Musicals, Romance, Silent Film

Maddy’s Pick For The Weekend 1: Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

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Happy Friday, everyone! I picked this for two reasons: firstly given the endless rain we’re having here in my part of the UK, I think the title is very apt. Seecondly because this is one of the best films from Hollywood’s classic era. It is filled with endless fun, loveable characters, memorable songs, and some stunning costumes.

This is a film that is filled with energy and so much fun and joy. In this film the good and decent get their happy ending (yay!), the bad and nasty get the punishments they deserve. I don’t know how anyone couldn’t love this film. 

If you love films that take a look behind the scenes and focus on how the screen magic is achieved, then this film will be one for you to see. 

Hollywood, in the 1920’s. Handsome screen star Don Lockwood(Gene Kelly)is paired with the beautiful Lina Lamont(an Oscar robbed Jean Hagen). The pair are the film couple, and rumours are rife that they may well be in love off screen.

The rumours are not true. Don can’t stand Lina, but she encourages the rumours because she actually does have feelings for him.

When the studio heads decide to make a sound film following the success of Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, Lockwood and Lamont are once again paired together. There is one snag though, Lina actually has a very unpleasant voice and there is worry about how that will be received by audiences.

Enter dancer and singer Kathy Seldon(the late Debbie Reynolds), a girl who catches the eye, and the heart of Don(much to Lina’s displeasure.) Kathy will dub Lina’s voice on screen, but when she does so she will never get credited for it. Kathy is happy to go along with this, but Don doesn’t like her being used in such a way. The stage is set for arguments, tears, heartbreak, and laughter.

This is a film to cheer you up and has a real sense of fun about it.Catchy songs, plenty of humour courtesy of Donald O’Connor, as Don’s best friend Cosmo. There is also an unforgettable appearance by the legendary dancer Cyd Charisse(she gets one of the best film entrances ever in a sexy dance with Kelly.) A young Rita Moreno can also be spotted in a small supporting role.

Jean Hagen is superb as Lina. Although she is the films villain, I actually do feel sorry for her as she represents so many Silent stars whose careers ended when sound came into the movie business.  I think it is a real shame that Jean didn’t win an award for her performance here.

The Technicolor use is gorgeous and the costumes are incredibly beautiful. This film will put a smile on your face, get you tapping your toes and singing along.

My favourite scenes are the following. The harassed director trying to get the perfect shot, but Lina’s microphone keeps cutting out. The Good Morning dance. The screening where the dialogue gets messed up and the actors voices switch. The finale. That unforgettable dance scene between Kelly and Charisse(what happened to that beautiful green outfit she has on?)

Makes you want to grab your brolly,find the nearest puddles, and start dancing around and singing.

Please leave your thoughts on this film below.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Maddy’s Pick For The Weekend 1: Singin’ In The Rain (1952)”

  1. A simply joyous film! I love Donald O’Connor, and he and Gene Kelly were a perfect pair performing Moses Supposes.The script is bristling with great lines, and Jean Hagen is hysterical as Lina.Aside from all the justly famous scenes, I always think of the party scene, where the man appears on screen demonstrating the first sound film.His facial expressions as he enunciates every word are priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My fave line from this film: “Well, if it isn’t Ethel Barrymore!”

    This is one of my all-time favourite musicals. I love everything about it: the costumes, the script, the cast, the sets. The scene with Gene Kelly dancing in the rain with the umbrella gives me goosepimples every time. It is glorious.

    Liked by 1 person

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