Veteran dancer and choreographer Ann Reinking, who called Cyd Charisse her idol, recalled in an interview yesterday that when someone once asked the movie star how she could possibly dance so well in such high heels, Charisse had no big secret to reveal. "Oh, it's just like anything else, dear," Charisse said. "Practice, practice."
Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 comedy musical film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds and directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography. It offers a comic depiction of Hollywood's transition from silent films to "talkies".
The movie is frequently described as one of the best musicals ever made, topping the AFI's 100 Years of Musicals list, and ranking fifth in its updated list of the greatest American films in 2007.
Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood. Although his performance in the song Singin' in the Rain is now considered iconic, Kelly was not the first choice for the role — Howard Keel was originally cast. However, Keel was replaced by Kelly as the screenwriters evolved the character from a "Western actor" to a "song-and-dance vaudeville" performer.
Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden. Early on in production, Judy Garland (shortly before her contract termination from MGM), Kathryn Grayson, Jane Powell, Leslie Caron, and June Allyson were among the names thrown around for the role of the "ingenue".
Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown. The role was based on, and was initially written for, Oscar Levant.
Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont. Judy Holliday was strongly considered for the role of Lina, until she suggested Hagen, who had been her understudy in the Broadway production of Born Yesterday. Fresh off her role in The Asphalt Jungle, Hagen read for the part for Arthur Freed and did a dead-on impression of Holliday's Billie Dawn character, which won her the role.
Millard Mitchell as R.F. Simpson. The initials of the fictional head of Monumental Pictures are a reference to producer Freed. R.F. also uses one of Freed's favorite expressions when he says that he "cannot quite visualize it" and has to see it on film first, referring to the Broadway ballet sequence, a joke, since the audience has just seen it.
Cyd Charisse as Don's dance partner in the "Broadway Melody" ballet
Rita Moreno as Zelda Zanders, the "Zip Girl" and Lina's informant friend