Lilith Bullock

Written by Lilith Bullock

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


When it comes to classic musical films, there’s no doubt that “Kiss Me Kate” holds a special place in the hearts of movie lovers. Released in 1953 and directed by George Sidney, this delightful musical comedy has entertained audiences for decades with its catchy songs, vibrant dance numbers, and hilarious storyline. “Kiss Me Kate” is a unique blend of backstage drama and a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” making it a true gem in the world of cinema. In this article, we will dive into 32 fascinating facts about “Kiss Me Kate” that will not only bring back fond memories for fans but also shed light on the behind-the-scenes secrets and trivia that make this movie so special. So, grab your popcorn, get ready to tap your feet, and let’s embark on an enchanting journey through the world of “Kiss Me Kate”!

Key Takeaways:

  • “Kiss Me Kate” is a classic musical film released in 1953, featuring iconic songs and a play within a play, earning critical acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. It remains a timeless favorite.
  • The movie’s innovative use of 3D and Technicolor, along with its strong female characters and witty dialogue, has inspired stage productions and continues to enchant audiences with its catchy music and timeless story.
Table of Contents

The film was released in 1953.

Debuting in 3D, Kiss Me Kate hit theaters on November 26th, 1953, and became an instant success.

It is based on the Broadway musical of the same name.

Kiss Me Kate was adapted from the successful stage musical created by Samuel and Bella Spewack, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

The movie was directed by George Sidney.

George Sidney, known for his work on other musicals like Annie Get Your Gun, was chosen to bring Kiss Me Kate to the silver screen.

Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson played the lead roles.

The talented duo of Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson took on the roles of Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, the main characters in the film.

The film was shot in 3D.

Kiss Me Kate was one of the early movies to utilize this innovative technology, providing audiences with a unique viewing experience.

It features a play within a play.

The movie’s plot revolves around a theater production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and seamlessly weaves between the on-stage performances and the backstage drama.

Cole Porter’s iconic songs are a highlight.

The film showcases Porter’s unforgettable music, including popular tunes like “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and “So in Love.”

Ann Miller delivered a show-stopping dance number.

Ann Miller, who played the role of Lois Lane in the movie, wowed audiences with her incredible tap dancing skills in the famous “Too Darn Hot” sequence.

The film received critical acclaim.

Kiss Me Kate was praised for its energetic performances, stunning visuals, and witty screenplay, earning positive reviews from both critics and audiences.

It won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.

Dressed in lavish period costumes, the film’s intricate wardrobe was recognized with an Academy Award in 1954.

Bob Fosse choreographed the dance sequences.

Renowned choreographer Bob Fosse lent his creative genius to the film, ensuring that the dance numbers were full of style and flair.

The movie was a box office success.

Kiss Me Kate turned out to be a financial hit, earning over four million dollars at the box office in its initial release.

It inspired a Broadway revival in 1999.

The movie’s enduring popularity led to a successful Broadway revival in 1999, introducing a new generation to the magic of Kiss Me Kate.

The film features clever comedic moments.

Kiss Me Kate delivers plenty of laughs with its humorous dialogue and hilarious misunderstandings between the characters.

The song “Wunderbar” was originally written for a different musical.

Wunderbar” was initially written by Cole Porter for a musical called “Aladdin,” but it eventually found its way into Kiss Me Kate.

The film’s script contains references to other Shakespeare plays.

Alongside “The Taming of the Shrew,” the characters in the film mention other famous Shakespeare works, adding an extra layer of literary depth.

It was one of MGM’s most expensive films at the time.

MGM Productions invested a significant budget to bring Kiss Me Kate to life, aiming to create a visually stunning and grand-scale production.

The movie was remastered for a DVD release in 2003.

With advances in technology, Kiss Me Kate underwent a remastering process, ensuring that the film’s visual and audio quality remained pristine for future generations.

The role of Lilli Vanessi was initially offered to Judy Garland.

Judy Garland was originally considered for the part of Lilli Vanessi, but due to personal issues, she had to decline, ultimately leading to Kathryn Grayson’s casting.

The film’s title is a reference to a line from the play “The Taming of the Shrew.”

The phrase “Kiss Me Kate” comes from a quote in the original play, adding a clever connection between the film and its Shakespearean inspiration.

It was one of the first films to use split-screen technology.

Kiss Me Kate utilized split-screen techniques to showcase simultaneous events happening in different parts of the story, pioneering a unique visual style.

The film received three Academy Award nominations.

In addition to its win for Best Costume Design, Kiss Me Kate also received nominations for Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) and Best Art Direction (Color).

Cole Porter himself makes a cameo appearance.

During the “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” number, Cole Porter can be spotted playing the piano.

Ann Miller learned her tap dancing routine in just three days.

Famed for her incredible tap dancing skills, Ann Miller managed to learn her complex routine for “Too Darn Hot” in an impressively short amount of time.

The film is filled with witty dialogue.

The screenplay for Kiss Me Kate is packed with clever wordplay and sharp-tongued exchanges, adding an extra layer of entertainment to the movie.

The movie’s release coincided with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

In 1953, the year Kiss Me Kate was released, the world celebrated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, adding further significance to the film’s tribute to his work.

It boasts a talented supporting cast.

Alongside the main stars, Kiss Me Kate features a talented ensemble, including Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, and James Whitmore, who deliver memorable performances.

The film includes both Technicolor and 3D effects.

Kiss Me Kate utilized the vibrant Technicolor palette, enhancing the visuals of the movie, particularly when paired with the 3D elements.

The movie was groundbreaking in its portrayal of strong female characters.

Kiss Me Kate showcased strong-willed and independent women, defying stereotypes and presenting them as equal counterparts to their male counterparts.

It remains a timeless classic.

Decades after its release, Kiss Me Kate continues to entertain and enchant audiences with its catchy music, memorable performances, and timeless story.

The film was initially criticized for its 3D effects.

While the movie’s 3D technology was innovative for its time, some critics felt that it overshadowed the performances and storyline.

Kiss Me Kate has inspired numerous stage productions.

Thanks to its popularity, Kiss Me Kate has been adapted into countless stage productions worldwide, allowing audiences to experience the magic live on stage.

In conclusion, Kiss Me Kate holds a special place in the world of musical cinema. With its memorable songs, captivating performances, and a delightful blend of comedy and romance, this movie continues to charm audiences to this day. Whether you are a fan of musicals, Shakespeare, or simply great entertainment, Kiss Me Kate is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart and memory.


Kiss Me Kate is a timeless classic that has captured the hearts of audiences for decades. With its unforgettable music and captivating performances, it continues to be a beloved movie that stands the test of time. Whether you’re a fan of musicals, Shakespeare, or simply great storytelling, this film has something for everyone. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and let yourself be transported to the magical world of Kiss Me Kate.


1. What is the plot of Kiss Me Kate?

The movie follows the behind-the-scenes drama of a theater production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It revolves around the lives of the cast members and their complicated relationships, both on and off stage.

2. Who are the main characters in the movie?

The main characters in Kiss Me Kate include Fred Graham/Petruchio, played by Howard Keel; Lilli Vanessi/Katharine, played by Kathryn Grayson; Lois Lane/Bianca, played by Ann Miller; and Bill Calhoun/Lucentio, played by Tommy Rall.

3. When was the movie released?

Kiss Me Kate was released in 1953.

4. Is the movie based on a stage musical?

Yes, Kiss Me Kate is based on the successful Broadway musical of the same name, which debuted in 1948.

5. Are there any notable songs in the movie?

Absolutely! The film features several memorable songs, including “Too Darn Hot,” “So in Love,” and “Brush Up Your Shakespeare.”

6. Did the movie win any awards?

Yes, Kiss Me Kate won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Costume Design, as well as an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.

7. Is the movie still popular today?

Despite being over six decades old, Kiss Me Kate continues to resonate with audiences and remains a beloved film in the musical genre.

8. Can I stream Kiss Me Kate online?

Yes, the movie is available for streaming on various platforms, including Amazon Prime Video and iTunes.

9. Are there any notable performances in the movie?

The cast of Kiss Me Kate delivers exceptional performances, with Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel stealing the show with their powerful vocals and on-screen chemistry.

10. Is Kiss Me Kate suitable for all ages?

The movie is generally considered family-friendly and can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

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