Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen
  • Born: April 13, 1924
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Film Director, Film Producer, Choreographer, Dancer, Stage Director

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Stanley Donen is an American film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with actor and dancer Gene Kelly. Other noteworthy films include Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn Yankees!, Charade, and Two for the Road. He began his career in the chorus line on Broadway for director George Abbott, where he befriended Kelly. In 1943 he went to Hollywood and worked as a choreographer before he and Kelly made On the Town in 1949. He then worked as a contract director for MGM under producer Arthur Freed producing hit films amid critical acclaim. In 1952 Donen and Kelly co-directed the musical Singin' in the Rain, regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Donen's relationship with Kelly deteriorated in 1955 during their final collaboration on It's Always Fair Weather. He then broke his contract with MGM to become an independent producer in 1957. He continued making films throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, often financial successes that were critically acclaimed. His film output became less frequent in the early 1980s and he briefly returned to the stage as a director in the 1990s and again in 2002.

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I can still dance a little, yes, but I like singing better. It's more fun.
I don't have too many friends. I have only a few people who I really love. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I started dancing when I saw Fred Astaire in 'Flying Down to Rio,' at approximately nine years old. Fred Astaire influenced me, more than anything, to be in 'show business.' Business, Commerce & Finance
I think of myself as a meat-and-potatoes kind of director.
It was very hard to make 'Funny Face' in Paris because making movies is difficult and making a movie in a city that was glorious, that was unique and surprising, to get it, to put it on film you have to make choices and reject a lot of things so you're always wondering: 'Am I doing it right?' Humor ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Jean-Luc Godard said that cinema is the truth 24 frames a second. I think cinema is lies 24 frames a second. Truth
My childhood wasn't very happy. It's a long, grim story about being a Jew in a small southern town.
People always say to me, 'You have such a clearly defined sense of style,' and when I hear it, I get crazed, because what I hear - and I know they mean it as a compliment - is that I have such a narrow vision that I can't get out of it.
The funniest thing is not who influenced me positively, but who influenced me negatively. I had such an aversion to what Busby Berkeley did; in my early formative years, I thought it was terrible. Now, I think it's wonderful. But then, I wanted to do anything but what Busby Berkeley did.
There was never any point in my life when I wasn't called Mr. Donen. I'm told my first words were, 'Call me Mr. Donen.' But I suspect that's apocryphal. My mother, Mrs. Donen, tended to exaggerate. Life
There's no more film. Film is gone. We photograph digitally and electronically. We don't really use film the same way anymore - it's disappearing little by little. Things change. We have to change with them. There's no point in liking or not liking it. It is what it is.
What I got, unconsciously, from admiring Fred Astaire was that he didn't want what he was doing to look difficult. What was difficult, in my opinion, was making it look so genuine, so effortless. I equally have tried to remain unseen on the screen.
What we all like in life, I think, is the challenge of making something... that is not easy to do. Life
What we think about Paris is a part of how we feel about it. Our idea of Paris is our idea and we don't know that that's not necessarily the way it really is. It feels so real.
When Fred Astaire danced, everything in this world was perfect.
You know, sound was still a fairly new thing when I came into movies. And the reason musicals happened is because of sound. They could put music in the picture! That's how it all began. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
You see, it took me so long, it was such a struggle, to move myself out of musicals - because I had had a success, nobody wanted to allow me to direct a non-musical picture. It was so hard. And the only way I could get it going was to become a producer myself. Success

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