AFI Movie Club: SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN – American Film Institute

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AFI Movie Club: SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN danced its way onto a number of AFI’s lists of the greatest films of all time – and was named the #1 movie musical in cinematic history! AFI Life Achievement Award recipient Gene Kelly helped make SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN the classic it is still today by not only singing and dancing but also co-directing and co-choregraphing the iconic film. 

Movie Trivia about SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN

DID YOU KNOW the only two original songs that were composed for the film were “Make ‘Em Laugh” and “Moses Supposes”? Producer Arthur Freed brought in screenwriters Adolph Green and Betty Comden to specifically write a movie that included songs that he had previously written! 

DID YOU KNOW since Debbie Reynolds had no dancing experience before SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, Gene Kelly took it upon himself to train her for the movie? Reynolds went through a grueling three months of dance lessons to be ready for filming. 

DID YOU KNOW the role of the high-pitched Lina Lamont was written with Judy Holliday in mind? However, once she won the Oscar®, the filmmakers had to search elsewhere for another actress for the supporting role. Ironically, Jean Hagen – Holliday’s Broadway understudy – ultimately won the part. 

DID YOU KNOW Gene Kelly had a bad cold and a fever while performing the iconic “Singin’ in the Rain” dance number? 

DID YOU KNOW that in one scene where Debbie Reynold’s Kathy Seldon is dubbing the high-pitched Lina Lamont saying, “Nothing can keep us apart, our love will last ’til the stars turn cold,” Jean Hagen’s own voice was used. The filmmakers preferred Hagen’s naturally deep, rich voice to Reynold’s more youthful one. 

DID YOU KNOW Donald O’Connor shot the physically exhausting “Make ‘Em Laugh” song and dance number in just one day? Due to the film being overexposed, he had to reshoot the entire number again a few days later. 

DID YOU KNOW Rita Moreno’s Zelda Zanders was to sing a song called “Make Hay While the Sun Shines”? The song – and most of Moreno’s role – was cut from the film. 

DID YOU KNOW that SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN was the second of three films co-directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen? The other two are ON THE TOWN (1949) and IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955). The two also wrote the story for Busby Berkeley’s TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949).

Learn more at the AFI Catalog.

 

The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram now using #AFIMovieClub. Or post your responses in the comment section below.

-What is it about SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN that make it one of the most beloved movies of all time? 

-Why does Don Lockwood lie about how he got started in the entertainment business? 

-What is more important dignity or honesty? 

-Do you think SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN is an accurate depiction of the film industry’s transition to sound? 

-How well do you think SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN reflects the film industry, then and now? 

-Why is change a difficult thing for people to handle? 

-Why is Don so interested in Kathy Selden after such a tumultuous beginning? 

-How would you rate SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN? 

 

In this exclusive AFI Archive video, watch Debbie Reynolds talk about making SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN: 

New to AFI Movie Club? Want to learn more?

AFI has created a global, virtual gathering of those who love the movies. Each day’s film is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience.

Learn more in our FAQ section.

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