The great Stanley Donen is 85 years old today, and back in 1952 — when he was still in his twenties — he co-directed “Singin’ in the Rain” with Gene Kelly. (The two had met on Broadway — Kelly was starring in “Pal Joey,” while Donen was a teenage chorus boy.) HIs career as a director included several other great musicals (“Funny Face,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The Pajama Game,” “Damn Yankees!”), the charming Audrey Hepburn thriller/comedy “Charade,” and the uneven but fascinating children’s movie “The Little Prince” (featuring Bob Fosse as cinema’s greatest snake). And if that wasn’t enough, he sang and danced while accepting his honorary Oscar a decade ago, given “in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation.” The man’s a treasure. Happy birthday, Mr. Donen, and in honor of the day here’s one of your greatest (and certainly wettest) screen numbers.
April 13, 2009 at 9:24 AM