Singin' [Singing] in the Rain

N.p. N.p., 1951. Vintage Wardrobe Breakdown script for the classic 1952 film. Noted on the front wrapper as belonging to assistant director Marvin Stuart, created by one of the film's three uncredited wardrobe designers—Joan Joseff, Vickin Nichols, and Dave Saltuper—as the contents attest.

An astonishing piece of ephemera from one of the most important American musical films of the twentieth century. Script lays out costuming for the actresses in the film, with handwritten tabs affixed to the fore-edges, noting sections specific to leading actresses Jean Hagen, Debbie Reynolds, Rita Moreno, Kathleen Freeman, and Judy Landon. Each section breaks down costuming for each scene, typically accompanied by tipped-in wardrobe test shots and corresponding fabric samples.

Costumes for the film were created by prolific costume designer Walter Plunkett, then already well known in Hollywood for creating Scarlett O'Hara's wardrobe in "Gone with the Wind" (1939). Plunkett's designs drew inspiration from classic 1920s styles—dropped waist dresses, geometric patterns, fur collars, and high-waisted trousers—but incorporated cinematically heightened elements, such as vivid colors, tighter cuts, and ornate suit and dress patterns. Plunkett developed roughly 500 costumes in total for the film, resulting in a striking visual palette that balanced authentic period design with modern sensibilities.

The costume for the "Dream of You" sequence, outlined in detail in the script on offer here, perfectly represents Plunkett's blending of 1920s and 1950s styles. The dresses bear similarity to the short showgirl dresses sported by performers in the Ziegfeld Follies, with head caps and halter-top cuts accented by gold geometric trim, but are styled in a modern bubble-gum pink velvet.

Blue titled wrappers, noted as production No. 1546, and dated 5/2/51, with credits for assistant director Marvin Stuart. Title page integral with the front wrapper. 22 leaves, rectos and versos. Pages Very Good plus, wrapper Very Good plus, with front wrapper split from the binding bound with two gold brads.

National Film Registry. Rosenbaum 1000. Schrader 42.


[Book #156615]