Singin' in the Rain

"Essential"

Singin' in the Rain Review


Being a child of Star Wars and Pretty in Pink, it's usually hard for my generation to appreciate frou-frou musicals.

Not so with Singin' in the Rain, probably the best musical ever made and 50 years after its original production, its special edition DVD proves it's just as great now as when it was originally produced. If somebody doesn't like this movie, they're either dumb, dead, or both.

Put simply, they just don't make movies like this anymore, movies where the cast and crew are clearly in love with the project. (Director Baz Luhrmann came close with Moulin Rouge. Incidentally, he pontificates on Rain's DVD commentary track with emcee Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Stanley Donen, and a few others.) The story, of course, was dated from the get-go, intentionally so: In the 1920s, Monumental Pictures is a huge success thanks to its leading man Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and his co-star/best gal Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). All's well until a little movie called The Jazz Singer rolls along, bringing with it the era of the talkies. The only problem: Lina's Jersey accent is so thick and abrasive no one can bear to be in a room with her, much less a movie audience. (Actually, she sounds a lot like Baz Luhrmann.) She can't really act, either, but the silents have hidden it up until now.

Sensing doom, Don and his pal Cosmo (Donald O'Connor, who all but steals the show as the movie's comic relief) press the studio to reinvent their latest film as a musical, pioneering the dub by enlisting the talented Kathy (Debbie Reynolds) to sing in Lina's place. And naturally, Don and Kathy swoon for one another despite sparring early on.

Despite a couple of song and dance numbers that run a little long, little detracts from the mastery of Singin' in the Rain. Choreographed without the benefit of a dozen cuts per second (paying attention during that commentary, Baz?), the movie reminds us of a time when the jump cut wasn't necessary to hide the fact that models, pop stars, and sports figures were masquerading as actors.

Part of American -- nay, world -- culture (see A Clockwork Orange), the movie is alternately funny and hilarious. The physical humor, with O'Connor crashing through walls and messing with his face, gets a giggle, but the dazzling script from Betty Comden and Adolph Green reminds us just how sophisticated the movie's humor is.

The disc two documentaries are worth a look, but the pristinely restored sound and video on the main event make this DVD an absolute must-own. Our highest recommendation.

...and gettin' wet...



Singin' in the Rain

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th April 1952

Box Office Worldwide: $7.2M

Budget: $2.5M

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 47

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Don Lockwood, Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown, as Kathy Selden, as Lina Lamont, as R.F. Simpson, as Dancer, as Roscoe Dexter, as Zelda Zanders, Mae Clarke as Hairdresser (uncredited), Bess Flowers as Audience Member (uncredited), as Matt - Policeman (uncredited), as Phoebe Dinsmore (uncredited), Joi Lansing as Chorus Girl (uncredited), Sylvia Lewis as Female Tango Dancer (uncredited), 'Snub' Pollard as Old Man Getting Umbrella in "Singin' in the Rain" Number (uncredited), as Messenger on Screen (uncredited), Elaine Stewart as Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited), Brick Sullivan as Policeman in "Singin' in the Rain" Number (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.