Empire Online Empire Online Home  |  News  |  Future Films  |  Reviews  |  Forum  |  Subscribe To Empire Magazine    


Actor + Director | 40 Great Collaborations In Movies
30. Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen   View Complete List Back Page 30/40 Next

Stanley Donen
Gene Kelly

Best Film
Singin' In The Rain. One helluva tune, one helluva dance, one helluva dancer. Though he might have ended up with a fever by the end of it, it was all worth it for one of the most memorable film moments of all time.
Notable Pairings
On The Town, Singin' In The Rain, It's Always Fair Weather

What's The Secret Of Their Success?
Far from being a typical director/actor relationship, Donen got his first big break in Hollywood when Kelly brought him in as a choreographer for his directorial debut, 1949's On The Town. He has even said on the co-directorship that, "I knew it was time for Stanley to get screen credit because we weren't boss/assistant anymore but co-creators." They collaborated twice more this way (Singin' In The Rain and It's Always Fair Weather), with Kelly as the star and Donen as the co-director, and this double-headed-choreography-led directing method produced magnificent results.

Were They As Good With Anyone Else?
In Donen's case, absolutely. In terms of musicals, there's Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Funny Face, and once their popularity had waned, Donen's didn't. He gave us Charade and Bedazzled in the '60s. Kelly, alas, didn't fare so well, and nothing ever matched high point of Singin' In The Rain.

30. Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen   View Complete List Back Page 30/40 Next

Which collaboration is your favourite? Have your say on the Empire forum