Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Another unknown tale and lost opportunity for our gal Gene. In 1951, Gene Marshall’s career was still riding high at Monolithic Studios. Over at MGM, musical genius Arthur Freed thought it would be fantastic to get Gene Marshall to play opposite Gene Kelly in “Singin’ In The Rain” as Lina Lamont, the shrewish beauty with a voice unfit for the silver screen. Gene M. read the part and loved it; what an opportunity to show off her comic talents! As you can see in photo one, Gene was doted over by the makeup and wardrobe department at MGM; everyone at the studio was so excited to have Gene Marshall on the lot. Everyone except for Gene Kelly. Fearful that she might steal the movie from him, Gene made it no secret that he was against the casting of Gene Marshall as Lina Lamont. Esther Williams warned our gal Gene that Kelly could be a beast to work with; and she knew firsthand from “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”
Taking the high road, Gene Marshall attempted to ignore Kelly’s snide remarks to her and his constant complaints about her being miscast. Shortly after this scene was filmed, Kelly said something to Gene that was inaudible to the rest of the crew, but it was enough to make Gene Marshall turn beet red...and walk off the set. MGM and Monolithic covered up the incident and quickly hired Jean Hagen to take Gene’s place, thus losing the opportunity to have two talented Genes working together in the same film.
Instead, Gene Marshall starred in the blockbuster film “Paris Moon.” In public, she always had nothing but nice things to say about dancer Gene Kelly; in private, it was a different story.
Here are some of the wardrobe shots that MGM took of Gene before she walked out, wearing the gorgeous "La Femme d'Intrigue" costume designed by Van Craig.
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