Sunday December 19, 2010 16:59

Movie #034 – Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Posted by Michael

Directed by: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds
Fourth Viewing

Synopsis: In Hollywood at the beginning of the sound era, a director and his cast realize that the only way to save their disappointing film is to turn it into a musical.

I’m skipping pretty far ahead in the list, but I recently had the chance to watch this on the big screen (thanks to the TIFF Group’s “Essential Cinema” series at their brand spanking new movie theatre, the Lightbox) and I figured that I may as well write about it now (rather than when I make my way to the S films, which will be — what… ten years?).

I don’t think it’s particularly bold or unexpected for me to say that I love this film; there’s a reason that it’s one of the most beloved musicals of all time. It’s delightful. If you don’t love — or at least like — this film, and if musical numbers like Make ‘Em Laugh, Moses Supposes and, of course, Singin’ in the Rain (among many others), don’t put a smile on your face, then I think you need to do some serious soul-searching and realize that you may just be dead inside.

This is such a great film; it’s cram-packed with delightful, memorable musical numbers, and it’s surprisingly funny — the audience I saw it with laughed throughout. Every role is cast to perfection; aside from the perfectly matched Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, the supporting players (such as Donald O’Connor and the hilariously oafish Jean Hagen) are just as good. The amazingly choreographed dance numbers are perfectly directed by Donen and Kelly, who wisely just pull the camera back and let the dancing unfold in mesmerizing long takes. The film has aged remarkably well, and even for a contemporary audience, it is enthralling throughout.

I know I’m being ridiculously superlative here, but this film is just such a joy to behold. I’m not even a particularly big fan of musicals (I mean, I like them just fine, but I tend not to seek them out), but this movie is just so perfect, and so enjoyable, it’s hard not to love it.

Buy the movie at Amazon

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