The movie has an extraordinarily intelligent plot, which greatly contributes to the work being systematically classified as the best musical comedy ever. Themes of certain arts being inferior to others, or the immortal if you seen one of them, you've seen them all (which is what Rossini also said about his operas) are today as vivid as ever.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Kelly plays Don Lockwood, a silent film star with humble roots. Lockwood barely tolerates his vapid leading lady, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), who is convinced their screen romance is real. After the smash-hit of the historical talking picture innovator, The Jazz Singer, Lockwood's studio decides to convert the current Lockwood/Lamont vehicle, The Dueling Cavalier, into a talkie. The production is beset with difficulties, not least Lina's inadvertently comical speaking voice.
After a terrible screen test, Lockwood and his partner Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) decide to return to their roots and convince the studio to overdub Lamont's voice and turn The Dueling Cavalier into The Dancing Cavalier, a musical comedy. Meanwhile Lockwood falls in love with the overdub artist Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) and Lamont does everything possible to sabotage the romance.
The film features a rendition of the 1929 song "Singin' in the Rain" by Arthur Freed (who also produced) & Nacio Herb Brown, along with other Freed and Brown tunes from the late 1920s and the 1930s. The song "Make 'Em Laugh" uncomfortably resembles the Cole Porter song "Be a Clown." Comden and Green wrote the music and lyrics to the number "Moses Supposes."
The dance routine in which Gene Kelly sings the title song while twirling an umbrella, splashing through puddles and generally getting soaked to the skin, is probably the most famous of all movie musical sequences. It has of course been parodied several times, notably by Morecambe and Wise and Paddington Bear. It was also the subject of a 2005 advert for the new VW Golf GTI, in which Kelly appears to be break dancing instead of doing his usual routine until he reaches a policeman standing by the car. This was done using three break dancers, a recreation of the original set and superimposing Kelly's face onto the dancer.
Shooting began on June 18, 1951 and was completed on November 21, 1951.
The audio commentary on the movie's "Special Edition" DVD includes a claim that the original negative was destroyed in a fire. In spite of this, the movie has been digitally restored to an impressive standard of picture and sound quality.
- In the scenes where Kathy (Debbie Reynolds) is seen over-dubbing Lena Lamont (Jean Hagen), it is actually Hagen's voice we hear. She provided her own track for both talking and singing and Reynolds is actually miming to that.
- However most sources give Betty Noyes as the proprietor of the "beautiful" singing voice, used in Would You and the final You Are My Lucky Star. It is certainly different from Debbie's talking voice.
- Another related legend is that Jean Hagen actually dubbed Debbie in the entire movie, since Debbie's Texas accent was judged too thick, although this rumor has long been debunked.
- In the famous rain scene, Kelly is actually dancing in a weak solution of milk so that it would be picked up by the camera.
- Gene Kelly was sick with a 103-degree fever when he danced to the title song.
- An additional performance of You Are My Lucky Star featuring Debbie Reynolds singing to a giant poster of Gene Kelly was cut from the final film and was not released to the public until the 1990s. Surviving prints of the sequence feature Reynolds singing in her own voice.
- The initials of the fictional Monumental Pictures' owner, R. F. Simpson are a reference to Arthur Freed. R. F. Simpson also uses one of Freed's frequent expressions when he says that he "cannot quite visualize it and has to see it on film first", referring to the Broadway ballet sequence.
- Dora Bailey, the gushy gossip columnist is an uncredited role played by Madge Blake who was later famous for her role as Aunt Harriet on Batman.
- In the lead in to Make 'em Laugh, O'Conner/Cosmo sarcastically references the tragic line "ridi pagliaccio" ("Laugh, clown") from I Pagliacci.
- The title song was hauntingly used as a mocking sort of song that Alex DeLarge would sing while he and his Droogs performed acts of rape and violence in the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange.
- The film The Duelling Cavalier that is made by the characters in Singin' in the Rain is probably a reference to The Cavalier (1928), a largely silent picture notable only for its poorly dubbed songs that were thrown in when it became clear talkies were popular.
- The first all-out musical produced by Hollywood is The Broadway Melody (1929) - the name of a song in Singin' in the Rain
- In January 2005 a TV advert remake was made consisting of a Gene Kelly "look-alike" Rapping and BreakDancing to a club mix of the famous song advertising a Volkswagen Golf GTI. Guardian Article
- Donald O'Connor apparently did not enjoy working with Gene Kelly, finding him to be somewhat of a tyrant on set.
- Video killed the Radio Star, a pop song that also deals with the effect of new technology in the show business (in this case, singers who did not look good in video clips).
- Singin' in the Rain on IMDb
- Roger Ebert's Great Movies review of Singin' In the Rain 
- Singin' in the Rain Volkswagen Golf GTI Advert
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