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

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  72 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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, sho ...more
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by University Press of Kansas
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Rose Ann
Jul 14, 2009 Rose Ann rated it really liked it
A well-documented and exhaustive account of the making of a great American movie. The authors have done a first-rate job with their research, preserving for future generations the genesis of this masterpiece of moviemaking. Bravo!
Jan 22, 2017 Catherine rated it really liked it
Might be too much information for those who have only seen the movie once or twice but for the diehard fan, like me, it is full of interesting and fascinating background information about everything related to the making of this musical classic.
Jul 03, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it
I had a lot of fun reading this book, Singin' is one of my favorite movie musicals of all time. I really appreciated the detail this book went into from pre-post production and included short bios at the end of everyone involved in the film. As you can imagine there is a lot of time spent on the iconic number of Gene singing and dancing in the rain. What's so interesting about it is how "regular" it's staging and creation was done - no one had any idea that the number would turn into Gene Kelly' ...more
Feb 13, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I enjoy reading the back stories of my favorite movies, and this definitely contains a lot of information. The authors are so well researched in fact that they feel compelled several times throughout the book to contradict the people who were actually involved in the making of the movie! This would be fine, as perhaps they were correct, if the authors were not so condescending about it. I was also not a fan of the writing style, it did not seem academic enough to me.
Otherwise I enjoyed all the l
Mar 26, 2014 Starhistnake rated it liked it
I have read and watched a lot on this film but I did find new information and stories in this book. I liked how it took you through the details of filming. I thought the bios on all the people involved in production were a nice touch. I also found the index of the songs and where they were before and after the film to be interesting. I definitely feel the book would have benefited from more pictures but I also know it might be difficult to obtain permission. I would only recommend this book to s ...more
Elizabeth  Fuller
Jan 01, 2015 Elizabeth Fuller rated it really liked it
I agree with others who say this book is a bit dry and academic...but I'm also a film geek, so it didn't bother me and I really enjoyed all the minute details. I also got a kick out of the amount of pure research the authors obviously did - right down to their minute examination of studio time logs to see how many minutes were devoted to shooting specific scenes on the individual shoot days. Probably too much detail for casual film fans, who might prefer new first-person interviews with survivin ...more
Dave Mccormick
Aug 20, 2014 Dave Mccormick rated it liked it
I'd like to give this book an extra star, but the level of detail got a little too exhaustive for me. Having said that, I really enjoyed the first part of the book, it enriched my background understanding of what motivated the movie, and I had not realized that the film used the old Freed/Brown songbook extensively. I also learned a significant amount of information about the key players in the making of the film, which I appreciated very much.

I would definitely recommend this book to aficionado
May 26, 2009 Ed rated it liked it
Shelves: film
I learned alot. It was good. There was some repetition, which my regular readers will recognize as a particular pet peeve of mine. I mean it's one thing to use repetition to drive a point home, but the repetition of material within a non-fiction book that seems inefficient--well, if you've said it once why say it again. But that being said, I did enjoy the book. I watched the movie again (or agin as Lina Lamont would say) for the first time in many years, too, and enjoyed it muchly (as Alanis mi ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Christina rated it it was amazing
Singin in the Rain is one of my all time favorite movies. this book was so great to read all the behind the scenes information as well as the publicity aspect of the theater release of the movie was incredibly researched. i especially had a good time reading about Jean Hagen who played Lina Lamont, i knew very little of her before this book and after reading about her it made Lina a more interesting character.
Jun 19, 2009 Cory rated it it was ok
Singin' in the Rain is one of my favorite movies of all time, and there were interesting tidbits in this study of the making and marketing of the film. However, there were WAY too many details for normal human beings to handle. There were multiple pages that detailed the minute-by-minute shooting schedule (seriously) and a whole section that chronicled the one-word changes between the screenplay and the final filmed version. A bit too much!
May 16, 2014 Carla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grown-up-stuff
As a fan of musicals and Hollywood behind the scenes information, I loved this book. It was in depth enough to be interesting, but not so in depth that it went over my head. And as a massive Gene Kelly fan and Pittsburgh steel town girl, it had added appeal to me to have some extra biographical info on him. "Singin' in the Rain" is one of my favorite movies and learning more about it just made me love it more.
Aug 09, 2016 Andy rated it liked it
Some very good information here, but also a lot of effort expended on minutia, covering detailed camera angles, which take of which scene was used, etc. Even so, the book itself - minus the appendices and voluminous notes - only consists of 237 pages in a 346-page volume, some of which becomes pretty repetitious. The book will be most appreciated by hardcore fans of the film. Still worth a look for those who are mildly curious about the background of a truly great film.
Donna-Jo Webster
How many times can you say you've torn through a non-fiction title in one sitting? I can proudly say that was my experience with this delightful book. If you love the movie, it's a no-brainer (and I do, and yes, I STILL found out at least a half dozen things about it I never knew). If you're at all interested in any of the stars of the film, movie musicals or filmmaking in general, this is a sure-fire winner for you.
Oct 19, 2010 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything you could ever want to know about the classic film - from Debbie Reynold's bleeding feet and Cyd Charisse's costume issues to how much water needed to be in the puddles for the classic title dance sequence. Very detailed information that may put off some people - this book is really researched - with loads of footnotes.
This was a very well-researched and interesting book on the making of "Singin' in the Rain." The authors had apparently unlimited access to all kinds of documents and personal histories, as well as extensive MGM studio files. Well worth a read if this is your kind of book.
Feb 11, 2016 Samantha rated it it was ok
Some interesting tidbits, but mostly specifics on how much film was used, how long each rehearsal was and when breaks were. For such an amazing movie, this book was kind of a snooze. I believe reading a biography of any of the major players within the movie would be more worth my while.
Dec 08, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Adore the movie (of course) and was thrilled to find that there was a lot of material in here that I didn't know. Warning, though: you will want to have the movie ready so you can immediately play it and reference certain parts of the book.
Olean Public Library
Interesting if you like “Singin’ in the Rain” and trivia. Everything you ever wanted to know about this movie and the people behind it. I liked it!!
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