Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1952. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Story and Screenplay by Adolph Green, Betty Comden. Cinematography by Harold Rosson. Produced by Arthur Freed. Music by Lennie Hayton. Production Design by Randall Duell, Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Walter Plunkett. Film Editing by Adrienne Fazan.
The classic musical that has never aged a day. Gene Kelly plays a movie star during a time when silent films were switching over to synchronized sound. The effect on the careers of Hollywood luminaries at the time is the subject of this gorgeously shot, perfectly scored film, and a crisis arises when a gorgeous leading lady movie star (Jean Hagen) turns out to have a grating, awkward voice with a mawkish Brooklyn accent. Fearing her career will go down in flames, Kelly comes up with the idea to have adorable lass Debbie Reynolds dub her speaking voice. One unforgettable number after another is poured out, climaxing with the wonderful title piece that features Kelly dancing down a rain-soaked street (the rain was actually part water and part milk in order to show up better on screen).
Academy Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Jean Hagen); Best Scoring of a Musical Picture
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Donald O’Connor)
Nomination: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy