Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The World’s Favorite Musical

Comedy, romance, great musical numbers, stars at their best and a fond recreation of a bygone movie making era: Singin' in the Rain has so much that it ranked a lofty 10th on the American Film Institute's 100 Best American Films list. Silents are giving way to Talkies—and matinee idol (Gene Kelly) is caught in that bumpy transition, as well as his buddy (Donald O'Connor), prospective ladylove (Debbie Reynolds) and shrewish co-star (Jean Hagen). Singin' in the Rain is pure singin', dancin' laughin', lovin', moviewatchin' joy.

Title: Singin’ in the Rain
Release: March 27, 1952
Genre: Musical-Comedy Romance
MPAA Rating: G
Writer: Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Director: Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Produced By: Arthur Freed
Distributed By: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Run Time: 103 min.

Rated the #1 musical by the American Film Institute and nominated for two Academy Awards, Singin’ in the Rain is probably one of the most well-known musical ever made. It stars Debbie Reynolds, the hilarious Donald O’Connor, and Gene Kelly in his most famous role ever.

I’ve always loved a good musical and Singin’ in the Rain definitely fits the bill! It was a bit over the top in some places but I still really liked it for the most part. I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more if certain numbers would have been cut though. My favorites were Singing in the Rain (of course), Good Morning, and Make ‘Em Laugh. I also really liked the dance numbers for Moses Supposes and Fit as a Fiddle.

Just about everyone today knows who Gene Kelly is even if they have never seen any of his work and this film has a lot to do with that. Although I adore Kelly and always will I have to say his co-star Donald O’Connor really caught my eye! From what I’ve seen, not too many actors can keep up with Mr. Gene Kelly but O’Connor does! I was also impressed by the fact Debbie Reynolds never had any training in dancing but she still makes it look almost effortless (although later she revealed that it was the hardest thing she had ever done and Fred Astaire himself helped her).

The whole film is funny, sweet, and altogether wonderful! It essentially parodies the panic of Tinseltown once the “talkie” film revolution came and how all the studios handled this major turning point in film history. Because of this, the film seems to lose it’s train of thought in a couple of spots (like in the very colorful Gotta Dance) but it always finds it’s way back to the love story at it’s center.

Wikipedia and Imdb.com have really great articles on Singin’ in the Rain but I really enjoyed this fan site that has a walk-through of the film with trivia. There are also tons of interesting video interviews and movie clips on the musical at TCM.com.


Title Song:

Make 'Em Laugh:


  1. It has been years and years and years since I last saw this musical. I probably should re-watch it. It might be a good one to add to my DVD collection . . . :-)

  2. Ahh yes. I have NEVER seen this musical. My wife stares at me with her mouth agape whenever I mention this fact. I might have to make a trip to Blockbuster this weekend. It looks good.

    Nice review, Jen.

  3. I actually saw An American in Paris before this one, but that set me on a Gene Kelly path, and I never did manage to look back.

    Off topic, but...Thank you soooooo much for pointing out that Patricia Briggs interview. I did a little internal happy dance over that Stefan news!! Bring on Bone Crossed!

  4. I'm ashamed to say I've ever seen this one, I know its a classic.

  5. I am sorry to tell you that I saw this movie for the very first time a couple weeks ago, and hated almost everything about it. Especially those surreal scenes with the jarring colors. My husband said that although the male lead was in his 40s, Judy Garland in her 30s was considered "too old" to play the female lead, so they got a 20 year old. That alone would have biased me against the movie (though I know this sort of sexist "men and girls" thinking was common in the time). But you know what I loved??? The actor playing that annoying woman, the one who was a star but had a bad voice? She was hilariuos! I thought she did a great job with her role.



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