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Singin' in the Rain
Year:
1952
Country:
USA
Genre:
Romance, Comedy, Musical
IMDB rating:
8.3
Director:
Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown
Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden
Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont
Millard Mitchell as R.F. Simpson
Cyd Charisse as Dancer
Douglas Fowley as Roscoe Dexter
Rita Moreno as Zelda Zanders
Storyline: In 1927, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a famous on-screen romantic pair. Lina, however, mistakes the on-screen romance for real love. Don has worked hard to get where he is today, with his former partner Cosmo. When Don and Lina's latest film is transformed into a musical, Don has the perfect voice for the songs. But Lina - well, even with the best efforts of a diction coach, they still decide to dub over her voice. Kathy Selden is brought in, an aspiring actress, and while she is working on the movie, Don falls in love with her. Will Kathy continue to "aspire", or will she get the break she deserves ?
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Reviews
"What A Glorious Feeling!"
If you read about all the complications, detours, and personality conflicts that plagued the making of this film, it seems nearly impossible that the final result could be so enjoyable. But many films have braved a gauntlet of problems only to have the final product shine.

The bones of this film--the story by the talented team of Comden and Green--is ingenious: A movie studio must adjust to the sudden success of talkies. This is a great setup for comedy and musical entertainment.

"Singin' in the Rain" includes just about every element featured is musicals and it does them well: Chorus girls, a pas de deux by the leading couple, vaudeville-styled acts, a dream/ballet sequence, love songs, a nod to Busby Berkeley, and great dance solos.

Fresh-faced Debbie Reynolds plays the actress (Kathy Selden) new to film who is championed by the matinée star, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly). Donald O'Connor portrays Cosmo Brown, friend and comic relief.

Cyd Charisse dances in Don's imagination of a musical show, and she is sublime. Jean Hagen is Lina Lamont, the beauteous silent film star with a voice like a caterwauling feline.

It is very compelling when a cast performs at the height of its talents. This film contains so many iconic moments. Like the song says, "That's Entertainment!"
2017-08-05
What a glorious feeling, indeed!
Everybody remembers the scene. It's the one where he walks along the street, dancing, and singin' in the rain. The musical sequence has yet to be surpassed by any film -- even my all-time-favorite musical, "Grease" (1978), doesn't stand a chance. In fact, there's another great musical number in "Singin' in the Rain," with Donald O'Connor throwing his body around like a rag doll. Even though the singin' in the rain number is the infamous trademark of the film and musicals everywhere, my personal favorite is "Make 'em Laugh."

Not many people know, however, that Gene Kelly had a 103 degree fever during the filming of the infamous scene -- a dangerous thing to do, in retrospect, considering that he was flailing about and working up a sweat in pouring water with such a high temperature. But even then, not many people know that the "rain water" pouring down on the joyously cheesy street was actually composed of water and milk. The milk was added to the mix in an effort to achieve the effect of raindrops showing up on screen. (Mel Gibson noted once that most of the time during the filming of "Braveheart" it was raining around them, but it was basically impossible to notice any rainfall in the film since the sheets of liquid were so thin.)

"Singin' in the Rain" can probably be called the greatest musical of all time, even though my guilty pleasure is "Grease" (how outdated the film is, and yet how amusing it remains!). Every serious filmgoer knows this movie, and just yesterday as I watched Britain's countdown to the greatest musical ever made, I noted that "Singin' in the Rain" was high on the list ("Grease" was no. 1, although any list that posts "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Musical" higher on a list than "Singin' in the Rain" can't be trusted).

Don Lockwood (Kelly) is a silent film star in 1927, an ex-musician living an on-screen romance with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) and letting the publicity take their screen relationship to a whole new level (think Ben and Jen's recent tabloid romance). The press loves to think that its two biggest stars are the nation's cutest couple, but in reality Lockwood despises Lamont, and Lamont -- having read trashy magazines -- believes their relationship to be factual. "Oh, Donny!" Lina cries. "You couldn't kiss my like that and not mean it just a teensy bit!" Lockwood: "Meet the greatest actor in the world -- I'd rather kiss a tarantula." Lina: "You don't mean that." Lockwood: "I don't? Hey Joe, get me a tarantula!"

When the silent film studio begins the transition from silent film to new "talkies," it means that Lockwood will have to take acting lessons in able to learn to truly be able to act, and Lamont -- a squeaky-voiced young lady -- will have to learn to learn proper grammar. (Some scenes with a grammar instructor reminded me of "My Fair Lady," truth be told, although it was filmed 12 years afterwards.)

Lockwood meets a young girl named Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds), who refuses to fall victim to his Hollywood charm but eventually learns to love the guy after he gets her out of a tight squeeze or two.

Meanwhile, Lockwood's pal, Cosmo (O'Connor), suggests that they start to stage film musicals instead of feature "talkies" -- that way, all Lockwood needs to do is sing and dance, something he already excels at. ("Make a musical! The new Don Lockwood: he yodels! He jumps about to music!")

But people want Lockwood and Lamont, not Lockwood by himself, and the prospect of losing money is not a bright prospect for the film company. So Lina is filmed in the musicals with him, and towards the end of our film, sweet young Kathy dubs over Lina's voice and is given no credit for the task. Lamont is too embarrassed to admit that she can't sing, and so she blackmails the film distributor -- if they credit Kathy at the end of her new feature film, she'll take legal action.

And so comes the climatic finale on stage as Lockwood reveals the true singer behind the film (ironic, since it was Lamont herself who dubbed over Reynolds' voice during the sequence). As Roger Ebert noted, the scene where Lockwood bursts onto stage and fingers out Kathy from the crowd of onlookers is corny, but it's sweet and exactly the time of emotionally uplifting moment that is rarely made nowadays.

Gene Kelly's notorious cruelty on the set of "Singin' in the Rain" has become a sort of folklore, and it's true. He berated the actors if they messed up a single dance number. O'Connor later admitted that he was extremely frightened to make a single mistake, afraid that Kelly would lash out at him.

That strictness doesn't shine through Kelly's character in "Singin' in the Rain." In fact, many of the dance moves (such as the frantic splashing in the puddles) look quite haphazard, but they were all choreographed to an extreme.

Is that why the film is highly regarded as perhaps the definitive American musical? That probably has something to do with it. I think it's mostly the joy of it all, though -- bright, cheery, happy, and uplifting, the film is one of the most purely fun films of all time. It doesn't demand anything like some films, but it gives a lot back.

The ads for "Singin' in the Rain" promised a glorious feeling, and in that way the film lives up to its slogan. It is fun and bright and glorious and entertaining. It doesn't take itself seriously, but it offers the viewer a chance to experience something quite rare -- an all-around great movie.

What a glorious feeling, indeed.

5/5.
2003-12-28
Can always depend on good old Gene Kelly
I do not want to seem pretentious in that reviewing a film like "Singin' in the Rain" is a way to block out the things that have happened during the past few days. However, after watching hours of TV coverage on the attacks, I had to see a film. I had not seen "Singin' in the Rain" for a few months until today, and I was glad to watch it. The music and dancing is really the only thing that matters in this film. Though everyone says they feel like dancing and singing after watching some of the numbers, there really is not any falseness in that. Great films can be watched and appreciated in any circumstances... 9.5/10
2001-09-12
One of the best Hollywood musicals
This isn't my all time favorite (that goes to "Meet me in St. Louis") but this is definitely in the top 10. This is a fictitous musical comedy of the 1920s when silent films became "talkies". It chronicles how it affects Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), his leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), best friend Cosmo (Donald O'Connor) and Lockwood's new girlfriend Kathey Selden (Debbie Reynolds). Problem is Lina has a voice that can cut glass and doesn't like lockwood falling for Selden...

This movie has one highlight after another. Almost all the numbers are great--the title tune, "Make 'Em Laugh", "Beautiful Girl", "Good Morning" on and on. My two favorites are two short ones: "Fit as a Fiddle" which has incredible dancing from Kelly and O'Connor and "Would You?" at the end. Kelly isn't that good acting (he never was) but his dancing is superb; Reynolds (only 19 when she did this) is beautiful, energetic and full of life; Hagen is uproarious as Lamont (she was nominated for an Academy Award--she should have won!) and O'Connor is just great as Cosmo (his "Make Em' Laugh" number has astounding dancing). It's hard to believe that Reynolds and O'Connor hated working with Kelly (he was obnoxious, VERY demanding and a tyrant)--it's a credit to their acting that it never comes through.

I only have one (small) complaint--the big, elaborate production number with Cyd Charisse in the middle. It LOOKS great and colorful--but it brings the film to a screeching halt and is way too long. After it ends I have trouble remembering where the film left off! Still, that's a small problem. This remains one of the 10 best movie musicals ever made. HIGHLY recommended!
2005-01-22
We Lived The Research
In the book The Films of Arthur Freed, Freed made one comment about Singin' in the Rain that always stood out in my mind. As the film was about the Hollywood era when films were learning to talk, Freed said that there was no need to do any research as he lived the research. He and any number of people who were still working at MGM a quarter of a century later.

The knowledge that folks had who worked on Singin' in the Rain and the talent of Gene Kelly are the two things that make that film some consider the greatest of all musicals.

Arthur Freed who wrote a lot of the song lyrics in those twenties and thirties MGM musicals together with his partner, composer Nacio Herb Brown, just reached into his own catalog for the score. The whole score is Brown-Freed except for Moses which was written by Roger Edens and Adolph Green and Betty Comden and Fit As A Fiddler with lyrics by Freed and music by Al Goodheart and Al Hoffman.

The only 'original' song written for the show was Make 'Em Laugh by Brown and Freed and was Donald O'Connor's specialty. You have to put that in quotes because even the writers agreed they ripped off Cole Porter's Be A Clown. Which is from an MGM musical that Arthur Freed produced. Lucky they weren't sued.

Of course the number that Singin' in the Rain is noted for is the title tune sung and danced in the splashing rain by Gene Kelly. That and the Broadway Melody ballet became two of his signature numbers. I know I don't enjoy myself as much as Mr. Kelly did in that inclement weather.

Jean Hagen got a Best Supporting Actress nomination for playing that 'shimmering star in the cinema firmament' Lina Lamont. Unfortunately she lost to Gloria Grahame for The Bad and The Beautiful. One thing that the silent screen did was mask a whole lot of personalities whose voices did not fit the screen image created.

That was done for great comic affect by Hagen, but Kelly in some of his love scenes was using the tragedy of John Gilbert who acted in two much the classical manner as a continental lover. Just think how history might have been different if Gilbert had the background of a song and dance man and could have transitioned to musicals.

Of course Debbie Reynolds is just fine in her first real starring part as the young singing hopeful whose career is made by sound. So many in fact were, as many as those that were broken. A favorite of mine in this is Douglas Fowley the harassed director trying to get a talking performance out of the nasal Hagen and dealing with the new technology at the same time.

As Freed said, no research was needed. Singin' in the Rain is a product of his life experience in those early days of sound.
2007-02-04
It's not called the greatest musical of all time for nothing.
Although it was somewhat overshadowed by An American in Paris in it's time, it is now justifiably considered one of the best Hollywood musicals ever made. It's my favorite musical, Gene Kelly film, and one of my favorite MOVIES.

Kelly was without a doubt at the peak of his amazing career as an actor, director, choreographer, and above all dancer. Each scene is dripping with bright, vibrant colors and plenty of laughs. Kelly's class and charm just exudes from the screen.What makes the film so extraordinary is the way each song and dance number flow effortlessly and are perfectly intergrated into the story. These numbers not only showcase the amazing ability of Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and even Debbie Reynolds, but also the exuberance of that happy and carefree feeling of the 1920's.

Some of the standout numbers are of course the title dance through the rain, and Broadway Melody, but also the hilarious "Make Em Laugh" where O'Connor displays his talent of blending humor and acrebatic movements, and "Good Morning" where Reynolds holds her own between the 2 greatest dancers of the time.

This film is an American classic and an absolute must see. It's the perfect movie to watch if you want to laugh, smile, or just simply watch something that leaves you with a good feeling. I know I am always left with a glorious feeling in my heart.
2002-07-15
The Divine Miss Charisse
I'm going to confine my comments about "Singin' in the Rain" to the "Broadway Rhythm" sequence where Cyd Charisse steals the movie without saying a word. In my view, Charisse, who is still gorgeous at 83, was the quintessential movie dancer of the 1950s. Her height, elegance, aloofness and those impossibly long legs -- along with an uncanny ability to match her style to that of her partner -- makes watching her dance a mesmerizing experience.

Many have said that the two numbers in "Singin' in the Rain" that feature Charisse probably belong in another movie. I don't know… as the flapper in jade, she sexes up Kelly's rube character to a steamy height unusual in movies of that era. In a dance full of wonderful moves, my favorite comes after she's left him with her cigarette holder. She sashays away from him, blowing on her nails in studied boredom. She's gotten some distance away, and as she tosses her right hand back, he throws down the cigarette holder, grabs her hand and brings her flying up to his chest, where she proceeds to slide down Kelly's thigh to the floor for one of several prone positions she takes during this duet, from which she returns to a standing position with amazing grace. I'm not wild about dances that rely heavily on props, but this one does so very effectively: they're amusing and they reinforce character.

And thank heaven for the artistic control that allowed Kelly to keep the "crazy veil" number in the picture. Charisse has discussed that dance, where she got to show off her early ballet training, most charmingly for a "Word of Mouth" feature on TCM. She and others have noted over the years that the wind machines required to keep that impossibly long veil moving and undulating between and above her and Kelly made filming a nightmare. But it looks effortless, on a set that is a subtle optical illusion—not as deep nor as sloped as it appears to be.

Both dances end the same way. Whether she's a cheap gangster's moll in garish green or a Grecian goddess in white, less obviously in a mobster's sway, Charisse is invariably lured back to reality by proffered baubles and menacingly tossed coins. But at the end of the crazy veil number, she's the one tossing the coins.

Wonderful.
2005-09-10
They don't make 'em like this anymore!
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) **** Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O' Connor, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Douglas Fowley, Rita Moreno. One of the most beloved and greatest Hollywood musicals ever showcases the divine gifts of musical comedy in the fetching forms of the always subliminally graceful balletic Kelly, rubber-limbed amiability of O' Connor and wholesomely adorable Reynolds as struggling silent screen era film stars (and wannabes) who are at the cusp of the Talkie era to be that will only strengthen the trio in friendship and ultimately romantic true love. Hagen is a stitch as the Noo Yawky cartoon-voice afflicted shrew co-star of Kelly in their ascent to stardom. Moreno has a small role as Hagen's equally troublemaking flapper gal pal and look close for character actress/comic foil Kathleen Freeman as Hagen's diction coach (she'd have her hands equally full in several Jerry Lewis vehicles to come). Filmed in bravura color bursting from the screen with indelible images of eye candy in bountiful cornucopia with its striking backlot sets, larger-than-life costumes and masterful direction by Kelly and the indomitable Stanley Donen featuring Kelly's indelible iconic moment performing the titular tune in resplendent glee and amor du jour. Kudos to the estimable songwriting team of Adolph Green and Betty Comden for their lively tunes matching in sync to Kelly's choreography (with Harold Rossen) is movie magic replete. Nominated for 2 Oscars (Hagen's hilarious Supporting Actress and Lennie Hayton's musical score), they just don't make them like this anymore!
2002-11-22
Stunning, a classic!
"Doot Doot Do Doot Do Doot Doot[…]" this joyful hum sung and danced its way into America's hearts in the 1950s, and even though the 21st century is well under way, this glorious film continues to put smiles on people's faces.

Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy which starred Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Conner. The film was directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen and produced by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM. The movie premiered in Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 27, 1952, and was released in theatres on April 11, 1952. It made over 7 million dollars in the box office and was one of the highest grossing movies that year.

Just to summarize the film a little bit without giving away too much of the plot, the films opens on a movies premiere at the renowned Grauman's Chinese Theatre in California. The crowds have gathered to see the star studded cast including Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont arrive for the premiere of their new movie. When the premiere had finished, Lockwood finds himself in a situation where he is running away from female fans that are chasing him. Lockwood hops into a car where he meets Kathy Seldon. Not realizing who he is at first she screams and tries to get him out of her car. Finally a police officer sees them and instantly recognizes Lockwood from his movies. Seldon feels a bit embarrassed, but continues on the conversation. They get into a disagreement over whether what Don does in his movies is really acting or not. Kathy believes that just looking at the screen and miming the words is not really acting. There needs to be spoken word. Later after having run into Kathy again, he becomes infatuated with her and tries to track her down but is unsuccessful.

A few weeks later Don walks onto set for his new movie and the producer of the company approaches Don with a crisis. The talkie The Jazz Singer had become a huge success and the public no longer want to see silent films but wanted to see talking films. The rest of the film deals with the struggle of transforming a silent film into a talking motion picture as well as inner character conflicts resulting in the iconic film that we all love today.

Being slightly on the biased side because I am a geek for musicals whether it be on the stage or on the screen, I think that this film deserves all of the recognition that history gives it. While I can understand that it was seen as just another movie when it was released, Gene Kelly made his roll iconic and his scene Singin' in the Rain is one of the most recognized movie scenes in history with his swinging around the lamp post holding his umbrella. This film does a great job portraying the transition that production studios and companies had to go through when the element of a sound system was introduced to the film industry. When the films were silent, they did not have to worry about what the actors' voices sounded like because no one could hear what they sounded like.

This film has the perfect balance of humor woven in with desired romance while portraying an important period in history for the United States. While this film may not have been revered during the time of its release, it certainly has made its mark in film history, and if you are in for a good laugh and love musicals, or if you just want to watch a great film, Singin' in the Rain is definitely a film to pick up and watch. It's going to make you want to get up, walk outside and skip around in the summer pouring rain, because we need to "let the stormy clouds chase, everyone from the place" and "come on with the rain[…]"
2016-04-26
Bravo, Bravo!
I love this movie!!! While the music definitely has a 1950s sound to it, it also somehow fits the 1920s, which is what it is portraying. My favorite song from Singin' in the Rain is "Good Morning." I love "Good Morning," because it doesn't really make much sense, yet it fits perfectly in the time it is sung (1:30 am). No one really makes much sense at 1:30 in the morning if they have been up all day.

The casting and direction were done superbly. Gene Kelly is not only good looking, but he also can dance, sing, and act like it is going out of style. He is wonderful in every movie I have seen him in, & I must admit that he is one of my favorite actors of all time!
1999-05-10
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