I love this film, and since the
boyfriend fiancee's daughter just got the role of Lina in her company's play, I figured it was time to refresh my memory, and to redeem myself from the lousy Gene film I watched last week.
We meet uber star Don who is attending his latest with rumored gal pal Lina. The walk down the red carpet and say a few words (I wish they still did this today). We learn that Don got his start as a stunt man and worked his way up, while Lina is just a diva.
Don can't stand Lina, and Lina can't take a hint. The fans are too much for Don and he escapes into a car driven by Kathy aka Debbie Reynolds. She is appalled and gets mad when Don gets fresh with her. She drops him off and heads to work. Will they meet again?...
To the after party Don goes when low and behold the dancing ladies turns out to me lead by Kathy herself! Now Don really can't get her off his mind. Lina gets jealous and has Kathy fired, but the show must go on.
Check out the puff bracelet!
Don finally finds Kathy and then become friends
with benefits. Don wants to get Kathy in at the studio and along with pal Cosmo (Donald O'Connor), they brainstorm all night. Cue in cute song and dance sequence.
The furniture from this scene was once used in the Gilbert/Garbo flick "Flesh and the Devil".
Talkies come in and the studio realizes Lina is a space cadet on film. What to do? They hire Kathy to do her voice overs, and "forget" to tell Lina. Don and Cosmo do some great dance numbers.
Every guy should dress like this. Every day. It doesn't hurt if he can do a little tap either.
The plan is going to work and they films some of the dance scenes with Don. Lina doesn't realize her dubber is Kathy and all is going well. This might actually be a good picture!
Kathy sucks some face with Don and he is smitten...so he dances in the rain. Gene had a 101 degree temperature at the time of this shot. The milk/water combo rain was shrinking his wool suit on set and Los Angeles was in a drought at the time, but Gene pulled through in one take.
Lina wants to ruin Kathy's career and gets some lawyers to help her. Kathy is sad and so is Don. After a screening, they devise a way to get the public to know the truth about Lina and her "voice".
Now that everyone knows the true star, the love birds get to be in their own film together. Ahhh.
Gene was a tyrant on this film and worked Debbie to the ground. Literally. Fred Astaire found her crying under a piano after a 20 hour rehearsal. Gene was a perfectionist. Donald worked so hard he spent 3 days in the hospital after his "Make em Laugh" number. Debbie was rumored to have bloody feet during this shoot and was quoted as saying the two hardest things in her life were child birth and making this film. But hard work pays off. It cost 2 million to make and earned over 7 million in the end.