Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Singin' in the Rain (1952)


Comedy | Musical | Romance


Gene Kelly | Stanley Donen




Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Douglas Fowley, Rita Moreno, King Donovan, Judy Landon, Madge Blake, Kathleen Freeman, Bobby Watson, Jimmy Thompson, Mae Clarke


Set in 1927, the film follows a silent film production company and a cast making a difficult transition from silent to talking pictures.


I am not a fan of musicals. I love both music and movies, but I just don't like people starting singing and dancing in the middle of nowhere. "Singin' in the Rain" however is different. Easily one of the best musicals ever made, it is so contagious you'll feel like singing and dancing along with the characters.

The story is a well-balanced mixture of comedy and romance, but more than anything it is about a very interesting and important period in the history of cinema, the transition from silent to talking movies, and it's told just beautifully. For me, that is what makes the difference between just a musical and something else, and this film is that something else.

And it doesn't happen very often - or maybe it does in classics like this one - that each song and dance number not only fit the story perfectly, but don't feel weird. People start singing and dancing for no reason at all and it feels like the most natural thing to do.

Those magical numbers - some of which are so famous I already knew them by heart - are divinely performed and show off the spectacular abilities/skills of the perfectly assembled cast that also happened to have a truly wonderful chemistry. Especially Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.

Another strength of "Singin' in the Rain" is its characters. They are strong, developed characters, and the leads, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, are absolutely likable.

The humour also plays an important role. Without the music, the film would indeed be one of the funniest comedies ever. Only if you like slapstick comedy though.

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