April 21, 2012


At the end of March 1952, just a few weeks after Gene Kelly's film AMERICAN IN PARIS won a heap of Oscars, another Kelly movie opened in New York City called SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. The film did well commercially (though not as good as AMERICAN) and was generally well reviewed but did not garner raves. It received just two Oscar nominations and didn't win one golden statue.  Now, 60 years later, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is considered by many to be the best Hollywood musical of all time, including myself. :)

I was reading all about this fantastic movie today on a blog by film critic/enthusiast Edward Copeland (which I found by way of Roger Ebert's great Twitter feed).  Copeland has all sorts of interesting behind the scenes details and stories about the film.  But the most surprising to me was that in this film which is all about voice doubles at the start of the sound era, Debbie Reynolds herself had her singing voice dubbed for the "Would You" number!  Apparently, the studio brass thought that Reynolds' beautiful singing voice didn't quite match the look of Jean Hagen. So they hired a voice from Disney's DUMBO which was a bit deeper, a woman named Betty Noyes, to do the honors for this one song in the film.

Below are the two clips so you can compare and contrast; the first is the official released version of the film with the dubber and the second clip has the recording of Reynolds singing. All other songs in the movie, though do utilize Debbie Reynolds voice though, notably, none of them are solos.