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Debbie Reynolds, forever unsinkable

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/29/16

This is too good not to put out there: arguably the best-known number from “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” this clip captures the unique energy and verve of Debbie Reynolds—no wonder it earned her an Oscar nomination.

People accustomed to her dewey-eyed ingenue in “Singin’ in the Rain” will see something altogether different here. And, in retrospect, the song could serve as the anthem of Reynolds’ colorful, celebrated, painful life. She didn’t let anything keep her down.

Want an encore?

TCM describes this dance number from the film:

[The director Charles Walters] doubts came back…when it came time to shoot Reynolds’ biggest dance number, “He’s My Friend.” He even suggesting cutting it, claiming it was too tough for her to learn, but Reynolds insisted. MGM had slashed the film’s budget because of cost overruns on Doctor Zhivago (1965), so Charles Walters had to try to get the number in as few takes as possible. As insurance, he had TWO cameras simultaneously film a long take of the seven-minute number, a television technique rarely used on film. Reynolds pulled the number off without a hitch, though one of her male dancing partners fainted after it was over.

Watch. You’ll want to give all involved a standing ovation. They really don’t make them like this anymore.

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