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. (This is an obvious cinematic joke, since the audience has just seen it on film.)
The jalopy driven by Debbie Reynolds was the same one driven by Mickey Rooney in the Andy Hardy pictures.
The original negative of this film was destroyed in a fire.
The rain consisted of a mixture of water and milk so it would show up better on film but it caused Gene Kelly's wool suit to shrink.
The role of Cosmo was written with Oscar Levant in mind but instead was immortalized by Donald O'Connor.
The role of the ditzy movie diva Lina Lamont was written with Judy Holliday in mind. Holliday was a close friend of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and they even modeled the character on routines they had worked up with Holliday back when they were part of a satirical group called The Revuers in New York. Timing was everything, however, and the idea of casting Holliday was vetoed after she hit it big in Born Yesterday. Everyone figured she'd be uninterested in the supporting part but, as it turned out, the lovely Jean Hagen, Holliday's understudy on Broadway for "Born Yesterday", got the part.
The screenwriters bought a house in Hollywood from a former silent film star who lost his wealth when the innovation of sound film killed his career. This was part of the inspiration for the film.
The script was written after the songs, and so the writers had to generate a plot into which the songs would fit.
This film was well received by theatergoers but recalled from theaters by the Spring of 1952, as to not compete with the reissue of An American in Paris which also starred Gene Kelly. It was commonplace, at that time, for a film to have a second run after winning an Academy Award, as it did for Best Picture.
This was the sixth time the song "Singin' in the Rain" was used on the big screen. It was introduced in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 when it was sung by the MGM roster in front of a Noah's Ark backdrop. A clip from that footage was later used in "Babes In Arms"(1939). Jimmy Durante sang it briefly in _Speak Easily (1932)_Durante was the first to add the often used "Doo Doo Doo Doo " and "Ya Da Da Da". Judy Garland sang it in Little Nellie Kelly. The song was also featured as an elaborate musical sequence performed by William Bendix and cast in "The Babe Ruth Story" (1948).
Very early on in the pre-production stage, Judy Garland, June Allyson, and Ann Miller were considered for the role of Kathy Selden, but all were considered "too old". Jane Powell and Leslie Caron were also briefly considered before Debbie Reynolds (then a newcomer) was cast.
Voted #8 on Empire magazine's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
Was voted the 10th Greatest Film of all time by Entertainment Weekly, being the highest ranked musical.
When deciding to give Donald O'Connor a song, it was originally to be "The Wedding of the Painted Doll". However, since O'Connor had a bag of tricks he used in vaudeville, a song was substituted to use O'Connor's comical background: "Make 'Em Laugh" (of which the melody is remarkably similar to "Be A Clown" from The Pirate).
While the film makes a central point of the idea that Kathy's voice is dubbed over Lina Lamont's, what is not told is that, ironically, in some of these songs - notably "Would You" and "You Are My Lucky Star" - Debbie Reynolds, the actress who plays Kathy, is actually dubbed by Betty Noyes. However, Reynolds' own singing voice can be heard on the outtake footage of "Lucky Star" as performed next to the giant billboard of Gene Kelly.
Working days sometimes stretched to 19 hours.
Norma Talmadge is parodied as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain (1952).