Today, the hit musical Singin’ In The Rain has been chosen to continue music week. It is a 1952 film directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly (who also starred and choreographed the movie). It features an ensemble cast for its time including Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Douglas Fowley, Rita Moreno as well as King Donovan in a minor role.
Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are silent era film actors who are America’s sweethearts, at least on the screen. Behind the scenes, Don cannot stand Lina, though she tries to push herself on him. After a chance encounter with a dancer named Kathy Seldon, he begins to question his career as an actor. His musician friend Cosmo Brown encourages him.
One day, the studio executive announces that The Jazz Singers, America’s first “talkies” film, is about to premier. At first, Don and his movie business friends laugh it off. As their new film The Dueling Cavalier starts shooting, the studio is announcing they are transitioning into talking pictures thanks to the public outcry.
Lina, however, has a terrible voice that will make them a laughing stock. They run into Kathy again and together, she and Don prepare to make a Hollywood blockbuster hit.
The musical numbers and the dancing in Singin’ in the Rain are amazing. Gene Kelly’s talent is on full display during this film. It is no doubt his masterpiece. The acting is superb and the cinematography shows an amazing talent.
My only problem with the movie is with two numbers, Beautiful Girl Montage and Broadway Melody. While the singing and dancing have the same talent as the other songs, they feel out of place with the rest of the movie. It seems they are present just to show off the actors tremendous ability. Outside of that, it is about old Hollywood, before it was filled the politically correct and corruption.
The movie is riveting and full of incredible choreography. Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor are perfect compliments to Kelly and the trios chemistry especially make the film shine. Of course, no scene had more impact than Kelly singing the title song.
At the time, it only received two Academy Awards nominations and no wins. Even back then, the Hollywood elite did not recognize true talent.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Mild thematic elements.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Dignity, always dignity.
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