Beyond the Frame: Singin’ in the Rain

Behind the scenes of the classic 1952 musical, photographed in Technicolor by Harold Rosson, ASC.

David E. Williams

Gene Kelly croons directly into the spherical lens of a Technicolor three-strip camera while shooting the classic musical Singin' In the Rain (1952), co-directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen and photographed by Technicolor specialist Harold Rosson, ASC

The cinematographer’s other credits include the 1949 musical On the Town — also directed by Kelly and Donen.

Behind the camera is operator John M. Nickolaus Jr., who would later become a cinematographer himself — primarily working in television on such shows as Perry Mason, The Waltons and Room 222 — and be invited to join the ASC in 1966. 

In 1989, the United States Library of Congress selected Singin' In the Rain for preservation in the National Film Registry. The picture has been described as "the pinnacle of the Technicolor musical and the finest example of Hollywood cinema as pure showmanship."

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