Technicolor Reveals the Brackish Abyss of the Soul
Well, last night was a sad night for all of us, as Trevor Bidwill, best remembered in the film industry as the brash, fiery assistant producer who was so instrumental in bringing Singin' in the Rain' to the silver screen, died peacefully at the age of 86, surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues. He had a terrific, exciting life, and Singin' in the Rain was just one of the many successful films he had a hand in. But of course his contributions to the Gene Kelly classic, which included hiring the music arrangers and suggesting Debbie Reynolds for the female lead, will be his ultimate legacy.
The very end was a little bit unfortunate for Trevor, for though he was physically in no pain, he was haunted by memories. "Oh, I can never forgive myself," he whispered as we all crowded around his bed. "How could we have made a picture that encouraged dancing in a total downpour? How many people died of pneumonia after that movie came out, thinking it was a good idea?"
When we heard him say these words, we fell silent. His longtime agent, Arthur Rosen, patted him on the arm to soothe him.
"How many deaths did we cause?" Trevor kept wondering aloud. "My God, we practically told people to go out in torrential conditions without proper umbrella protection or concern for all the viruses that awaited them. We made it seem like such a jaunt! How many tombstones are there in the world today because of what we espoused?"
What could we do? We thought it would be cruel to lie to Trevor. He deserved honesty in his final hours.
"Sure, many probably died," his younger sister Ella told him, "but you have to let it go."
"And it's all our fault," he insisted.
What were our options when he put it so bluntly? He would have known we were being untruthful. "People have to die of something," said his wife of forty years. "All the movie did was bring on death much sooner than they expected through the pneumonia they probably got. No one forced them to sing and dance in the rain after they left the theater."
"But we put it into their heads," Trevor whispered feebly.
"Well....yes, true, when you put it that way," said a distant cousin. "Still, that's all in the past."
"But people are still renting and buying it," Trevor said, almost out of strength. "I am a monster. We all were, those who brought that story to the screen."
No one commented on this fact. It wasn't completely deniable, given the probable pneumonia deaths, so we merely let it pass, to be as gentle as we could. Trevor was gone moments later.
Oh, how cruel life is, to make one realize one's folly so close to the final sunset! Trevor passed on knowing he'd had a good life and that he'd made one pretty drastic mistake. All in all, still a fair balance, I think. Don't you?