Monday, December 12, 2011

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)

One of the biggest misconceptions about SINGIN' IN THE RAIN by people who've never seen it is it's just a hundred and three minutes of people yodelin into the camera like lovesick Howler monkeys, but actually this movie is very funny and filled with clever jokes. "Cosmo, call me a cab." "OK, you're a cab." LOL.

The film opens at a big movie premiere featuring two of Hollywood's biggest stars, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). The rumor mags are filled with stories about them being in love in real life, but in reality Don can't stand Lina because she's actually a vile, simple-minded snake. Don's career began with him simply helping out around the studio and Lina treated him like garbage...until he became a star. The public knows none of this and Don's lets them believe the illusion. Things are going pretty good until one night at a party a girl that Don has fallen for (played by Debbie Reynolds) accidentally hits Lina in the face with a cake. Lina has her fired and Don is furious with her. This really puts a strain on their working relationship and to make matters even worse the Talkies hit and now they have to actually talk and sing in their movies! Lina has a voice like fingernails on a chalkboard so the studio, at Don's suggestion, hires Debbie Reynolds to be the singing voice for Lina. All kinds of stuff happens next.

Through all of that there is one fantastic musical number after another. Every single one is a classic, but if I had to choose a favorite my pick would be the shortest one: "All I Do is Dream of You". I'm not sure why, but I just love it to death. Woody Allen even used it in one of my favorite movies of all time: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. Honestly though, if you were to pick any other song I would agree with you also.

The script for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is brilliant. There's tons of funny lines, the story is imaginative and the pacing is perfect. This movie flies by and when it's done you just want to watch it again...so naturally it didn't win shit at the Academy Awards. Nothing, not even Best Music.

I cannot recommend SITR enough. It really is one of the greatest Musicals of all time, if not the greatest and it's extremely influential. If you consider yourself a serious student of Cinema then SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is required viewing.

"She's so refined. I think I'll kill myself."