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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.