Saturday, January 08, 2011

Screen Gem Saturdays: Lovely Lina Lamont

This movie borders on perfection; can you imagine anything better than the songs, dancing, acting, and writing of this MGM musical gem? Debbie Reynolds sparkled as Kathy Selden, the vivacious up-and-coming actress who had to supplement her income by popping out of cakes at parties.

Gene Kelly was tailor-made for the role of Don Lockwood, the silent-screen matinee idol just a little too infatuated with his fame.

And Jean Hagen...she literally walked away with the picture in her star turn as Lina Lamont, the impossibly glamorous actress with the voice of a shrew...and a personality to match.

It takes the advent of talking pictures and the love of Gene Kelly’s character to knock down Lina and give sweetheart Debbie Reynolds the break of a lifetime.

The irony of the movie? The Kathy Selden character dubs Lina Lamont’s speaking and singing voice so that the studio won’t lose money on Lina’s first talking picture. However, another actress (Betty Noyes) dubbed the singing vocals for Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen’s actual voice was used for the speaking parts that Kathy was supposedly dubbing! The difference in Noyes’ and Reynold’s singing voice is glaring, as are the speaking voices of Hagen and Reynolds. Definitely a “huh?” moment for this otherwise perfect movie.

For the Major, here’s a closeup of the sign near Monstro at Disneyland from yesterday’s post; not very helpful (or readable), but it’s here nonetheless:

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Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks for the closeup of the sign!

I remember first seeing "Singin' In The Rain" in a film class, and had expected to be bored. Naturally my mind was completely changed by the time it had ended!

Connie Moreno said...

Gosh, it's been so long since I've seen that movie - maye 12 years - that I don't remember the difference in the voices. Guess I need to see it again.

vivian said...

Love this movie and your website!