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singin in the rainFor ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ from Singin’ In The Rain, Donald O’Connor recalled, “I was smoking four packs of cigarettes a day then, and getting up those walls was murder. They had to bank one wall so I could make it up and then through another wall. We filmed that whole sequence in one day. We did it on a concrete floor. My body just had to absorb this tremendous shock. Things were building to such a crescendo that I thought I’d have to commit suicide for the ending. I came back on the set three days later. All the grips applauded. Gene (Kelly) applauded, told me what a great number it was. Then Gene said, ‘Do you think you could do that number again?’ I said, ‘Sure, any time.’ He said, ‘Well, we’re going to have to do it again tomorrow.’ No one had checked the aperture of the camera and they fogged out all the film. So the next day I did it again! By the end my feet and ankles were a mass of bruises.”

‘Make Em Laugh’ was written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown especially for Donald O’Connor. It’s generally agreed that they borrowed the melody almost exactly from Cole Porter’s “Be a Clown”. Irving Berlin was visiting the set one day when he heard a playback of “Make ‘Em Laugh”. When Berlin asked whose song that was, Freed quickly changed the subject.   –IMDB


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