I really liked that comparing covers of songs in movies post I did a little while back, so I'm going to do another one today. This one is going to be kind of funny (well, I think it's funny) because I'm comparing "All I Do Is Dream of You," sung by Debbie Reynolds to "All I Do Is Dream of You".... sung by Debbie Reynolds! Okay, so I have an odd sense of humor. Nothing you didn't already know.
The first version is from Singin' In the Rain and is sung by Debbie Reynolds and a chorus of girls. This one is, by far, the more famous of the two versions. (Just click on the picture and it will take you to the video. YouTube wouldn't let me embed.)
I love this scene because it really sounds like a 1920's song. It's so raucous and crazy and I love the dancing in it! And ever since I was little, I've loved the "cat's meow" part. Anyway, you can't hear the lyrics very well in this version which works with the scene because no one is singing it with feeling - they're nightclub performers singing at a party. Their voices reflect this too as they all have that raucous nightclub-y type of voice. This isn't a scene to show off the girls' singing pipes; it's to show off their dancing style and their nice bodies in those cute little outfits. The song works as a vehicle to show what kind of a job Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds) has in this film and acts as a comedic foil to the highbrow way in which she treats Gene Kelly in the previous scene.
Now, for the second version. This one is from The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, which was released a year later, and it's sung by Debbie Reynolds and Bobby Van:
I find it kind of funny that one of the first comments below the video is "what an innocent time." But it really does explain the feel for this version of the song. It's very laid-back, very quiet, and much more intimate than the other version. It's sung in a way where you can actually hear the lyrics and it sounds more like a love song than in the previous version. There's nothing to distract you from the song (except the awesome harmonizing of Bobby Van - I love that!). This version is far from raucous and acts as a message to the audience on what kind of a relationship this couple has. In fact, it kind of makes me want to have a boy to go on a boat with, who'll play the ukulele and harmonize while I sing...
There was actually a third version of this song that was filmed but suffered as an outtake in Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly sang it and it's very different from both versions, although it's a little more similar to the second version. You can preview it here at last.fm. The song is, to me, a good deal sexier than either of the other two versions, probably because Gene Kelly is singing it and Gene Kelly is just sexy all-around, his voice not excluded. I know that somewhere, somewhere is a picture of Gene holding a pillow and I'm pretty sure it's from this scene. If that's the case, then that adds an extra bit of romance and whatnot to the scene as he's really thinking of her right before he goes to bed. Furthermore, this scene (which sadly, of all of them, never made the cut) best emulates the song. If I'm not mistaken, the scene was supposed to fit just after Kathy leaves Don at the party, after the cake throwing incident. It's a shame that the song didn't make it and also a shame that I can't find a video clip or photo of it anywhere! Ah well.