The Singing in the Rain number took all day to set up–and Gene Kelly was very ill some say with a fever over 101. When it was all set up, Kelly insisted on doing a take–even though the blocking was only rudimentary starting and ending positions only, and the director was ready to send him home. He ad-libbed most of it and it only took one take, which is what you see on film.
HAPPY TRIO IN HAPPY MUSICAL… are, left to right, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, co-stars in M-G-M’s new CinemaScope musical, “Brigadoon”, enchanting fantasy of a legendary Scottish village that rises out of the Highland mists one day in each century. Vincente Minnelli directed, Arthur Freed produced. Alan Jay Lerner wrote the screen play, based on the Broadway hit musical with music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Lerner.
OK, I'm annoyed. I saw a post a few days ago that said that people shouldn't be upset by the fact that Emma Watson is auto tuned in Beauty and the Beast because all movie musicals are auto tuned.
So, this is one of the many reasons the casting of a big name celebrity with little to no musical theatre experience bothers me so much. Audiences are starting to think that in order to be in a musical, signing talent is not a necessity.
Also, this person obviously hasn’t seen a musical that was made before the year 2000. Really, even later than that! More like, anything before 2010.
Here’s a homework assignment for this weekend. Don’t worry it’s easy. Look up:
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald:
In watching some videos of these wonderful people, you will see how much work goes into the craft of musical theatre and movie musicals.
And, it bears mentioning, that at the time, these actors were “big names” and they were box office draws based on their singing and dancing talent. I’m all for bringing that back. If Hollywood wants to keep making movie musicals, then let’s bring back the movie musical star!
“I wanted to invent some kind of American dance that was danced to the music that I grew up on: Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart and Irving Berlin. So I evolved a style that certainly didn’t catch on right away - but I had some good mentors in New York who encouraged me.” -Gene Kelly