'Singin' in the Rain' Revisited

Director Stanley Donen was the mastermind behind the movie musical.
3:00 | 08/17/12

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Transcript for 'Singin' in the Rain' Revisited
And finally tonight, it's been 60 years since "singin' in the rafirst appeared. The movie that makes everyone feel like dancing. And it was made by the greatest director of that musical era, stanley donen, who is, by the way, a friend of mine. And he inspired and drove america's most dazzling dancers to try the impossible. That's why he's our "person of the week." ♪ what we all like in life, i think, is the challenge of making something that is not easy to do. He danced in puddles, which had to be the exact spot and the exact timing of it. We had to dig the cement out and make it for him to splash at that point. Reporter: It looks easy, but in fact, it was an olympic event. After months of rehearsal. The water pressure for los angeles that day kept rising and falling. It was blisteringly hot and gene kelly had a 103 degree temperature. And we always heard they put mig in the water so we could see it better. True, not true? Absolutely false. Couldn't be more false. Reporter: Stanley donen says no tricks, just pathological attention to detail. But he says, this dance wasn't even the hardest thing in the movie. It was this one. Absolute sin kronization with donald o'connor. Debbie reynolds said there were two excruciatingly painful things in her life. Childbirth and "singin' in the rain." I couldn't agree with her more. Reporter: Stanley donen was just a kid, a dancer himself, when he left south carolina. And up ahead, the glamour of hollywood, women, and a lot of movies. Same guy? Who is he? God, almighty. Reporter: He was 9 years old when he first saw fred astaire on the screen. In 25, he directed him in "royal wedding" and had an idea. He represented, to me, someone where gravity doesn't affect them. And it occurred to me that he should dance around the room. Reporter: Being in love is to be free of graf tivitygravity. Yes. Just floating. Reporter: So he built a room in a rotating box, turning slowly so astaire could leap from one wall to the other, seeming to dance on the ceiling. We had to make everything in the room solid, so the draperies on the window couldn't be soft. They had to be glued to wood. Reporter: He still thinks astaire was the greatest gift to the musical world. He says astaire made it all like poetry. While kelly liked to flex muscles. And, by the way, the mouse in "anchor's away?" Donen himself. I was known as the mouse. They filmed me to see how he Reporter: At age 88, donen remains the greatest director of the greatest era of movie miss calls. A genius from a time when america was young and willing to try the impossible. Similarly for the joy of proving it could be done. And, so we choose stanley donen as our "person of the week."

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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