There are lots of legends within Hollywood. Folklore and stories get passed down from generations of people working and loving this business.
One of the most famous and talked about was how mad Gene Kelly was at Stanley Kubrick and the entire cast of A Clockwork Orange for using his classic song, "Singin' in the Rain," during an incredibly violent rape scene in their movie.
Malcolm McDowell told the story to The Hollywood Reporter this week.
He recounted going to an insider party in Hollywood with an executive who was showing him around. According to McDowell, the executive said, “‘You won’t believe it, but Gene Kelly’s here.’ And I said, ‘Great! I’d love to meet him.' He had his back to me and the guy tapped him on the shoulder, he turned and the guy said, ‘Gene, I would like you to meet Malcolm McDowell.'”
Then, as the legend goes, Kelly looked at McDowell and walked off.
“He cut me dead, can you blame the poor man?" McDowell said. "I took his wonderful moment and completely fucked with it.”
'A Clockwork Orange'Credit: Warner Bros.McDowell said he wasn't embarrassed, but the exec felt terrible. And for years, McDowell assumed this was all because of the song placement in the movie.
But it turns out he was wrong.
McDowell said, “I am telling this story to the Academy, and afterward this lady came up and said, ‘I’m Gene’s widow. Gene wasn’t upset with you, Malcolm. He was really upset with Stanley Kubrick because he hadn’t been paid.’ And I went, ‘My God, there’s quite a gang of us who haven’t been paid!'”
It turns out that Kelly wasn't super mad about where the song appeared, but he was pretty upset that he never got his cash for it being sung in the film. So if you become famous or use a big song in your film, make sure everyone gets their checks.
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