Introduction: Stanley Donen (04:20)
This episode of “The Directors” examines the films of Donen. His best works include “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and “Charade.”
Promising Choreographer (03:16)
Donen was born in 1924. He moved to New York to pursue a career in dance and became friends with Gene Kelly, who took him to MGM. Donen choreographed Kelly’s alter ego dance from “Cover Girl” and his dance with Jerry from “Anchors Aweigh.”
Directorial Debut (02:10)
Donen and Kelly teamed up to write the story for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which stars Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin. The trio reunited for “On the Town"; Donen and Kelly received their first directing credit.
“Royal Wedding” (04:02)
Donen worked with his childhood idol, Fred Astaire on the set of the landmark musical; he choreographed the revolving room dance sequence. Donen followed with “Love is Better Than Ever” before reuniting with Kelly for “Singin’ in the Rain.”
Comedy and Musical (02:44)
In 1952, Donen directed “Fearless Fagan,” starring Carleton Carpenter as a clown. He returned to musicals with “Give a Girl a Break,” starring Debbie Reynolds; the film was unsuccessful.
“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (03:20)
In 1954, Donen directed one of the most successful films of his career; “Deep in My Heart” was released the same year. In 1955, Donen teamed up with Kelly for “It’s All Fair Weather.”
“Funny Face" (02:13)
Donen teamed up with Astaire for the 1957 romantic comedy. The musical also stars Audrey Hepburn as a bookstore clerk. It was initially a flop but found success on the second release.
“The Pajama Game” (03:46)
Donen co-directed musical comedy with George Abbott. Doris Day stars as Babe Williams, the head of a seamstress union. Donen departed from musicals with the 1957 comedy, “Kiss Them for Me.”
Donen worked with Carey Grant and Ingrid Bergman in the romantic comedy. The film was Donen's response to musicals beginning to fall out of fashion.
Yul Brynner Films (02:05)
In 1960, Donen worked with Brynner on “Once More, with Feeling!” The critics panned this film about an autocratic symphony conductor, but Donen continued to work with Brynner on “Surprise Package.”
"The Grass is Greener" (02:08)
Donen assembled an all-star cast that included Grant, Deborah Kerr, Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons. The film did well in England, but was not popular in the United States.
Romantic Thrillers (04:53)
Donen worked with Grant for the final time on “Charade"; the film also stars Hepburn. In 1966, Donen repeated the film’s formula for “Arabesque."
“Two for the Road” (02:01)
The Donen-directed film was released in 1967. Hepburn and Albert Finney star as a married couple reminiscing about their relationship; the story is told mostly through flashbacks.
Donen's Final Films (04:05)
Donen worked with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore on “Bedazzled." Donen’s later films included “The Little Prince,” “Saturn 3,” “Movie Movie,” and “Lucky Lady.” He died in 2019.
Credits: Stanley Donen (00:40)
Credits: Stanley Donen
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