"There was no model for what I tried to do with dance...And the thing Fred (Astaire) and I used to bitch about was that critics didn't know how to categorize us. They called us tap dancers because that was considered the American style. But neither of us were basically tap dancers."
The contract system at Hollywood studios like MGM "was a very efficient system in that because we were at the studio all the time we could rehearse a lot. But it also really repressed people. There were no union regulations yet and we were all indentured servants -- you can call us slaves if you want -- like ball players before free agency. We had seven-year contracts but every six months the studio could decide to fire you if your picture wasn't a hit. And if you turned down a role, they cut off your salary and simply added the time to your contract."
"Kids talk to me and say they want to do musicals again because they've studied the tapes of the old films. We didn't have that. We thought once we had made it, even on film, it was gone except for the archives."