Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a popular silent film star with humble roots as a singer, dancer, and stuntman. Don barely tolerates his vain, cunning, conniving, and shallow leading lady, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), though their studio, Monumental Pictures, links them romantically to increase their popularity. Lina is convinced that they are in love, despite Don's protestations otherwise.
At the premiere of his latest film, The Royal Rascal, Don tells the gathered crowd a sarcastic, hyperbolic version of his life story, including his motto: "Dignity, always dignity." His words are humorously contradicted by flashbacks showing him alongside his best friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor). To escape from his fans after the premiere, Don jumps into a passing car driven by Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). She drops him off, but not before claiming to be a stage actress and sneering at his "undignified" accomplishments as a movie star.
Later, at an after party, the head of Don's studio, R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell), shows a short demonstration of a talking picture,[a] but his guests are unimpressed. To Don's amusement, Kathy pops out of a mock cake right in front of him, revealing herself to be a chorus girl. Furious at Don's teasing, she throws a real cake at him, only to accidentally hit Lina in the face and runs away. Don becomes smitten with Kathy and searches for her for weeks. While filming a romantic scene, Lina tells him that she had Kathy fired. On the studio lot, Cosmo finally finds Kathy working in another Monumental Pictures production and gets Don. He sings her a love song, and she confesses to having been a fan of his all along.
Directed by Gene Kelly
Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds