Well, Laura might get that, anyway. . .
From The Onion A.V. Club | Video: Singin' In the Rain:
Set during film's awkward transition from silence to sound, Singin' stars [Gene] Kelly as a vaudevillian turned movie star whose successful series of films with Jean Hagen seems doomed to end with the arrival of sound; Hagen's abrasive, squeaky voice suddenly becomes a problem when audiences demand to hear as well as see their idols. Caught in the angry tide of shifting public tastes, the studio behind Kelly and Hagen's latest film decides to make it a sound picture and then a musical, and fresh-faced ingenue Debbie Reynolds is enlisted to overdub Hagen's lines. Escapism raised to the level of art, Singin' In The Rain inventively satirizes the illusions of the filmmaking process while celebrating their life-affirming joy. Half parody, half homage, the movie became the apex of the splashy MGM musical, while showcasing the collaborative possibilities of the studio system.
Links added here and there.
It's a nice film, if you're not opposed to the idea of musicals.This review doesn't mention Donald O'Connor at all, concentrating instead on the (co-) director, choreographer, screenwriter and songwriter(s), which I find odd since the only bits I remember distinctly are "Make 'em Laugh" and the sequence with [I Want to Live Like] Cyd Charisse. Hey, ho, funny old life.
Update: Is it bad that my reaction to this NY Daily News article:
Best Supporting Actress nominee Jean Hagen died in 1977 and Kelly in 1996, but those remaining remember the filming as if it were yesterday. "At first, Gene and I were stiff together," recalls Donald O'Connor, 77, who plays Kelly's best friend, Cosmo. "But then I found out that Gene had a sense of humor.
"One reason the picture is so good is that there was so much ad-libbing. We had scenes that were a little crazy. Gene liked that after awhile. In the beginning, he didn't know how to take me. Nobody knows how to take me at first."
Today's musicals don't appeal to Cyd Charisse, 81. "People who love musicals want great music and dancing," she believes. "Every time I've seen musicals recently, they've been on the dark side 'Chicago,' 'Moulin Rouge.' And when I saw Stephen Sondheim's work on Broadway, I was disappointed. Everything was so dark."
was simply, "Cyd and Donald are still alive?"
[insert Dead or Canadian? joke here]