7604/19/2019

Exactly, R76. I don't find him traditionally handsome, but there is something about him that makes you say "wow!" He's in a British concert production of "Kiss Me Kate" (as Bill) and is terrific. His rendition of "Lonely Town" had me crying both times, especially when the chorus came up the aisles for a reprise. The stage version of "An American in Paris" opened the same season, along with the underrated revival of "Gigi", which was good, not great. I hated "An American in Paris" in every way, a boring, shallow script, and lifeless production, but "On the Town" has remained in my memory. Had it not been at the huge Lyric theater, it might have run 6 months longer or more.

by Anonymousreply 7704/19/2019

Flawless Hollywood product. The machine was running at the height of it's powers, turning out popular pieces of art like this.

Everyone was great.

by Anonymousreply 7804/19/2019

Gene was a show off with his long dance sequences.

by Anonymousreply 7904/19/2019

R50 I love that scene!

by Anonymousreply 8004/19/2019

R77, what was it about the stage version of An American in Paris that you hated so much? I saw the show on tour and was amazed at how beautiful it was (the use of projections and the moving set pieces were stunning). I didn't mind the changes to the storyline, with the French character being in the closet, thought the creation of a new and modern ballet for the end made complete sense.

What I didn't like was shoehorning in some new songs -Figgety Feet was especially extraneous and unnecessary.

by Anonymousreply 8104/19/2019

R54 MGM did have some overstuffed output between the Freed, Pasternak and Cummings unit. Jack Cummings is generally forgotten as a producer of MGM musicals, even though some of his are classics, while Pasternak's are remembered as kitsch, for the high brows, with more opera. Warner Brothers do look cheap compared to MGM, but there are a few Doris Day musicals made during that time that hold up. "Lullaby of Broadway" is very entertaining, while "Tea For Two" has some garish colors in the musical numbers. "By the Light of the Silvery Moon", thanks to Mary Wickes' wisecracks, is a lot of fun. June Haver is second rate and sort of bland, and I never really understood the appeal of Virginia Mayo outside her bad girl roles. Of course, Warner Brothers went all out for "A Star is Born", and had Judy gotten to do more there, she might have had boosted their output.

Paramount was a bit glossier with the Bing Crosby films, and a few of Betty Hutton's hold up, although she only did a few in the 1950's. Jane Wyman should have done more musicals. She was really great in "Just For You" and Columbia's "Awful Truth" musical remake "Let's Do It Again". 20th Century Fox's musicals are the closest in glamour and gloss to MGM in the late 40's and 50's, with Betty Grable still swingin' and Marilyn Monroe on her way up. Of course, they got la Merm for a few too. RKO was hit or miss, but by the 1950's, they were slowly dwindling as a major studio anyway. "Two Tickets to Broadway" is fun, especially the "Worry Bird" number (with Ann Miller on loan), but "The French Line" is no "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" for Jane Russell. It has a few campy numbers (the canape number alone, swiped from "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" with the chorus girls all crying "no!" is a hoot) as well as Broadway vet Mary McCarty.

That leaves Universal which actually cast Carrie's mother, Piper Laurie, in a few, including an above average sleeper called "Ain't Misbehavin'". The years between 1950-55 definitely belonged to the Freed unit at MGM. But with TV coming in and what we can see of variety shows which remain, it is obvious that the golden years would decline. "Singin' in the Rain" followed "An American in Paris", and "The Band Wagon" & "Seven Brides" followed that, and with at least one classic movie musical that is still discussed coming out per year, it is no wonder that a whole book ("The Freed Unit") was devoted to his films while other producers prior to the internet had little bio information.

by Anonymousreply 8204/19/2019

Supposedly, Phyllis Newman (widow of Adolph Green and head of the Comden/Green estate) was not happy with the recent On the Town revival and wouldn't allow it to be filmed for TV!

Utterly bewildering. Didn't she realize we'd never see as fine a version of the show in our lifetime?

by Anonymousreply 8304/19/2019

R77 Thanks for asking. I was just terribly bored, and outside Max Von Essen, wasn't crazy about the cast. I found the projections to be the element I disliked the most. I thought they tried too hard to make it topical (post war references just were not strongly written in my opinion) and found the book trite. Of course, that was four years ago, and with it having been professionally filmed, I may give it another chance. I also think that having seen the matinee of "Gigi" the same day, I expected the same magic which I felt it lacked. Certainly, "Gigi" has its issues, and the topic has become a subject of controversy. But I really felt with "Gigi" that I had gone back in time to Paris, and when I went down the street and hopped into the Palace, I lost that feeling. With "Gigi", I never once thought about, "Oh, I just should have watched it on video", where with "American in Paris" the movie, I feel when I turn off the lights and plop in my DVD that I'm there.

by Anonymousreply 8404/19/2019

Thank goodness for the three That's Entertainment! films (especially I and III) for documenting the greatest parts of MGM's musicals.....the musical numbers.

I was so enchanted with so many of those numbers, which I'd never seen before, like all the Eleanor Powell bits, I started seeking out the films. But most of them taken in their entirety (especially those from the 1930s) are hard to sit through.

by Anonymousreply 8504/19/2019

There are quite a lot of terrific MGM numbers that never made it into any of the That's Entertainment films.

Also I thought Neman was quite pleased with the OTT revival I remember reading somewhere her saying something to the effect 'People think I'm saying this because it's the family store but it really is wonderful.'

by Anonymousreply 8604/19/2019

In discussing the projections for "An American in Paris", I was thinking about the usage of that in "On the Town", which wasn't as heavily used in "On the Town". Certainly, the Lyric theater is far wider than many other Broadway theaters, so to fill it, they had to make it seem bigger than it needed to be. But it worked, and each of the sailors had their own personality. The actor playing Chip really seemed like a young sailor from the war years with his enthusiastic happy go lucky personality (he'd be considered a geek in today's world), while Gaby was more thoughtful and serious, although not boring in any sense. I rarely get a geeky wide-eyed smile that is so overcome with happiness like I did with "On the Town" (the revival of "Dolly" made me think that the edges of my mouth were going to touch my smile was so wide at that point, and I saw three different Dolly's in the course of under a year!), so that is why it remains thrilling.

Back to "Singin' in the Rain": The same producers of "An American in Paris" were talking about doing "Singin' in the Rain" in Paris then bring it to NY, but that talk seems to have died. Perhaps "American" didn't recoup as well as they hoped? I didn't see the musical version of that (I did see "Meet Me in St. Louis" which I thought was gorgeous!), but I would be interested if that does come to fruition. The MGM musical I'd like to see done at some point on stage is "Love Me or Leave Me", as well as perhaps a stage version of 20th Century Fox's "With a Song in My Heart". While "Les Girls" is forgotten as a film, I'd find it interesting to see that as a stage version, although many movie musical fans I know do not care for it. I love the theme of "What is truth?", which is more of a timely theme than ever. The title song of "Les Girls" could really be a showstopper!

by Anonymousreply 8704/19/2019

Les Girls is quite a feast for the eyes and charming but the Porter score is very weak. He was pretty much giving up on life at that point. But the only number I think is terrific is You're Just Too Too which non musical star Kendall steals from Kelly (and I'm a Kelly fan.)

by Anonymousreply 8804/19/2019

I always thought that Ladies in Waiting (seen two different times in Les Girls, but never in its entirety, although the soundtrack had it recorded all the way) would be a fun drag number.

by Anonymousreply 8904/19/2019

Yes, Singin’ is great entertainment, lot of fun, the best musical ever made while being hilariously funny at the same time. It contains what are arguably the best performances of its principals (Jean Hagan’s Lina Lamont is one of the greatest comic creations ever to be captured on film). I could go on and on marveling every aspect of the making of this one – from art direction to editing and so on. But what makes it so good and, yes, important, is that every aspect of it is committed to promoting a very articulately manifested - (if well disguised at the same time) – point of view of its makers.

I’ve once saw Stanley Donnen on tv, and he said something that went like this: “Goddard once said that cinema is 24 frames of truth a second. He was wrong – it’s 24 frames of a lie”. This film is a celebration of the Art of Cinema (particalarly the art of making musicals) as a form of deceiving, and the need to be deceived in order to cope with the harsh realities of every day life. People lie constantly here – from the first frame of the film (“Dignity, always dignity”), to the fake romance Don and Lina are supposedly having, to the pretentious front little Kathy is putting on – and these are only the first few moments of the movie! What separates the sophisticates from the fools is only the degree of the denial they’re in. Lina totally believes the lies. Don knowingly stages them (asking Kosmo to tell him how great he is when he’s down).

The musical numbers are a glorification of this need – you’re in love and it’s raining – isn’t it a great opportunity to sing and dance? Want to reveal your emotions to a sweetheart? The only way to do so is to use an empty soundstage and create the perfect setting and have the perfect score played for you. Your new talky has just bombed – sing your way out of this gloomy situation! By the way, through the wonders of VCR, after countless times I saw it on the big screen, I spotted another proof to its precise making in this scene. Kelly, O’Connor and Reynolds are depressed. They go from the living room to the kitchen. They TALK. They’re still in a “realistic” form of being. So when they go through the door there’s a cut. When they go back, SINGING, the camera moves smoothly, passing through the wall – they’re transferred into another dimension.

The happy-ending is possible only when the circumstances are so unique that a musical–like situation can happen in a “realistic” setting – have the studio orchestra, playing on an opening night, ready to oblige your whims - and isn’t it easy to win your girl’s heart back?

But moments of pure truth can happen every now and than – when this Art of making false dreams somehow, miraculously, works – something clicks and there you have it. So when finally we see the new and improved version of the Singing Cavalier, the voice that so perfectly fits Lina’s image is supposedly Kathy’s, but it’s not Reynolds’ voice but Jean Hagan’s own real voice we’re hearing, for the first time in this film, coming out of Hagan’s mouth. For when lies are perfectly staged, they are far better than any meager truth.

by Anonymousreply 9004/19/2019

A very good analysis and true for a lot of the entertainment of the period which sadly has gone forever. Well we have these old entertainments in our home but we are missing the excitement of these films being new and being seen in the grand movie palaces which set them off like jewels. Audiences of the time took them for granted because isn't this what you paid money for? For the very best?

I saw SITR for the first time in my life in an eyepopping gorgeous technicolor print at Radio City in '75. One of the great cinema experiences of my life. I was practically in disbelief. Such an extraordinary experience that Vincent Canby wrote a major article in that Sunday's Arts and Leisure section about it. He must have gone opening day which was a Thurs and thought dear god stop the presses this has to go in Sunday's paper!

by Anonymousreply 9104/19/2019

That's a great memory, R91. I had an experience like that in the mid 1990's for the 70th Anniversary of Chinese Grauman's where they showed a restored print of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" in the main theater. Jane Russell was present, standing right next to her & Marilyn's prints. Back in the late 1980's when the Vagabond Theater was open in L.A., I saw the 3-D version of "Kiss Me Kate". Later on, I got to meet Kathryn Grayson and shared the experience with her. She told me that while making the movie and filming the obvious 3-D footage, she pulled out of her memory how as a young girl she had been a total tomboy, playing baseball and roughing around with the boys. Obviously, she didn't "hate men", and was ever so charming and still gorgeous. I'm sure she was just thrilled that people were still interested in these works, as evidenced by the enthusiasm of other now gone actors of that era who were always pleased to be given tributes and see so many people show up.

by Anonymousreply 9204/19/2019

R91 here. I had a great experience with GPB as well though not nearly as good as yours. In the 80s the Beacon occasionally showed old movies and they showed a beautiful color print of the film to a fairly large audience there for a Monroe double bill on the large screen. SLIH was the other film. I'll never forget that opening shot of them appearing for the first time in those dazzling red dresses on a large movie palace screen. I was like a straight man going wow! Woof whistles(well not literally) the whole thing.

by Anonymousreply 9304/19/2019

Gene Kelly always looked like he was smelling freshly baked cookies!

by Anonymousreply 9404/19/2019

Gwen Verdon worked as assistant choreographer on SITR.

by Anonymousreply 9504/19/2019

God R94... preceding your inane comment were some really nice posts... this thread is humming along with actual sentences, paragraphs, stories and here you are to add 11 words of d-u-m-b.

by Anonymousreply 9604/19/2019

R93 I hope you could hear the dialog for the 3 1/2 hrs of those two films. That is a great double bill, and sometimes, the audience reactions like that can make it truly exciting and not intrusive into the enjoyment of the film. While I love having a DVD collection, the experience of seeing these movies on the big screen through 35-70 mm is fantastic. When I lived in L.A., the Nuart would publish its monthly showing list and indicate what kind of print it was they were using. (I believe the Film Forum still does that; I have not gone in some time.)

I don't recall anything special happening with this experience, but when the Egyptian in Hollywood started their revival series, they showed "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" which on the huge screen was downright fantastic. I had grown up with this film, seeing it regularly on TV as a kid, but the experience of seeing it very large was terrific, and having gone to see Debbie and Harve in this live at the Pantages (just down the street) for the national tour (1989) made the experience all the more nostalgic. Thank God for restoration and film preservation! Future generations interested in classic films might just end up envying those who were around when these films came out and wish that they had some sort of time machine to go back in. As a kid, I loved perusing the old New York Times on microfilm to look at advertisements for the films and live shows, and love that you can find the old posters and lobby cards on line, saved for posterity.

by Anonymousreply 9704/19/2019

Handsome singer/dancer Jimmy Thompson was said to be a "protégé" of Gene Kelly, and appeared in several Kelly movies, though not much else. He sang "Beautiful Girl" in SITR, but his singing was dubbed in Brigadoon. He worked as a dancer with Kay Thompson on her stage shows in the 1950s, but seems to have disappeared after that. His last movie role was in Forbidden Planet in 1956.

by Anonymousreply 9804/19/2019

[quote] So when finally we see the new and improved version of the Singing Cavalier, the voice that so perfectly fits Lina’s image is supposedly Kathy’s, but it’s not Reynolds’ voice but Jean Hagan’s own real voice we’re hearing, for the first time in this film, coming out of Hagan’s mouth.

Actually, that's a myth about the film. The elegant singing voice that dubs Lina Lamont's mouthing "Would You?" (which is supposed to be Kathy Selden's in the film's diegesis) is not Hagen's own, as is sometimes erroneously said; it's actually the voice of a third actress.

by Anonymousreply 9904/19/2019

I read about that showing of Molly Brown and it had something to do with the print. Maybe blow up 70mm? Anyway it was supposed to have been fantastic like it was a different film. On TV it really has its problems. I think both it and Bye Bye Birdie were supposed to be shown at Radio City in blow up 70mm but the head projectionist refused to show the format. Why I don't know exactly. It wasn't until the Todd AO Airport when Ross Hunter told the Music Hall it had no choice in the matter that they had to start showing it. I saw it there as the Easter show and whatever you think of the movie it did look and sound splendid. The last of the glossy old studio films.

by Anonymousreply 10004/19/2019

Does anyone happen to know if SITR was kept off TV in the 1950s and 1960s? As a kid, I watched old films on all the channels in NYC and don't remember ever seeing it until attending a college film festival at Boston University around 1970-72 (at the height of the nostalgia craze).

by Anonymousreply 10104/19/2019

R101 I know many classic films were not available for syndicated broadcast as they were either considered "special" (like "Gone With the Wind"), or original versions of more well known remakes. I know I first saw "Singin' in the Rain" during the PBS fundraiser on my local PA channel, along with "The Band Wagon", approximately 1980/1981. Perhaps film festivals and revival houses like the Nuart, Castro Theater, Vagabond and Film Forum (LA, San Francisco, NYC) had them for special showings. Certain films like "Annie Get Your Gun", "Call Me Madam" and "Porgy & Bess" (never commercially released in any format legally) were held back from their estates for TV or video release. I saw "Call Me Madam" at the Erie PA Warner Theater in 1982, so it wasn't being hidden, just not readily available. There's only a handful of classic films (mostly very rare films nobody has probably ever heard of) that I've been searching for, but unless it no longer exists (like many early sound musicals who were damaged or destroyed by fire or turned into dust), it is out there somewhere ready to be re-discovered.

by Anonymousreply 10204/19/2019

The TV premiere of SITR was scheduled for the third week in November 1963 on NBC, but was cancelled due to the JFK assassination. It ran a few weeks later.

by Anonymousreply 10304/19/2019

My favorite number of Annie's.....

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by Anonymousreply 10404/19/2019

At least 3 or 4 of the "Beautiful Girls" costumes were reused in that Ann Miller number.

by Anonymousreply 10504/19/2019

R63, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is a fraud, two hours of fake sentiment, and with that horrifying portrait of a psychotic young girl who's obsessed with death and tries to kill dozens of people by attempting to derail a trolly. One of the absolute worst of the MGM musicals, even though it somehow has a rep as one of the best, I guess because Judy is in it. And Judy is Judy, but even she's hampered in this movie by that RIDICULOUS wig.

R84, I agree with you about AN AMERICAN IN PARIS on Broadway but I totally disagree with you about GIGI. A near total disaster without even a whiff of the period or the Parisian locale about it, and Vanessa Hudgens was a horrendous Gigi.

by Anonymousreply 10604/19/2019

Always wondered why Jean Hagen didn't have more of a career -- she pretty much stole every movie scene she was in, and then did that lovely turn as Danny Thomas's wife in his show -- then you read about her life and you remember, you never have any idea when you see an actor what they're really like...

I've met a number of actors, from A list to D list, throughout my life given my job, and I can't say that I liked many of them. The most successful actors were usually either egotists, bullies, or so horribly insecure it hurt to be around them. The best actors were, for the most part, blank slates. That's why they were so good at what they did -- there was nothing in them to interfere with playing a role. The apotheosis of the blank slate was Alec Guinness, whom I knew toward the end of his life. Wonderful actor, but with no lines to recite and no character to inhabit, there was almost nothing there.

by Anonymousreply 10704/19/2019

[quote]Actually, that's a myth about the film.

It's not a myth. Reynolds was dubbed twice. When she's supposed to be dubbing Hagen's speaking voice, it was Hagen's own voice, so Hagen dubbed Reynolds dubbing Hagen. When she's supposed to be dubbing Hagen's singing voice, it was, I think, Betty Noyes doing the singing, so Noyes dubbed Reynolds dubbing Hagen.

by Anonymousreply 10804/19/2019

In the fashion show sequence at the end of the "Beautiful Girl" number at r26, I would swear the model when the narrator says "A string of pearls and a suit of tweed..." at 3:04 into it is a man dressed as a woman. Am I the only one who sees this?

by Anonymousreply 10904/19/2019

One of the things I love in the "Beautiful Girl" number is the chorines dancing in those strange satin dresses while shaking martini shakers.

by Anonymousreply 11004/19/2019

I have mixed feelings about "Meet Me in St. Louis." It's very well written, and Judy Garland gives to my mind one of the very best performances in all her films (although she does seem to say "TOOTIE!" dramatically too many times). I also love Mary Astor and Leon Ames (their little duet is one of the most charming pieces in the whole movie), and the direction and use of color by Vincente Minnelli is really dazzling.

But the film also has some down sides, even though it is overall quite fine. Lucille Bremer is such a drip, and should never have received a role as big as Rose. The reworking of arrangements to make several of the songs seem like they have a modish 40s "swing" to them (such as the awful "Skip to my Lou" arrangement) are a real drag. The worst part of the film of all for me is Margaret O'Brien: I just cannot stand how cutesy she is (even though her character is a disturbed child who nearly murders lots of people).

by Anonymousreply 11104/19/2019


by Anonymousreply 11204/19/2019

I saw "Singin' in the Rain" at Radio City and "Meet Me" at the Carnegie Hall Cinema. These popular masterpieces deserve to be seen on the big screen.

by Anonymousreply 11304/19/2019

R109 There is a whiff of Josephine from "Some Like It Hot."

by Anonymousreply 11404/19/2019

R99, you're right about the singing: it was done by Betty Noyes. But I believe R90 was referring to the elegant speaking voice of Lina Lamont's "Dueling Cavalier" character, which was indeed Hagen's own.

by Anonymousreply 11504/19/2019

"Gwen Verdon worked as assistant choreographer on SITR. "

Did she appear in the finished film at all?

As to the gal in the suit-and-pearls outfit in "Beautiful Girls" being a gal... women's suits of the 1920s had a very blocky, curve-minimizing, mannish cut, and were sometimes worn with ties. The effect must have been very unfortunate on any gal who was tall and broad-shouldered.

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by Anonymousreply 11604/19/2019

I was on Lina's side. Don treated her like crap.

by Anonymousreply 11704/19/2019

Betty Noyes in her most heart-breaking role.....

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by Anonymousreply 11804/19/2019
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by Anonymousreply 11904/19/2019

This has turned into a very smart and informative thread. I'm enjoying the posts about MMISL in particular as I've never found it to be the "perfect musical" it's reputed to be.

Irene Sharaff, the costume designer for several Freed/Minnelli musicals wrote in her book that LB Mayer hated when her work became too authentic because he felt it looked unflattering on his leading ladies, but he apparently left her alone about Mary Astor's costumes for MMISL which are so much more beautiful than some of the frocks she designed for Judy Garland (in particular that hideous tennis outfit she wears singing The Boy Next Door).

SITR was just on TCM last week and I watched it for the first time in many years. Though clearly designed through the lens of early 1950s fashion, I think Walter Plunkett did a very admirable job with the costume design and maintained a certain integrity to the late 1920s period, even if predictably fanciful but suitable for a musical fable.

by Anonymousreply 12004/19/2019

Jesus fucking christ, girls. Take the energy to type fill titles. MISL, SITR......


by Anonymousreply 12104/19/2019

[quote]r106 Judy is Judy, but even she's hampered in this movie by that RIDICULOUS wig.

Fuck you.

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by Anonymousreply 12204/19/2019

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is fun - if you're 12 years old. It's an extremely slight film.

by Anonymousreply 12304/19/2019

R109, I think that's just a woman with a prominent jawline; female models often have masculine features.

by Anonymousreply 12404/19/2019

Indeed, r120. Unable to get fine French lace, they basically made their own on net and used covered buttons for the grapes.

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by Anonymousreply 12504/19/2019

"Singin" was Truffaut's favorite film. The film deserves all of its accolades.

by Anonymousreply 12604/19/2019

Interesting to speculate whether Gwen Verdon appeared in SITR, perhaps somewhere in the "Beautiful Girl" number?

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by Anonymousreply 12704/19/2019

This song "Fit as a Fiddle" is so silly but it never fails to crack me up. Imagine dancing this number in one take---what a workout!

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by Anonymousreply 12804/19/2019

Overrated, overrated, overrated. I call it "Singing in the Citizen Kane."

by Anonymousreply 12904/19/2019

Am I the only one who thinks Cyd Charisse looks like Barbara Stanwyck?

by Anonymousreply 13004/19/2019

God what a bunch of useless bitches in this thread. WTF

by Anonymousreply 13104/19/2019

Cyd had a very severe prettiness that often looked worse in some of the wigs they made her wear (nowhere worse than in SITR).

by Anonymousreply 13204/19/2019

[quote]r131 God what a bunch of useless bitches in this thread. WTF

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by Anonymousreply 13304/19/2019


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by Anonymousreply 13404/19/2019

I think they should do a Broadway show that tells what happens to Lina after the ,movie.

by Anonymousreply 13504/19/2019

R135 That would be a variation of Sunset Boulevard where her Betty Boop voice makes the young male lover jump into the pool and drowned himself.

The Millard Mitchell character becomes her version of Max.

by Anonymousreply 13604/19/2019

I never knew JH replaced JH in BY, r134.

by Anonymousreply 13704/19/2019

What I hate most about the Broadway Melody sequence is that it ends with that horrible close-up of Kelly's shit-eating grin.

by Anonymousreply 13804/19/2019

[quote]Cyd had a very severe prettiness that often looked worse in some of the wigs they made her wear (nowhere worse than in SITR).

R132, are you kidding me?

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by Anonymousreply 13904/19/2019

What's most revealing about that article about Jean Hagen at r134, is the negligible passing reference to her role in Singin' in the Rain.

Even though she was nominated for an Oscar for the role, the article makes me wonder if her brilliant Lina Lamont wasn't truly appreciated until years later when the movie resurfaced at film festivals and was seen by younger and more sophisticated audiences.

by Anonymousreply 14004/19/2019

How did Hagen create that unusual voice? I would love to know how she came up with that.

by Anonymousreply 14104/19/2019

Here's the best picture I could find of the "Beautiful Girls" person who's wearing the suit and pearls.

There's a certain resemblance to Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot", but I think she's strictly a female female wearing a really unflattering outfit. Look at the small feet and spindly legs.

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by Anonymousreply 14204/19/2019

R128, thanks for adding Fit as a Fiddle to this thread. What a workout Kelly and O'Connor had doing that! The leg strength and balance required and they've got to smile and sing the entire time.


by Anonymousreply 14304/20/2019

One of the wonderful things about SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is that I believe it was the first, or one of the first, movies to have the soundtrack recorded magnetically rather than optically, for superior sound. And not only that, the whole score was recorded on multiple tracks, not because stereo movies were in existence yet (that happened a year or so later), but because they would use the separate tracks for mixing the final mono soundtrack. Since all of those "stem" recordings have apparently survived, the entire soundtrack of the film has been remixed to true stereo, with excellent fidelity because of the magnetic recording process. And since the musical aspect of the movie is so well done, including the orchestrations and arrangements, this is a great pleasure.

by Anonymousreply 14404/20/2019

Who was it that said that every time he watched Cyd Charisse act he had to remind himself what a good dancer she was?

by Anonymousreply 14504/20/2019

Cyd shoulda got nominated for her searing and trenchant performance in....

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by Anonymousreply 14604/20/2019

Cyd Charisse has never looked sexier than in the "Broadway Melody" number, where the camera pans up her leg and she breathes fire from her nostrils! Okay, not fire, smoke.

Smoking has never looked sexier, either.

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by Anonymousreply 14704/20/2019

[quote] Lucille Bremer is such a drip, and should never have received a role as big as Rose.

Well, she deserved SOMETHING for fucking Arthur Freed on a regular basis.

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by Anonymousreply 14904/20/2019

Sean Hayes and Donald O'Connor favor each other.

by Anonymousreply 15004/20/2019

Love this number....

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by Anonymousreply 15104/20/2019

[quote]r145 Who was it that said that every time he watched Cyd Charisse act he had to remind himself what a good dancer she was?

She's funny and assuredly sexy in the footage from the unfinished SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE (1962).

That probably would have lead to some better roles in comedy, if it was released as planned.

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by Anonymousreply 15304/20/2019

R153, Cyd was so glamorous in her golden years.

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by Anonymousreply 15404/20/2019

R123 What are you? 14? Grow up.

by Anonymousreply 15504/20/2019

Those two.....

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by Anonymousreply 15604/20/2019

Cyd is great in Silk Stockings. Mamoulian's last shining hour in a pretty astounding career. The genius these people had back then is scary.

By the way the bluray is shit. I don't know what the hell they were thinking. Stick with the regular dvd. As it was first seen it's a lost film. Also has a wonderful opening credit sequence with a gorgeous arrangement of All of You. Connie conducted by Andre. Oh to have seen it in stereo on the Cinemascope screen of Radio City when New York City was New York.

by Anonymousreply 15704/20/2019

Give me a good Carmen Miranda dance number any day.

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by Anonymousreply 15804/20/2019

Cyd Charisee rarely got the chance to be comical when dancing but she's wonderfully zany here singing (well, someone's singing) BABY YOU KNOCK ME OUT from 1955's It's Always Fair Weather.

I love the design of her skirt which seems to be pencil-thin until she's starts dancing. And those hunky chorus boys actually look like they might really be boxers.

MGM perfection.

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by Anonymousreply 15904/20/2019

She's also very funny in the cab scene when Kelly tries to put the movies on her. The character makes no apologies for her intelligence as a successful career woman smart as a whip. A favorite film of mine.. Though it's clear the golden age of the MGM musical was ending. Followed up by Kismet which should have been great but is very uneven with Jack Cole's dancers stealing the film.

by Anonymousreply 16004/20/2019

Strange with all the training dancers have today nobody comes within hailing distance of people like Charisse, Ellen, Miller, Powell or Bremer. Let alone men like Astaire, Kelly and Nelson. If a great dance critic were still around they could write about this.

by Anonymousreply 16104/20/2019

The Broadway Melody number IS like a needle-scratch in the middle of the film: a 13-minute sequence that has almost nothing to do with the main story. But Gene and Cyd make it such a pleasure to watch that I can forgive it, especially since SITR is only 1 hour, 43 minutes long.

The similarly lengthy Born in a Trunk sequence from A Star Is Born is harder to take, because Star is already soooooo long (over 3 hours). I've seen the restored version which reclaimed all of the original cut except for a few sequences early on, and the film takes forever to get anywhere. The Trunk sequence just adds insult to injury. I wasn't surprised to learn that it was added after Cukor was done editing the picture.

by Anonymousreply 16204/20/2019

R161, could it be that the level of dancing talent hasn’t decreased, but that there are no longer many opportunities for the general public to see dancing as they did in earlier times?

by Anonymousreply 16304/20/2019

Not only do we not have the dancers, we don't have the directors and choreographers. Note that during dance sequences in these classic films the camera work is unobtrusive. The camera pulls back, the dancers are front and center and we see the whole body. It is closer to what one would see watching a performance in a theater. Today it's all disjointed cross-cutting and frenetic angles, close ups of faces and limbs. No story telling.

by Anonymousreply 16404/20/2019

That’s Carole Richards singing for Cyd in "Baby You Knock Me Out".

by Anonymousreply 16504/20/2019

R163 Exactly right. The days of big budget Hollywood musicals are long gone. The ones that still (if rarely) get made all have the Chicago desire to have "realism" which tends to play down the camp and yet still look absurd. No matter how "real" you try to make a musical, people do not randomly break out into song when they want to express their emotions. Camp is what makes the old MGM musicals fun and today's producers and directors seem to forget this. If a SITR type movie ever gets made and it's half way decent, we should support it. If it does well, Hollywood will make more of them and we'll begin to shine a spotlight on the talented dancers who go under appreciated today.

by Anonymousreply 16604/20/2019

For those of you who claim there aren't great dancers out there, it's exactly what R163 said. There aren't the opportunities for people to see them. I'll give you an example. I was in New Orleans last year and went to a performance at Preservation Hall. The band set was really good, but towards the end they had a surprise for the audience. They brought up this tap dancer named Luke Hawkins and he was really good. He had a great style and his tap was on point. If we had the type of movie musicals today that they had back then, Luke would be a star. It's all about what the flavor of the month is and what producers are willing to fund. Give this guy acting classes, put him in a movie and you'd see a similarly positive reaction that Gene got in his day. There are other Luke Hawkins out there, we just don't have the outlets today to help them get seen.

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by Anonymousreply 16704/20/2019

The movie is a masterpiece. The "Would You" song sequence is perfection. Don't get the imbeciles trashing the movie. As another poster said, the whole movie has genius level orchestration.

by Anonymousreply 16804/20/2019

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was originally supposed to be a 3-D film. Much of the action is directed toward the audience from the moment Monroe and Russell toss their minks in the opening of Little Girl from Little Rock.

by Anonymousreply 16904/20/2019

R159, I've never seen "It's Always Fair Weather". That number in the gym is dynamite. Not too long, clever use of the boxers, and you're right, they're the proper body type. And that skirt... you can see the additional material in the back to give it flair. Sweet!

Regarding A Star is Born with Garland and Mason... yes, please, somebody issue the film with some serious editing to the Born in a Trunk sequence... Lord it goes on and on. Show me the beginning... cut to Judy and James watching, cut back to the film with the number, cut to an enraptured audience, go back for Judy's close. God it would feel like 10 minutes was cut and not missed from the film!

by Anonymousreply 17004/20/2019

IAFW ended not only the Kelly/Donen partnership but their friendship as well. You never see pictures of them together again the way you would with Kelly and O'Conner. I think they barely spoke for the rest of their lives. The bitterness must have gone very deep. Too bad we'll never really know their history together. Only the bare professional and personal outlines. Though Kelly did once use the term incestuous to describe it.

by Anonymousreply 17104/20/2019

R60 comments that, when Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly are dancing together, you can't take your eyes off of Frank Sinatra. I've always thought that the same is true about Judy Garland. When she dances with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, I can't take my eyes off of her. I don't know if that talent is inborn or learned, but it's true across the several pictures they made together.

by Anonymousreply 17204/20/2019

Like Robert Wise said it's a gene you have. It's in your DNA.

by Anonymousreply 17304/20/2019

R162, I agree that the Broadway Melody from SITR and Born In A Trunk from ASIB are almost eerily similar in format. But I wouldn't take one minute away from either. In the original A Star Is Born, we keep hearing that Esther Blodgett was a huge exploding talent, but Janet Gaynor never showed us why. In Judy's ASIB, after watching the Born In A Trunk number, you really believed a star was born. Now I do agree that the movie is too long, and there are other musical numbers I would have cut, but the Born In A Trunk set is certainly not one of them.

by Anonymousreply 17404/20/2019

R167 Thanks for introducing Luke Hawkins to this discussion. I really agree he has style and his tap is on point, but he lacks the charismatic magnetism in his performance when set alongside male dancers Kelly, O’Connor, Astaire and Gregory Hines. What I feel in the way he doesn’t fully engage me is that he’s just not entirely in his body or giving his wholehearted in-his-body presence as those men did onstage.

by Anonymousreply 17504/20/2019

See, I feel like we saw everything we needed to about Esther's talent when we watch her sing "The Man That Got Away." Besides the fact that it's JUDY, one of the most talented (if not THE most talented) performers of Hollywood's Golden Age, "Man" makes it absolutely clear that Esther is a rare and wonderful find. If more proof was needed, "Someone At Last" really showcases her multi-dimensional talent. The general public in the film doesn't see those performances, but we the actual audience do, and I personally would have been just fine with being told that her career was exploding rather than sitting through "Born in a Trunk."

The original A Star Is Born with Janet Gaynor was less than two hours long. It's really not a very complicated story. Even with musical sequences, 2.5 hours should have been enough for Judy's version.

by Anonymousreply 17604/20/2019

BABY YOU KNOCK ME OUT is one of only two bright spots in the dreary It's Always Fair Weather, the other being THANKS A LOT BUT NO THANKS with DL Fave Dolores Gray. Actually, the latter is even more fabulous.

I was going to post a link but, sadly, it seems unlinkable via youtube, at least.

by Anonymousreply 17704/20/2019

R175 It's not as if Luke hasn't been seen in film before. He's in the "No Dames" MGM parody that Channing Tatum did for Hail Caesar! If you go to the part where they tap on the table, he's the guy to Channing's back right. Without an outlet to be seen, talent like this isn't shown and can't be appreciated.

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by Anonymousreply 17804/20/2019

For me the biggest problem with the Born in a Trunk sequence is that it just feels and looks so old-fashioned in the 1950s Hollywood that the rest of the movie takes place in. Very anachronistic IMHO to the style of the rest of the film.

by Anonymousreply 17904/20/2019

I love the Born in a Trunk sequence. Every note! I think it's a major highlight of the film.

by Anonymousreply 18004/20/2019

Singing in the Rain had much, much better costumes than A Star Is Born, that's for sure. Even in the showcase "Born in a Trunk" sequence, they put Judy in these pants. Who puts a pudgy apple shaped woman in a cropped jacket and plaid pencil pants?

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by Anonymousreply 18104/20/2019

For R177

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by Anonymousreply 18204/20/2019

Actually, Irene Sharaff, multi-Oscar winning Costume Designer of The King and I, West Side Story, Meet Me in Saint Louis, Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly! and Cleopatra designed those plaid pencil pants, r181.

She designed all of the Born in a Trunk sequence (costumes and sets) though not the rest of the film.

by Anonymousreply 18304/20/2019

Thanks for that Dolores Gary clip, r182!

Interesting that the accompanying article says Gene Kelly choreographed her number. A lot of the men's chorus movements look like those in Judy's Get Happy! from Summer Stock. I wonder if Gene choreographed that number as well?

It all looks stolen from Kay Thompson, if you ask me.

by Anonymousreply 18404/20/2019

Well, that explains it, R182. I thought the costumes in those movies were ugly, too. Way too much in the way of frills and fripperies.

by Anonymousreply 18504/20/2019

Dolores Gray's last performance was in a Dr. Who epsiode called Silver Nemesis.

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by Anonymousreply 18604/20/2019

Also should note that Luke Hawkins played Don Lockwood in a theater production of Singin' in the Rain. If they ever bring it back to Broadway, he should star in it.

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by Anonymousreply 18704/20/2019

A clip from when Singin' in the Rain was on Broadway.

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by Anonymousreply 18804/20/2019

"Singing in the Rain had much, much better costumes than A Star Is Born, that's for sure. Even in the showcase "Born in a Trunk" sequence, they put Judy in these pants. Who puts a pudgy apple shaped woman in a cropped jacket and plaid pencil pants?"

Oh, give the costume designer a break. Judy Garland was hard to design flattering costumes for. She had a weird shape; no neck, barrel chest, short waist, long legs. It was hard to make her look good.

by Anonymousreply 18904/20/2019

R141 well it's quite nasal, rather like Edith's in All in the Family. So no chest voice. And she pitches it higher than her real voice. I've seen her in a few other MGM films of that time, and she was really excellent and versatile.

by Anonymousreply 19004/20/2019

R151 it's always a joy. My understanding of rhythm is not strong and I find that disparity between the dancers and orchestra hard to figure, but it's very exciting. And she's on heels! Their fan dance in Ziegfeld Follies is pretty amazing. Bremer was not bad in the noirs Behind Locked Doors and the excellent Ruthless. I think she married her Mexican magnate fairly soon after those.

by Anonymousreply 19104/20/2019

I thought Lucile Bremer was perfect in Meet Me in St Louis...idc that she was fucking the boss

by Anonymousreply 19204/20/2019

R6, Reynolds had a difficult time playing a heterosexual.

by Anonymousreply 19304/20/2019

R107, she drank.

by Anonymousreply 19404/20/2019

Bremer was wonderful. One of those raving beauties that don't exist anymore. And a sensational dancer. Look also at This Heart of Mine and Limehouse Blues from Ziegfeld Follies.

So what if Freed wanted to fuck her. Who wouldn't?

by Anonymousreply 19504/21/2019

R190 Ironic statement considering that Jean was in an MGM musical!

by Anonymousreply 19604/21/2019

R193 You deserve a real tongue lashing!

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by Anonymousreply 19704/21/2019

For those of us who parted too much on Easter Saturday...

Shaking the booze away!

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by Anonymousreply 19804/21/2019

Not even one 20 second clip outside being seen as an extra in "The Harvey Girls"? I'm the one who rocked it, baby!

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by Anonymousreply 19904/21/2019

They seemed to figure out how to costume Judy by the time of her TV show in the 60s, but she'd lost a lot of weight by then. I do recall reading that they had to pad the butt of her dresses to make her look good in all of those sheaths she wore: She had no ass, apparently.

My favorite costume in Singin in the Rain is Debbie Reynold's Coconut Grove chorus girl outfit with the built in hip bowl that held candy or dexies or whatever it was she threw at people at the party.

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by Anonymousreply 20004/21/2019

Plunkett said some of the costumes he designed for the movie were replicas of what he had designed back in the twenties for some movie stars.

by Anonymousreply 20104/21/2019

"They seemed to figure out how to costume Judy by the time of her TV show in the 60s..."

The sheath dresses of the sixties would have suited Judy a hell of a lot better than the wasp-waisted looks of the fifties, I'm sure some of the poor gal's scenes in "A Star Is Born" involved a whalebone corset dug out of the antique costume warehouse!

Nothing about fifties fashion suited her, not the dreadful short haircuts, not the fussy hats and gloves and collars, not the hourglass cuts, and not the long skirts that covered her slim legs.

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by Anonymousreply 20204/21/2019

She looks good in the outfit at the Oscars when Mason slaps her in the face from what I remember. Sharaff was undoubtedly one of the greatest but in this film she does seem to come a cropper. Wearing the Christmas dress in St Louis Garland is at her most beautiful.

Saw a bit of King and I last night on channel 13 and it really is stunning.

by Anonymousreply 20304/21/2019

I read in a Judy bio that, as a producer, Judy felt entitled to any and all costumes she wore in the film. Some of them she would wear to social events and ruin before they could even be used on camera, and they'd have to be hastily replaced by the costume department. It's one of the many shenanigans that pissed off Warners enough to never want to work with her again. She was a major talent, but she was also a spoiled diva.

It's too bad she'd worn out her looks and her welcome by the time they filmed Singing in the Rain, though. She would have been fantastic in the Debbie Reynolds part. But it was an ingenue role, and though only 28 in 1950, she looked 40.

by Anonymousreply 20404/21/2019

Garland would have been fantastic in the Debbie Reynolds part ten years earlier!

But the part called for someone young and cute, and while Reynolds still looked as young and cute at 28 as she had at 19 (and was still cute as a button in her 80s), Garland aged like a time-lapse film.

by Anonymousreply 20504/21/2019

Did Gene Kelly not like Jane Powell?

by Anonymousreply 20604/21/2019

IMHO Jane Powell was TOO cute for the role.

Yes, the girl was an ingenue, but one who was very ambitious and who had the nerve to tell off a big star on first acquaintance. Powell seemed like a cute little bunny, not someone who'd eventually hit the big time. Reynolds really was right for the part, there was a steeliness in her, deep under the layers and layers of cuteness.

by Anonymousreply 20704/21/2019

Yes, Garland lost her youthful glow after the serious mental breakdown she had in 1946, and she never got it back.

I've never been a huge Debbie Reynolds fan, but she nailed the role in Singing in the Rain. Really, the movie was perfectly cast. Though I wonder, if Cyd Charisse did have a gift for comedy, why they didn't consider giving her the ingenue role (making it a sexier newcomer), and then the Broadway Melody sequence less disconnected from the rest of the film. I don't know much about Charisse, so perhaps other folks who do could venture an opinion.

by Anonymousreply 20804/21/2019

Cyd Charisse could not act and certainly couldn't handle comedy.

by Anonymousreply 20904/21/2019

Jane Powell was a really excellent dancer, as evidence by her dancing with Fred Astaire in "Royal Wedding" among other films and tv appearances after MGM, many of which are on YouTube.

I think Debbie really became a star and kind of showed the Debbie Reynolds she was going to become is in the "Good Morning" number, especially when she starts to sing the song by herself during the second interation of the melody, and then the dance afterwards. Notice how at the very end as they are tumbling on the couches and the last sting of the music ends, she actually checks her dress quickly to make sure nothing is showing -- very ladylike.

Donald O'Connor actually got the Golden Globe that year for his performance. I love "Make 'em Laugh", "Good Morning" and "Moses Supposes" if fun, even if the song is stupid, but not remarked upon too much is the opening dance between him and Gene, "Fit as a Fiddle" which is one of my favorite things in the film. You can see that as fine as dancer as Kelly is, O'Connor certainly as a tap dancer, is even better. The film kind of de-sexes Cosmo (O'Connor's character) by not giving him any sort of female counterpoint (or male, but this is the 1950s!) to pair off with at any point really during the film.

Yes, "Broadway Melody" is kind of an overlong, though well-done piece for Gene Kelly, though I do think Cyd Charisse is damn wonderful; this is what made her a star, though she had been doing small and featured parts at MGM for years. It's a shame the studio system for musical collapses just a few years later, but she's also wonderful in "The Band Wagon".

I guess Jean Hagen might have lost out on some parts, since Lina Lamont was kind of a malevolent sort of Judy Holliday role, and "Singin' in the Rain" was written by Holliday's friend Betty Comden and Adolph Green. But Holliday was already a big star with an Oscar by then to do a supporting role, and by that time she was signed by Columbia Pictures so not likely available to do an MGM movie. Of course Holliday and Hagen were both terrific in "Adam's Rib" from 1949.

I find Gene Kelly's singing ballads kind of a trial to listen to, especially in "You Were Meant for Me", but the picture was his baby, along with Stanley Donen. The title song, of course, is a classic. Story goes that he once ran into Malcolm MacDowell, who in "A Clockwork Orange" MacDowell's character rapes someone which singing "Singin' in the Rain". Apparently Kelly's and McDowell's meeting at the party didn't go well, and Kelly apparently lashed out at MacDowell, which seems unfair since it was Stanley Kubrick who directed "A Clockwork Orange" and encouraged Malcolm to sing it as his character. But Kelly was very protective of his signature song apparently.

by Anonymousreply 21004/21/2019

R91 I think I probably saw SITR at the same time at Radio City Music Hall. They were having something called the Art Deco Festival with lots of artwork and such being exhibited all around the lobbies and halls of Radio City Music Hall, but they had on the big screen different films featuring Art Deco sets and costumes being shown for part of the price of admission. I finally got to see the uncut SITR, as before I had just seen in on the 4:30 movie on tv where it was chopped up and, with commercials, fit into a 90 minute spot. I mean, they practically cut out nearly all of Debbie Reynolds' performance. On the big screen at Radio City, it was just amazing. I think that day (or I may have come back another) I also saw "Top Hat" with Fred and Ginger, and that was mind-bogglingly awesome. Seeing Fred's opening number "Fancy Free" and then Astaire and Rogers, after meeting cute but with Ginger kind of perturbed at Fred, finally falling for each other while taking shelter and dancing at a gazebo during "Isn't This a Lovely Day?" was enough to make me a musical lover for life.

by Anonymousreply 21104/21/2019
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by Anonymousreply 21204/21/2019

[quote]r210 Jane Powell was a really excellent dancer, as evidence by her dancing with Fred Astaire in "Royal Wedding"

Jane was alright, picking up my leavings.

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by Anonymousreply 21304/21/2019

R127 Gwen Verdon was Jack Cole's assistant and Carol Haney was Gene Kelly's. Haney asked Gwen to help her dub in the audible taps for Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain" number. Apparently they were tapping (or unclear if they were using their hands or feet) in mops of water in a sound studio doing perfectly synchronized taps to match Kelly's visuals. I don't know if the did any other number in the film though.

by Anonymousreply 21404/21/2019

My God, poor Judy in that R213 picture. She had no waist at all, did she?

by Anonymousreply 21504/21/2019

Gwen Verdon should have had the Rita Moreno role.

by Anonymousreply 21604/21/2019

R195: "So what if Freed wanted to fuck her. Who wouldn't?"

Uh, 99% of the American public?

by Anonymousreply 21704/21/2019

Many of the costumes from SIngin' in the Rain were used in this number w/Ann Miller 2 years later.

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by Anonymousreply 21804/21/2019

I don't think Judy, wonderful as she was, could have done the complicated choreography Jane Powell did in that number. Jane had studied dancing and was as expert at that, though she was mainly recalled as being a star soprano. Judy and Fred's numbers in "Easter Parade" aren't as intricate for Judy, though she moves gracefully and her vocals of course were wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 21904/21/2019

This movie contained the most amazing dance sequences. These people were at the top of their physical prowess to make these dance moves. Gene Kelly - actor, singer and dancer-- a triple thread, he was underrated.

Every time I this clip of Donald O'Connor dancing up the wall and somersaulting back on his feet, I'm amazed. See end of clip.

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by Anonymousreply 22004/21/2019

I think Garland was pregnant (Joey Luft) while shooting Star so of course some of the costumes had to accomodate this.

by Anonymousreply 22104/21/2019

Judy was a superb dancer. There is evidence to back that up.

Here is the reshot finale of "Presenting Lily Mars" shot AFTER Judy had her first serious collapse and illness after starting (with the Busby Berkeley finale) of "Girl Crazy" and squeezing in her "The Joint is Really Jumpin' " cameo from "Thousands Cheer". You tell me.

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by Anonymousreply 22204/21/2019
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by Anonymousreply 22304/21/2019

Yes, she could have R219. Many, especially Kelly mentioned how quickly she could pick up intricate dance steps:

“The finest all-around performer we ever had in America was Judy Garland. There was no limit to her talent. She was the quickest, brightest person I ever worked with.”

by Anonymousreply 22404/21/2019

"I read in a Judy bio that, as a producer, Judy felt entitled to any and all costumes she wore in the film. Some of them she would wear to social events and ruin before they could even be used on camera, and they'd have to be hastily replaced by the costume department. It's one of the many shenanigans that pissed off Warners enough to never want to work with her again. She was a major talent, but she was also a spoiled diva."

The dress she was to have worn in the Academy Award scene in "A Star Is Born" was white, supposedly to emphasize the purity of Esther's character. But Judy wanted to keep it for her own personal use so she screamed "I can't wear this! It makes me look like the great white whale!" So the dress was put away for Judy's pleasure and another one, black with purple overlay, was made to replace it.

Another dress was made with a rare kind of French lace. Its creation involved a procedure with gasoline at its base and it involved being in a room with potentially explosive fumes, but the results were worth it. After the dress was made Judy borrowed it; she returned it ripped, shredded and matted with foreign substances, "the origins of which could only be guessed at." No one in the wardrobe department would touch it and it was immediately destroyed. A new one had to be made at the same risk and expense. All this information comes from a good biography of Judy Garland by Christopher Finch. Judy was certainly a cunt, wasn't she?

by Anonymousreply 22504/21/2019

I wrote earlier how you can't take your eyes off of her when she's dancing, including with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. But, in the clip from Presenting Lily Mars above, I find myself watching Chuck Walters rather than Judy. He had a dynamic style.

by Anonymousreply 22604/21/2019

And then there's this. Judy at her prettiest singing WHO STOLE MY HEART AWAY? in Till the Clouds Roll By.

I don't know if she proves herself to be a brilliant dancer here but she sure knows how to move (and apparently a few months pregnant with Liza!). Her dress is so flattering, they've raised the waist to where she's smallest, right under her bust. And her blonde wig here is very pretty.

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by Anonymousreply 22704/21/2019

This movie just doesn't make sense. Many silent film actors lost their careers when sound came in.

It would not be sustainable to use one actress's voice for another actress for a whole career. But if the studio were so intent on saving Lina Lamont's career that it decided to do that, then why expose her and destroy her career publicly?

I know Lina was nasty but the studio put her in that position, then they exposed her. It just didn't make sense. And it made Don Lockwood look as bad as she did.

by Anonymousreply 22804/21/2019

Don't overthink it r228. It is only a movie.

by Anonymousreply 22904/21/2019

R228 you're trying to make sense of a MGM musical? You just go with it.

If you think about it after what they do to her Lina according to the terms of her contract she could still go after them for the entire studio. She clearly had a very smart agent and she knew it. Dumb as a fox.

by Anonymousreply 23004/21/2019

[quote]r225 ... she returned it ripped, shredded and matted with foreign substances, "the origins of which could only be guessed at."

I think we can guess.

by Anonymousreply 23104/21/2019

Off topic, but I want to know who Frank Sinatra’s dance double was in On the Town. He looked like Sinatra and danced just as well as Gene. And he had some meaty thighs.

by Anonymousreply 23204/21/2019

What was truthful about the film (and thus so wonderfully and easily satirized) was that at the very beginning of the sound era, Hollywood was in complete chaos trying to figure out how to deal with this new invention called Talkies and all bets were off. I'm sure there were all kinds of insane deals going on in the offices of the moguls.

I doubt that the idea of a hugely popular silent star being dubbed (for at least as long as they were hugely popular) was far off from the truth.

by Anonymousreply 23304/21/2019

That's my favorite Garland dance number, r227.

It's so silly and exuberant.

by Anonymousreply 23404/21/2019

I'm just glad Sinatra didn't do the "Pajama Game "instead of John Raitt, since then we'd have to see a shirtless Sinatra in the bottom half of the pajamas at the finale; however, if he wore the bottoms, then we'd have some more idea of what Ava saw in him, though plenty has been published over the years. But otherwise he was too skinny.

by Anonymousreply 23504/21/2019

On youtube there is an interview with Bob Mackie who worked on Garland's show when he was very young. It seems to not have been a happy experience.

Also Judy was such a nightmare on Star is Born it cost her the Oscar.

I think it's also the reason Streisand got only half an Oscar for Funny Girl. She put off a lot of people in Hollywood. If she hadn't voted for herself she probably wouldn't have won even the half.

by Anonymousreply 23604/21/2019

It's not half an Oscar. Two were given that year and she got one.

by Anonymousreply 23704/21/2019

Sinatra supposedly has an erection over Rita Hayworth in one scene in Pal Joey but it's hard to tell.

by Anonymousreply 23804/21/2019

R233, dubbing came into existence fairly soon after The Talkies came in. I know of one instance, there was a version of "Show Boat" made in 1929, and the lead girl had her songs dubbed. But not in the modern way, they actually had a singer come in on set and sing live, while the camera ran and the lead actress lip-synched her number. I dont' think it took them much longer to figure out how to dub sountracks in a studio, by 1932 they were staging outdoor musical numbers in the excellent "Love Me Tonight", and you couldn't record songs live outdoors in those days.

So I suppose the story of "SitR" doesn't follow the historical timeline precisely, but things like that happened in the chaos of the transition to sound.

by Anonymousreply 23904/21/2019

Hitchcock's used live dubbing in "Blackmail". Shortly after filming started in 1929, the decision was made to convert from silent to sound, but the pronounced Czech accent of his leading lady presented a problem.

"Sound was in its infancy at the time and it wasn't possible to post-dub Ondra's voice. Rather than replace her and reshoot her scenes, actress Joan Barry was hired to actually speak the dialogue off-camera while Ondra lip-synched her lines. This makes Ondra's performance seem slightly awkward."

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by Anonymousreply 24004/21/2019
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by Anonymousreply 24104/21/2019

R236 which half did she get...

by Anonymousreply 24204/21/2019

Had she been healthy, Judy Garland should have starred in this movie with Kelly. She'd have brought so much more depth to the part than Reynolds managed.

by Anonymousreply 24304/21/2019

One thing that part did not need was "depth".

by Anonymousreply 24404/21/2019

Who would Judy have played, r243?

Phoebe Dinsmore?

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by Anonymousreply 24504/21/2019

Garland and Kelly were dynamite together!

by Anonymousreply 24604/21/2019

Apparently Singin' in the Rain is being produced for Broadway. Originally Harvey Weinstein was supposed to produce it before his pig ass got exposed, so it has been on hold, but Derek Hough said on Andy Cohen's show recently that it's back on. It stinks that the money people need a famous person to lead the cast to get it on a Broadway stage, but I don't think Derek would do the part justice. Luke Hawkins would be much better.

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by Anonymousreply 24704/21/2019

It was a tie.

A tie is not the same as a win.

by Anonymousreply 24804/21/2019

Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Cosmo!

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by Anonymousreply 24904/21/2019

Tom Holland for Cosmo!

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by Anonymousreply 25004/21/2019

[quote]remember the producer Arthur Freed wrote all of the songs in the film

Except for the one he stole, Cole Porter’s “Be a Clown,” which Freed turned into “Make ‘Em Laugh.” It’s better as “Be a Clown.”

by Anonymousreply 25104/21/2019

I think there's a story that Porter visited the set when Make Em Laugh was being filmed, and it was only later that someone realized that the number was a ripoff, as Porter had not commented on that.

Anyone else think O'Connor is really cute?

by Anonymousreply 25204/21/2019

O'Connor was adorable. His two dancing duets with Vera-Ellen in "Call Me Madam" are on the level of the Astaire-Rogers best dances.

by Anonymousreply 25304/21/2019

It was Irving Berlin that visited the set. He commented on the song but Arthur Freed changed the subject. Everyone knew it was a rip-off

by Anonymousreply 25404/21/2019

Other than Make Em Laugh is Moses Supposes the only non-Freed song? Was it written by Roger Edens and Comden and Green?

by Anonymousreply 25504/21/2019

Yes Moses is by Edens, Comden and Green.

by Anonymousreply 25604/21/2019

Cole Porter was well aware that "Make 'Em Laugh" was a ripoff of "Be a Clown," but he was gracious about it and decided to let it go. He didn't need the money, after all.

by Anonymousreply 25704/21/2019

Also he was friends with these people and it would have been ugly. He also figured they would make other films of his musicals which they did.

by Anonymousreply 25804/22/2019

The problem in Pajama Game is that Day needed a costar of equal presence like Keel. As good as Raitt is in singing and looking the role she wipes him off the screen. She has little to work with in terms of attraction and conflict. Another good choice would have been the unbelievably gifted MacCrae whose drinking problems were probably pretty serious at that point. And he would have looked pretty good just wearing pajama bottoms. But by Carousel you can already see he's getting a bit of drinker's bloat.

Also MacLaine should have gotten the Haney part. She was delightful on screen and Carol is just serviceable despite her being the better dancer. It's a good role and would have been funnier with the kookier prettier Shirl. Also she was not yet the star she would become in SCR and AAG.

by Anonymousreply 25904/22/2019

"It would not be sustainable to use one actress's voice for another actress for a whole career. But if the studio were so intent on saving Lina Lamont's career that it decided to do that, then why expose her and destroy her career publicly? I know Lina was nasty but the studio put her in that position, then they exposed her. It just didn't make sense. And it made Don Lockwood look as bad as she did."

If you watch the movie again and pay closer attention: The idea that Don and Cosmo and the studio head have in mind is that Kathy will dub for Lina for only this one film, to save the film, and then will have a career of her own at the studio. Lina is the one who threatens to sue if Kathy doesn't continue dubbing for her, and is prohibited from any other roles at the studio. In the moment, Don and Cosmo and the studio head expose list because they have become so fed up with her that, I guess, they've decided to risk the lawsuit.

by Anonymousreply 26004/22/2019

There should have been a sequel where Lina sues for the studio, wins the suit and fires the lot of them.

by Anonymousreply 26104/22/2019

Sorry: Lina is the one who threatens to sue if Kathy doesn't continue dubbing for her, and unless Kathy is denied any other roles at the studio. In the moment, Don and Cosmo and the studio head expose Lina because they have become so fed up with her that, I guess, they've decided to risk the lawsuit.

by Anonymousreply 26204/22/2019

Fair Weather is more than those two musical numbers. It's got the garbage can lid dance which has some wonderful choreography, the very funny Blue Danube in the restaurant and Dailey's nervous breakdown at the advertising cocktail party. If you've worked for corporations that's how you feel at their drinking parties. One of Comden and Green's best scripts and maybe their last really good one. Even BAR doesn't work without Holliday.

by Anonymousreply 26304/22/2019

They added this song to the most recent London revival. I guess it was to give Lina a song of her own.

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by Anonymousreply 26404/22/2019

[quote]I'm just glad Sinatra didn't do the "Pajama Game "instead of John Raitt, since then we'd have to see a shirtless Sinatra in the bottom half of the pajamas at the finale; however, if he wore the bottoms, then we'd have some more idea of what Ava saw in him, though plenty has been published over the years. But otherwise he was too skinny.

You mean if he wore (only) the tops.

[quote]Had she been healthy, Judy Garland should have starred in this movie with Kelly. She'd have brought so much more depth to the part than Reynolds managed.

What a silly comment. I think Reynolds certainly brought as much "depth" as needed to the role of Kathy Selden. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is not A STAR IS BORN.

by Anonymousreply 26504/22/2019


[Quote] I think they should do a Broadway show that tells what happens to Lina after the movie.

It wouldn't be the positive and cheery story that R261 believes it would be. The studios back then were all mighty and powerful. They made and broke careers singlehandedly. If Lina actually went through with her lawsuit, the studios would be sending all of the negative stories to the press they owned and controlled to damage her reputation. They'd mention her threats to sabotage Kathy's career, her obnoxious behavior, her inability to follow directions and her threatening manner. She wouldn't be able to counter this because the press wouldn't take her or her lawyer's calls and wouldn't risk doing so in fear of the wrath of the studios. A court of law wouldn't rule in her favor either as our criminal "justice" system usually favors the wealthy and well connected over the poor and disadvantaged. If the musical was supposed to be an ironic expose' on how messed up the Hollywood studio system was and how awful our court system is, then it would be a great, and dare I say, timely piece despite it taking place almost 100 years ago. If, however, the point of the musical is to be the avenging song of Lina Lamont, then I think it would be a bitter disappointment for those expecting she'd come out the hero in the end.

by Anonymousreply 26604/22/2019

MGM wanted a new fresh face to play Kathy Selden. Judy Garland was gone from the studio by this time, and Jane Powell, while still very young, was also already an established star; Debbie even played supporting parts in a few of her movies and stood out. So Debbie was given this shot, and she did wonderfully.

by Anonymousreply 26704/22/2019

R135 isn't that "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane "?

by Anonymousreply 26804/22/2019

I know it's silly to add logic to an MGM musical, but in reality, for future Lina films the studio could just have found a Marni Nixon for Lina Lamont: someone with a lovely speaking and singing voice but no chance of a real career of her own due to a lack of looks/charisma/etc. Sure, she wouldn't have sounded exactly like she did in the Dancing Cavalier, but nobody would have noticed, probably. Then the studio could have kept an established star AND had the rising star Kathy Selden.

I'm surprised nobody thought of that for more silent stars back then. Perhaps they thought it was too much trouble, and just easier to find new stars.

by Anonymousreply 26904/22/2019

Besides the problem of actors' voices not matching their images, the Talkies transition also demanded a big change in acting technique, from highly melodramatic to more naturalistic, so it was a great time to throw out the old and bring in the new. And a good excuse to get rid of any problematic stars who had become too powerful.

It was like Hollywood was starting from scratch and once the studios embraced this notion, they held onto no sentimental favorites.

by Anonymousreply 27004/22/2019

[quote]r267 MGM wanted a new fresh face to play Kathy Selden.

Yes, the studios always needed a fresh supply of stars to build future projects around. The procedure was to sign up young hopefuls, train them, test them in small parts ... then put them in a big budget film, hoping the public responded.

Ava Gardner was doing small roles for MGM for five before she had an attention-getting hit (THE KILLERS) ... and that was for an outside studio.

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by Anonymousreply 27104/22/2019

One of the greatest films of all time.

by Anonymousreply 27204/22/2019

Yes, r271, even Gene Kelly was loaned out by MGM to B studios Columbia and Universal for Rita Hayworth and Deanna Durbin films for the first couple of years of his contract while they tried to figure out what to do with him, as crazy as that might seem now. And he had starred on Broadway in Pal Joey.

MGM was particularly careful about grooming their new stars and waiting for just the right project to feature them in. I guess it usually paid off.

by Anonymousreply 27304/22/2019

In her interview with Osborne Reynolds pretty much said neither Kelly or Donen wanted her. When Osborne told her Donen said they always wanted her Reynolds gave him such a look and replied oh he said that did he?

She claims it was LB who cast her and when Kelly objected because she couldn't dance Mayer was pretty much 'she's playing the role and she'll dance!'

by Anonymousreply 27404/22/2019

Didn't they have spanx back then ?

by Anonymousreply 27504/22/2019

The Kelly loan-outs were for A films: Cover Girl at Columbia and Christmas Holiday at Universal. Those studios may have been smaller than MGM but they still made A films.

by Anonymousreply 27604/22/2019

"Christmas Holiday" kind of gives you an idea of how Kelly might have been as Pal Joey insofar as his character is a rather shady character. Deanna Durbin is playing against type as almost a Donna Reed-style call girl singing "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year" in a kind of clipped, unsentimental way in the house where she works. Critics didn't like it that much at the time, but it made a lot of money.

It's a shame Kelly never got to do "Pal Joey" on screen though.

by Anonymousreply 27704/22/2019

that is, Donna Reed in "From Here to Eternity" where she played what's basically a call girl

by Anonymousreply 27804/22/2019

I have tried a couple of times to get through Christmas Holiday but failed. I think Durbin's acting is terrible in it and she looks terrible too, in very unflattering makeup.

by Anonymousreply 27904/22/2019

R274 Reynolds told a story about crying alone at the end of a really hard day on the film, and Fred Astaire heard her and consoled her. And possibly helped her with the dance routine. About 10 years later he played her father in "Pleasure of His Company," with Tab as her fiance'.

by Anonymousreply 28004/22/2019

The two big misses of Gene's film career were Pal Joey and Guys and Dolls. He should have had the Brando part in GaD, no question, but I think the filming of An American in Paris got in the way.

by Anonymousreply 28104/23/2019
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by Anonymousreply 28204/23/2019

Gene is really good in "Christmas Holiday" which is not for all tastes. Bad title, but a rare chance to see movie musical stars in a film noir. Gale Sondergaard is terrific in this film, especially when she all of a sudden turns on Deanna and tells her that she's always disliked her.

by Anonymousreply 28304/23/2019

Gene would have been fine in "Luck Be A Lady" and he could have joined in the dancing, but I don't think I'd care to hear him sing the other Sky Masterson songs, which are ballads -- always a chore to have to get through in listening to Gene.

by Anonymousreply 28404/23/2019

Frank Sinatra really wanted the lead in Guys and Dolls. He was really pissed to have to take a supporting role to a non-singer like Brando.

by Anonymousreply 28504/23/2019

One of my favorite songs from G&D is My Time of Day which was cut from the movie. Kelly would have been pretty good singing that. I got to see a wide screen stereo print at the Loew's Jersey and I enjoyed it more than I ever have on TV. I still though wish it had been better cast and not have had such stylized sets. Oliver Smith did such a great job on Oklahoma but here the concept is terrible.

And though Blaine's performance on the obc is a classic how I would have much preferred to see Grable in the role on screen. Donen might have done a good job directing it. Goldwyn's forte was not musicals. Nobody lists any of his musicals as among their favorites.

by Anonymousreply 28604/23/2019

[quote]r286 One of my favorite songs from G&D is My Time of Day which was cut from the movie.

I regret they cut the reprise, [italic]My Time (of the Month)

by Anonymousreply 28704/23/2019

Gene Kelly would NOT have been a good choice for Sky Masterson in GUYS AND DOLLS. First of all, the part would have had to be reconceived as a dance role, and that wouldn't have worked for the character. Also, I think Sky is supposed to have a little sense of danger about him, and Kelly never projected that. And furthermore, as someone else here said, Kelly wouldn't have sounded good singing those songs, especially the ballads. If it was going to be someone other than Brando, it might as well have been someone with a really good singing voice.

by Anonymousreply 28804/23/2019

So wouldn't Sinatra have been perfect casting for Sky?

by Anonymousreply 28904/23/2019

So Kelly wouldn't have danced. He would have been a better choice than Brando. And his Heather on the Hill in Brigadoon is fine. Anyway it's probably the worst cast leading role major movie musical. Brando, Simmons and Sinatra are miscast and Grable would have been better.

by Anonymousreply 29004/23/2019

[quote]So Kelly wouldn't have danced. He would have been a better choice than Brando. And his Heather on the Hill in Brigadoon is fine. Anyway it's probably the worst cast leading role major movie musical. Brando, Simmons and Sinatra are miscast and Grable would have been better.

Kelly would never have not danced. He would have insisted that Sky be changed to a dancing role, or he wouldn't have taken the part. Just like he helped screw up BRIGADOON by changing Tommy from a singing role to dancing role, cutting some beautiful songs in the process. Actually, I think Brando was an excellent choice for Sky with the major exception that his singing voice sounds so odd. (I wouldn't say terrible, just odd.) Brando is miscast because of his singing, and Kelly would have been miscast because he's a dancer with only a serviceable singing voice, and also because, as I said, there is no hint of danger in him. So I guess we disagree about that, and also about Simmons. I think she's just about perfect for the part, and her performance is one of the strengths of the movie.

[quote]So wouldn't Sinatra have been perfect casting for Sky?

Sinatra would have been almost perfect casting for Sky, only slight issue for me is that for some reason he had started to look kind of old by the time of that movie, and I think that's less of an issue for the part of Nathan. Over the years, MANY people have said that Sinatra and Brando should have switched roles -- but that's only half right, as Brando would have been ALL WRONG for Nathan.

by Anonymousreply 29104/23/2019

I heard Sinatra at Carnegie and he was still bitter about not getting Sky. He made a snide comment to the audience about Brando playing the role. Honestly I don't know why Sinatra even took Nathan.

by Anonymousreply 29204/23/2019

Well Gabey is a singing role not a dancing role. Kelly made it one and the film was and is(though I don't know why) a huge success. Husmann turned it back into a singing role and then Yazbeck turned it back into a dancing one. I didn't see the Delacorte version but nobody seems to have liked it.

by Anonymousreply 29304/23/2019

Actually Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Clyde Alves turned the 3 sailors in On the Town into singing AND dancing roles. That was the first Broadway production that accomplished that.

by Anonymousreply 29404/23/2019

R291 yes, Simmons was perfection. As usual.

by Anonymousreply 29504/23/2019

“Christmas Holiday” is a drag but it has one of my favourite cute but obscure leading men David Bruce (real name Andy McBroom, his daughter Amanda wrote the song The Rose) who was adorable with Deanna in “Lady on A Train”. Too bad he came up just as the boys were returning from WW2 and his career went nowhere

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by Anonymousreply 29604/23/2019

Cosmos Troupe did it last year.


by Anonymousreply 29704/23/2019


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by Anonymousreply 29804/23/2019

[quote]Well Gabey is a singing role not a dancing role. Kelly made it one and the film was and is(though I don't know why) a huge success. Husmann turned it back into a singing role and then Yazbeck turned it back into a dancing one. I didn't see the Delacorte version but nobody seems to have liked it.

The movie of ON THE TOWN was a huge success because of the phenomenally great opening sequence, which has the three sailors on location in famous landmark areas of NYC, singing one of the few great songs that were retained from the Broadway score. The movie as a whole has not withstood the test of time, and I'm sure that's because the new songs (with music by Roger Edens, not Bernstein) are no good at all. In line with what someone else said here above, Tony Yazbeck has an exceptionally strong and beautiful singing voice, so when he played Gabey, it was both a singing AND a dancing role in equal measure.

by Anonymousreply 29904/24/2019

Yes the opening is great but after the opening jaunt through NY it takes a header which it really doesn't recover from except for the brief moments of dancing by the fabulous Ellen, her duet with Kelly on the ballet barre is fucking fully clothed, and the funny heart-breaking Pearce.

by Anonymousreply 30004/24/2019

Kelly's role in FOR ME AND MY GAL is essentially like Pal Joey, isn't it?

by Anonymousreply 30104/24/2019

Very much R301 and Gene proved that he could play a heel very well. Of course with "For Me and My Girl" he also gets redemption. In "Pal Joey", the character remains a heel. I think the studio and Kelly didn't want him to play that kind of character. He morphed into the optimistic American Everyman for many, many films.

by Anonymousreply 30204/24/2019

He stayed a heel in FMAMG but it previewed badly. They had to redeem him.

by Anonymousreply 30304/24/2019

In Christmas Holiday Gene had touches of Pal Joey.

by Anonymousreply 30404/24/2019

Does anyone know the answer to r232’s question?

by Anonymousreply 30504/24/2019

Kelly was worse than a heel in "Christmas Holiday"; he was actually a murderer. I think Durbin was actually very good in the film, but it was so very much against her regular little-miss-fixit-who sings roles that it's rather startling to see. But it's a very misleading title.

by Anonymousreply 30604/24/2019

"The studios back then were all mighty and powerful. They made and broke careers singlehandedly. If Lina actually went through with her lawsuit, the studios would be sending all of the negative stories to the press they owned and controlled to damage her reputation."

So basically, Lina would have threatened to sue the studio for an unholy fortune, and the studio would have threatened to convince the public that Lina served roast baby at her nightly orgies... and the studio would have settled. They'd have given Lina enough money to make one person filthy rich, although not enough to hurt the studio's bottom line.

And Lina would have lost most of it in the upcoming Great Depression, and found that none of the movie studios would give her a job because she wasn't a team player.

by Anonymousreply 30704/24/2019

It's terrific. Directed by the great noirist Robert Siodmak. Isn't there a gay subtext with Gene and some guy? IIRC, it was based on a Maugham book.

by Anonymousreply 30804/24/2019

[quote]Best thing about "On the Town" watching Kelly and Sinatra dance side by side and realize that your eyes are following Sinatra. Try it. Sinatra is the one you can't take your eyes off.

Same thing with Judy and Gene. He outdances her a hundred times over but you never take your eyes off of her.

by Anonymousreply 30904/25/2019

When Garland is on the screen, you can never take your eyes off her no matter what she's doing. Like Streisand, she simply oozes charisma.

by Anonymousreply 31004/25/2019

R232 and R305, do you know for a fact that a dance double was used for Sinatra? I've never heard that before. Sinatra took dance lessons from Kelly and gave a pretty good account of himself dancing with Kelly in Anchors Aweigh and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. I don't think he needed a dance double. They did have to pad his derriere, though, in On the Town.

by Anonymousreply 31104/26/2019

Yes. At that latitude everything was in the front.

by Anonymousreply 31204/26/2019


[Quote] and the studio would have settled.

What incentive would the studio have had to settle the case? Sure, it would cost them some money, but it would be more damaging for them to settle as it would admit wrongdoing on their end. Since they controlled all of the press in town, Lina's story would never be heard and they'd just continue holding her up in courts for years until she gave up. The great depression was on the horizon as well so if they waited two years, she'd go bankrupt before she'd ever collect a penny. As I said in my post, I think a Lina Lamont musical or play on Broadway would be great, but it would only work if the story was told from a realistic perspective. She's not coming away the hero in all of this, though her character could be portrayed in a more sympathetic light.

by Anonymousreply 31304/26/2019

R313: The studio might have tried another tack to "pay off" Lina:

Invent a new character for her to play, one that utilizes her Bronx/Brooklyn accent and hard bitten blonde persona (something like a "Maisie" or wise cracking girl reporter/detective). The studio negates her lawsuit threat, Lina has a new career and Kathy gets Don and a career of her own.

by Anonymousreply 31404/28/2019

Nice idea, R314. In this fictional universe, Lina could have been a Jean Harlow like sex kitten and comedienne.

by Anonymousreply 31504/28/2019

I kind of suspect that Lina Lamont would not have agreed to being forcibly switched from glamorous leading lady roles to hard-bitten, wisecracking blonde character comedienne from one film to the next. Even if she did have any comic talent!

by Anonymousreply 31604/28/2019

I guess it would depend on how much she wanted to continue being famous. If the facts of life were truly explained to her by the studio--it's this or nothing--the Lina we see in the film was probably enough of a pragmatist to take what she was offered. Of course, she'd hate Don and Kathy forever and no doubt intrigue against them, which WOULD make for a fun sequel.

by Anonymousreply 31704/28/2019

Or Lina could sue for the studio, win her lawsuit, become the owner and run the studio, give herself Norma Shearer type vehicles, have Don kick Kathy to the curb if he doesn't want to be blackballed by all of Hollywood and Kathy could marry some mechanic, move to New Mexico and have 5 children.

by Anonymousreply 31804/28/2019

"Maisie" starred Ann Sothern, who could really sing and didn't put on such a character accent for the role anyway.

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by Anonymousreply 31904/28/2019

The elephant in the room, that we've been waltzing around, is that Lina and Kathy are big ol lesbos and have been giving each other tongue lashings. And Don and Cosmo are a pair of queens who have been fucking. So they set up lavender marriages, with Don and Kathy, and Lina and Cosmo, and everyone's happy.

by Anonymousreply 32004/28/2019

R319 Lesbian alert: at 3:43 in that clip on the right of Ann Sothern, one of those ladies has her dress pulled up really high -- are those her very hairy pubes showing or a black slip -- whatever it is, it's in the days before pause on VCRs so that lady might have tried to slip something by Louis B. Mayer!

by Anonymousreply 32104/28/2019

So how would all of of this affect ME, the largest star in the cinema firmament?

by Anonymousreply 32204/28/2019

She was pulling a "Carmen Miranda," R321. There was a whole spate of those, inspired by THAT photo, in the late 40s, including Margaret O'Brien in "The Secret Garden" (hehe).

by Anonymousreply 32304/28/2019

Cosmo isn't good looking enough. Don is having an affair with Jimmy Thompson on the side. And then the two of them have a polyamorous relationship with Roscoe.

While Lina and Kathy take up with Phoebe Dinsmore for some major lesbian drama.

by Anonymousreply 32404/28/2019

"Cosmo isn't good looking enough."

FINE. More for me then!

by Anonymousreply 32504/28/2019

R323, What? Margaret O'Brien in The Secret Garden? Really? In She was only 12, so there wouldn't have been much to see.

by Anonymousreply 32604/29/2019

I love this seldom-heard verse:

Why am I smilin' and why do I sing?

Why does December seem sunny as Spring?

Why do I get up each morning to start

Happy and get up with joy in my heart?

Why is each new task a trifle to do?

Because I am living a life full of you...

by Anonymousreply 32704/29/2019

R326 she was an early bloomer.

by Anonymousreply 32804/29/2019

^^ Happy and het up

by Anonymousreply 32904/30/2019

"SIngin' In The Rain" is playing right now on TCM. I have to say I'm getting pretty sick of this movie.

by Anonymousreply 33005/02/2020

You're bitching on my movie and I caaaan't staaaand it!

by Anonymousreply 33105/02/2020

Bump because Singin in the Rain is trending on Twitter. I'm not joking and I have no idea why.

by Anonymousreply 33211/20/2020

Ok this is why. It's the #1 response to this tweet.

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by Anonymousreply 33311/20/2020
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