There may be no movie musical extra amusing than “singin’ in the rain” and few that continue to be as fresh over the years. Its originality is all the more startling if you mirror that handiest certainly one of its songs became written new for the movie, that the producers plundered mgm’s storage vaults for units and props, and that the film changed into in the beginning ranked under “an american in paris,” which gained a great photograph oscar. The verdict of the years is aware of higher than oscar: “singin’ in the rain” is a transcendent revel in, and nobody who loves movies can afford to overlook it.
The movie is primarily lighthearted and satisfied. The 3 stars–gene kelly, donald o’connor and 19-year-old debbie reynolds–should have rehearsed with no end in sight for his or her dance numbers, which involve alarming acrobatics, however in performance they are giddy with joy. Kelly’s soaking-moist “singin’ inside the rain” dance number is “the unmarried maximum memorable dance quantity on film,” peter wollen wrote in a british movie institute monograph. I would name it a tie with donald o’connor’s breathtaking “make ’em chortle” quantity, in which he manhandles himself like a cool animated film character.
Kelly and o’connor had been established stars when the movie become made in 1952. Debbie reynolds become a newcomer with 5 preceding smaller roles, and this changed into her big spoil. She has to preserve up with veteran hoofers, and does; observe the dedication on her pert little face as she takes giant strides while they all march towards a couch inside the “accurate morning” variety.
“singin’ in the rain” pulses with life; in a film approximately making movies, you can experience the joy that they had making this one. It become co-directed via stanley donen, then only 28, and kelly, who supervised the choreography. Donen were given an honorary oscar in 1998, and stole the show by using making a song “cheek to cheek” whilst dancing along with his statuette. He started out in movies at 17, in 1941, as an assistant to kelly, and they collaborated on “on the town” (1949) whilst he changed into handiest 25. His other credit include “funny face” and “seven brides for seven brothers.”
One in every of this movie’s pleasures is that it’s definitely about something. Of path it’s about romance, as maximum musicals are, however it is also approximately the movie enterprise in a period of risky transition. The movie simplifies the changeover from silents to talkies, however would not falsify it. Sure, cameras have been housed in soundproof cubicles, and microphones had been hidden almost in plain view. And, yes, preview audiences did snicker when they first heard the voices of a few famous stars;
Garbo talks!” the ads promised, however her co-famous person, john gilbert, would had been higher off preserving his mouth close. The film opens and closes at sneak previews, has sequences on sound stages and in dubbing studios, and children the way the studios manufactured romances among their stars.
When manufacturer arthur freed and writers betty comdon and adolph inexperienced have been assigned to the project at mgm, their commands have been to recycle a set of songs the studio already owned, most of them written by means of freed himself, with nacio herb brown. Comdon and green stated that the songs got here from the duration when silent movies were giving manner to sound, and they decided to make a musical approximately the delivery of the talkies. That led to the individual of lina lamont (jean hagen), the blond bombshell with the voice like fingernails on a blackboard.
Hagen in fact had a wonderfully perfect voice, which each person in hollywood knew; perhaps that helped her win an oscar nomination for high-quality supporting actress. (“singin’ “ turned into also nominated for its score, but won neither oscar–a sluggish begin for a film that placed tenth on the american movie institute list of a hundred excellent movies, and turned into voted the fourth finest movie of all time in the sight & sound poll.) she plays a caricatured dumb blond, who believes she’s in love along with her main guy, don lockwood (kelly), due to the fact she read it in a fan magazine. She gets a number of the funniest strains (“what do they suppose i am? Dumb or something? Why, i make extra money than calvin coolidge put together!”).
Kelly and o’connor had dancing styles that have been more robust and acrobatic than the grandmaster, fred astaire. O’connor’s “make ’em giggle” variety remains one of the most brilliant dance sequences ever filmed — a number of it in longer takes. He wrestles with a dummy, runs up partitions and does backflips, tosses his body around like a rag doll, turns cartwheels at the floor, runs right into a brick wall and a lumber plank, and crashes thru a backdrop.
Kelly turned into the mastermind behind the final form of the “singin’ within the rain” wide variety, consistent with wollen’s look at. The authentic screenplay placed it later inside the film and assigned it to all three stars (who may be visible making a song it together beneath the hole titles). Kelly snagged it for a solo and moved it up to the point right after he and young kathy selden (reynolds) understand they’re falling in love. That explains the dance: he would not thoughts getting wet, because he’s besotted with romance. Kelly preferred to layout dances that grew out of the props and places handy. He dances with the umbrella, swings from a lamppost, has one foot at the cut down and the alternative inside the gutter, and in the scene’s excessive point, in reality jumps up and down in a rain puddle.
Different dance numbers also use real props. Kelly and o’connor, taking elocution classes from a voice instructor, do “moses supposes” whilst balancing on tabletops and chairs (it turned into the best music written specifically for the movie). “right morning” uses the kitchen and dwelling regions of lockwood’s residence (sarcastically, a set built for a john gilbert film). Early within the movie, kelly climbs a trolley and leaps into kathy’s convertible. Outtakes of the leap show kelly lacking the car on one strive and touchdown in the road.
The story line is suspended at the two-thirds mark for the movie’s set piece, “broadway ballet,” an intricate fantasy dance range starring kelly and cyd charisse. It’s explained as a number kelly is pitching to the studio, approximately a gawky child who arrives on broadway with a massive dream (“gotta dance!”), and clashes with a gangster’s leggy girlfriend. Mgm musicals preferred to stop the show for big production numbers, but it is feasible to revel in “broadway ballet” and still wonder if it’s sincerely wished; it stops the headlong electricity useless in its tracks for something more formal and taken into consideration.
The climax ingeniously makes use of techniques that the movie has already planted, to shoot down the dim lina and have a good time fresh-faced kathy. After a preview target market cheers lina’s new movie (her voice dubbed through kathy), she’s trapped into making a song onstage. Kathy reluctantly has the same opinion to sing right into a backstage mike at the same time as lina mouths the words, after which her two friends be part of the studio boss in elevating the curtain so the audience sees the trick. Kathy flees down the aisle–but then, in one of the great romantic moments within the films, she’s held in foreground closeup while lockwood, onstage, cries out, “ladies and gents, forestall that lady! That woman running up the aisle! It truly is the girl whose voice you heard and loved tonight! She’s the real megastar of the photograph–kathy selden!” it is corny, however it’s perfect.
The magic of “singin’ in the rain” lives on, but the hollywood musical did not study from its example. Rather than original, made-for-the-films musicals like this one (and “an american in paris,” and “the band wagon”), hollywood began recycling pre-sold broadway hits. That failed to paintings, because broadway become aiming for an older audience (lots of its hits were showcases for ageless girl legends). Maximum of the best cutting-edge musicals have drawn directly from new track, as “a difficult day’s night time,” “saturday night fever” and “pink floyd the wall” did. Meanwhile, “singin’ within the rain” stays one of the few movies to stay up to its advertising and marketing. “what a glorious feeling!” the posters stated. It became the easy reality.