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Singin' in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece

de Earl J. Hess, Pratibha A. Dabholkar (Autor), Earl J. Hess

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There is no movie musical more fun than Singin' in the Rain, and few that remain as fresh over the years. . . . It is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it.-Roger Ebert America's most popular film critic is hardly alone in singing the praises of Singin' in the Rain. This quintessential American film-made in Hollywood's Golden Age, showcasing the genius of Gene Kelly, and featuring what Ebert calls "the most joyous musical sequence ever filmed"-has inspired love and admiration from fellow critics, film scholars, and movie buffs worldwide for more than half a century. Indeed, its reputation continues to grow: the American Film Institute now ranks it number 1 on its list of the Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time and number 5 on its list of the Greatest American Films of All Time. Echoing the enthusiasm of the film's most devoted fans, Earl Hess and Pratibha Dabholkar embrace and illuminate both the film and its reputation. Combining lucid prose with meticulous scholarship, they provide for the first time the complete inside story of how this classic movie was made, marketed, and received. They re-create the actual movie-making experience, on the set and behind the scenes, and chronicle every step in production from original concept through casting, scripting, rehearsals, filming, scoring, and editing. They then trace its distribution, critical reception, and enduring reputation. The book is brimming with human interest, bursting with anecdotes and quotes by and about the film's stars and makers. Here are Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor at the top of their form, along with Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse in their breakthrough roles. Here, too, are fascinating tidbits-about censorship troubles, continuity flaws, stunt doubles for Kelly, voice doubles for cast members, the dubbing of taps, and genealogy of all the songs. Hess and Dabholkar also provide in-depth analyses of each of the major song-and-dance performances, including details of everything from the dynamics of "Gotta Dance!" to the physical challenges of the remarkable title number. Based on exhaustive research in oral histories, studio production records, letters, memoirs, and interviews, their book is factually impeccable, compulsively readable, and indispensable for anyone who loves movies at their absolute best.… (més)
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Es mostren totes 3
Well-researched and enjoyable look at my all-time favorite movie. In their introduction, the authors say their goal is somewhere in between academic analysis and popular gossip, and in general they find that middle ground. Those into the nitty-gritty of film production will appreciate the sheer amount of detail provided about the genesis of the story, the creation of sequences and shooting schedules, while those more interested in personalities will learn plenty about Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds et al. The latter is the one area where the authors get a little repetitive. One gets the feeling they idolize Kelly (understandably) and thus have bones to pick both with Reynolds, for complaining about how hard it was to work under him, and with Stanley Donen, for trying to take too much credit away from his mentor and co-director. Mostly, though, one comes away from this book with an appreciation of how much work went into this movie, and renewed wonder at how easy the cast made it look. ( )
  bostonian71 | May 4, 2015 |
Singin’ In The Rain is one of Hollywood’s best loved films. The American Film Industry named it the Best Musical Film of all time. They also listed it as the fifth best film of any genre of all time, and it came the top 20 films of both their lists of romantic movies, and comedy movies. More importantly, it is loved by film fans all over the world, even almost 60 years after it was released.

This book tells the story of how the film was created, beginning right at the genesis of the project, when screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green were asked to write a musical using MGMs back catalogue of Freed/Brown songs. All they knew was that it was to be called ‘Singin’ In The Rain’; they had no guidance regarding what the storyline should be about. The book describes the writing process, and then goes on to describe how all the main players in the cast came on board, providing short but detailed biographies of the main cast.

There are detailed descriptions of the various problems encountered by the cast and crew during filming, and also of the personal relationships between the people involved in the film. It also gives details of how the dances were worked out, how the sets were created, and how the characters were developed. (And finds time to debunk a few myths – for example, despite popular reports that milk was used instead of water for the title dance, this is not true.)

Finally the book describes the impact which the film had on the cast and crew, the critics, and the viewing public, and discusses its enduring appeal (giving details of life after the film for the main cast).

This book is jam-packed with details and facts, but it is all presented in a very readable and engaging style. It’s clear that the authors love their subject (and indeed, who doesn’t?!), and have carried out exhaustive research for this book.

Above all, it is a fitting tribute to a wonderful film, and is definitely recommended for fans of the film, or anyone interested in how movies were made. And I guarantee that when you’ve finished it, you will want to get the film out and watch it! ( )
1 vota Ruth72 | Jul 18, 2011 |
Excellent for fans of this movie or fans of classic musicals in general. Exhaustively researched and full of detail, but still readable. ( )
  sandykaypax | Jan 11, 2010 |
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Hess, Earl J.autor principaltotes les edicionsconfirmat
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Wikipedia en anglès (5)

There is no movie musical more fun than Singin' in the Rain, and few that remain as fresh over the years. . . . It is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it.-Roger Ebert America's most popular film critic is hardly alone in singing the praises of Singin' in the Rain. This quintessential American film-made in Hollywood's Golden Age, showcasing the genius of Gene Kelly, and featuring what Ebert calls "the most joyous musical sequence ever filmed"-has inspired love and admiration from fellow critics, film scholars, and movie buffs worldwide for more than half a century. Indeed, its reputation continues to grow: the American Film Institute now ranks it number 1 on its list of the Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time and number 5 on its list of the Greatest American Films of All Time. Echoing the enthusiasm of the film's most devoted fans, Earl Hess and Pratibha Dabholkar embrace and illuminate both the film and its reputation. Combining lucid prose with meticulous scholarship, they provide for the first time the complete inside story of how this classic movie was made, marketed, and received. They re-create the actual movie-making experience, on the set and behind the scenes, and chronicle every step in production from original concept through casting, scripting, rehearsals, filming, scoring, and editing. They then trace its distribution, critical reception, and enduring reputation. The book is brimming with human interest, bursting with anecdotes and quotes by and about the film's stars and makers. Here are Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor at the top of their form, along with Debbie Reynolds and Cyd Charisse in their breakthrough roles. Here, too, are fascinating tidbits-about censorship troubles, continuity flaws, stunt doubles for Kelly, voice doubles for cast members, the dubbing of taps, and genealogy of all the songs. Hess and Dabholkar also provide in-depth analyses of each of the major song-and-dance performances, including details of everything from the dynamics of "Gotta Dance!" to the physical challenges of the remarkable title number. Based on exhaustive research in oral histories, studio production records, letters, memoirs, and interviews, their book is factually impeccable, compulsively readable, and indispensable for anyone who loves movies at their absolute best.

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