Singin’ in the Rain
Air Date: February 28, 2009
One of the best musicals of all time, Singin’ in the Rain stars Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood, beloved silent film star and half of the blockbuster “Lockwood and Lamont” duo. The other half happens to be his girlfriend Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), whose absurd voice becomes a big problem with the arrival of sound pictures. When Don falls hard for chorus girl Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), they team up with best friend Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) to save Lockwood’s career… and start one for Kathy. Features classic musical numbers like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” and “Good Morning.”
Directed by: Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen
No one embodies the American movie musical quite like Gene Kelly. Born in working-class Pittsburgh in 1912, Kelly left college to earn money as a dancer when the Great Depression hit. He traveled to New York looking for work as a choreographer, but wasn’t able to get a gig until 1938, when he appeared in Cole Porter’s Leave It To Me! From there, the sky was the limit as Kelly got the lead in 1940’s Pal Joey, which lead to opportunities in Hollywood. Kelly became MGM’s golden boy, starring in Anchors Aweigh (1945), The Pirate (1948), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and many more. He also appeared in many dramatic roles over the years, as in Inherit the Wind (1960). When he died in 1996, Kelly left behind a legacy of cinematic dance whose influence is still apparent today.
If Gene Kelly is the Hollywood musical’s iconic star, then Stanley Donen is its iconic director. With a resume that includes On the Town (1949), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Funny Face (1957), The Pajama Game (1957), and Damn Yankees! (1958), Donen was a one-man musical factory for years before he turned his eye towards non-musical films like Charade (1963). Born in South Carolina, Donen moved to New York City at the age of 16 and landed a role as a chorus boy in Broadway’s Pal Joey, which starred Gene Kelly. His Hollywood career began with choreographing musical numbers, and he went on to choreograph and direct some of the most revered movies of all time. Donen was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1998.