Singin' in the Rain missing frames?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bruce White, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Bruce White

    Bruce White Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently picked up the wonderful 2-disc special edition of "Singin' in the Rain". While watching it, I noticed there are some missing frames on one of the dance sequences. I wonder what the story is behind these missing frames.

    The missing frames occur in the first dance sequence with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse (he's got the dorky glasses and she is dressed in green). About 5-10 seconds before the end of the sequence, Gene Kelly has lifted Cyd Charisse and is lowering her around his body. It is during this portion that there is a jump in the film. I went through it in slow motion wondering if there was a skip on my DVD and didn't see any evidence of a skip.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone know what this is about? If anyone has a version on video tape, does it show up there also?

    Thanks in advance!

    Bruce
     
  2. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    These missing frames were also MIA on the orig. MGM DVD, which was a totally different transfer.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    DVD Savant says that they bridged two takes together as seamlessly as possible; that's why it's a jump. (The other theory, which is incorrect AFAIK, is that there was a brief glimpse of Charisse's...well...womanhood, and MGM's censors cut the frames. I don't believe it.)
     
  4. jonathan_little

    jonathan_little Stunt Coordinator

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    I always thought it was probably just a cut between two takes as well. A participant on the audio commentary track brings up the fact that there is a gap during this sequence, but he can't offer any explanation for it.
     
  5. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    That's the way the film has always been since the day it was released! An unusual faux pas by the usually-perfect MGM craftspeople of the era.
     
  6. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The censorship story is indeed bull. It's just an awkward cut from two takes as mentioned. The soundtrack is smooth and isn't missing any beat. It really ruins the film doesn't it. [​IMG]
     
  7. Bruce White

    Bruce White Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the clarification on the missing frames! I had never heard the rumor mentioned and that reasoning never occurred to me.

    Poor editing I can understand. At least I know I didn't get a faulty DVD or have a smudge. I never really thought it was my player's fault because, as someone mentioned, there is no missing music.

    Bruce
     
  8. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    I seem to remember a documentary where there was some mention that they just didn't have sufficent takes to make the cut smoothly. To be honest audiences where not that "aware" of it at the time and it remains a insignifcant "blip" in a great and wonderful film. [​IMG]
     
  9. Bruce White

    Bruce White Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, last night I watched (listened to?) the commentary track on my 2-disc special edition of "Singin' in the Rain" while I was doing some paperwork.

    The missing frames were mentioned in the commentary. Basically, the commentator (I forget who it was--Ralph Lormer?) said you can see there are frames missing, but he said the reason for them being missing is not known. He said there were various stories, but in the end, no one really knows. The idea of splicing together two takes on the scene was not mentioned.

    Nice commentary overall. If you own the set, give it a listen. I had no idea that Debbie Reynolds was only 18 when "Singin' in the Rain" started filming.

    Bruce
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Could also have been a major lab/raw stock/processing problem which in the pre-digital days could not have been fixed, especially when dealing with three records.
     

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