Debbie Dub-ception in Singin’ in the Rain

Hello friends! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Today brings a close to my birthday week and I am feeling so blessed and loved with all the fun celebration. My heart is full and I’m excited for what lies ahead.

For this week’s post I wanted to share something absolutely crazy that I just learned about that golden age classic, Singin’ in the Rain. I grew up watching this movie, every time falling more in love with its humor, costumes and incredible dancing, and essentially memorizing it by heart. Like any movie we love in childhood, learning the realities behind the movie magic can always be a little odd. For example, I won’t tell you how old I was when I realized that just because this movie is old doesn’t mean it was filmed in the 20’s (ehehe). You might sense as a kid that something in an old movie is a little off, maybe the set isn’t perfect or the voices are definitely dubbed, but your imagination and faith in the story don’t ask too many questions. I like thinking that a work of art could be so real to a child that they accept its beauty and heart without question. That’s how most MGM musicals were to me, and learning the “truth” behind this story in no way diminishes its themes of pride, friendship and true love.

There are so many crazy facts to learn about this musical. While I think any MGM musical from Meet Me in St. Louis to Gigi will have its share of weird facts and crazy connections due to the inbred nature of the studio system, Singin’ in the Rain‘s trivia has always stood out from the rest. How on earth do you take a pack of old songs the studio wants to recycle, most of which are well known from other musicals, satire the very studio you work for, and somehow weave a beautiful comedy that becomes one of the greatest musicals of all time? Genius, that’s how.

This next fact, though, definitely takes the cake. Or should I say, pops out of a cake! (hehehehehe).

As you know, this is Kathy, played by Debbie Reynolds.

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“Surprise!”
And this is Lina, played by Jean Hagen.

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“Hi there!”
And this is the screenshot of the Singin’ in the Rain album on Apple Music.

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I looked it up the other day to play some background music while I did the dishes, enjoying the classic songs like normal, when all of a sudden I saw…

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WHAAAT?!?! Could this be true? The only song that Debbie Reynolds doesn’t sing for herself IS THE SONG THAT HER CHARACTER IS DUBBING SOMEONE ELSE???? It is not Debbie’s voice we hear when Kathy sings for Lina!!!

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The Irony!
But it gets better. Remember how the movie also has a scene of Kathy voicing over Lina’s lines? (If you don’t, here’s a link!)

Beautiful. And hilarious. Well, I looked into it, and believe it or not, “Nothing can keep us apart…” is not Debbie’s voice either…can you guess whose it is?

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“Surprise!” Part Two!
JEAN. HAGEN! Not only is Debbies’s one moment voicing over another character *not actually her voice,* but it is the voice of the actress who plays Lina! Jean Hagen is essentially voicing over herself, once in a character voice and once beautifully. I always thought she was a brilliant comedienne, but this is genius! So Jean Hagen is dubbing Debbie Reynolds, dubbing Jean Hagen. DUB-CEPTION.

So there you go! A fun little fact to think about next time you watch. It certainly seems to add another layer to the story…the drama hinges around one character “speaking” for another, but she turns out to be speaking for herself…!

Singin’ in the Rain is such a classic because despite all the movie magic, the story is very real. We all need friends who will bring us back to our senses, or help us follow our dreams. We all have that coworker or peer whose vanity is just out of control. Thankfully, those people are rarely smart enough to make the nightmare out of it that Lina did. But, if they do, I hope the power of selfless friendship and maybe a beautiful song are there to help you through!

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