ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

USA 103m, Colour & B&W
Directors: Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly; Cast: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

singin-in-the-rainSingin’ in the Rain is a delightful movie to watch in any era. Not only does it contain some of Hollywood’s most memorable song and dance numbers, but it also boasts a great comedic performances, witty dialogue and a sophisticated screenplay which moves the cast effortlessly between the reality of the main story and song and dance routines within theatrical numbers that are both real and imagined. While the song and dance performances of Kelly, O’Connor and Reynolds generally garner most of the attention, Jean Hagen’s performance as the tonally challenged silent screen star who is stymied by the advent of the talkies is priceless (Klaus Ming October 2009).

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2 comments on “Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

  1. Derrick
    11/03/2009

    It’s nice to see well done musicals for the fact that they showcase actors that have such well rounded talent. The buddy comedy of O’Connor and Kelly and believable chemistry of Kelly and Reynolds was a pleasure to sit through. As was Jean Hagen’s well done character i loved to hate.

    Movies about movie history where historic fact and fiction blur fascinate me. With over 1/2 century of hindsight, the viewer can ask several questions: was the subject matter of the film (star transition and film tech from silents to talkie) presented as the major focus of the film due to it being an interesting way to develop the music numbers and plot around? Or was it a subject the film crew wanted to present to the public? Was the rocky transition well known recent history at the time public wise? Did the public in the 1950s know about the behind the scenes struggle studios and actors were experiencing in the late 20s? I’m sure there must have been a level of public understanding of the transition just through osmosis alone but at what level do you think?

  2. klausming
    11/04/2009

    Good points! I agree, it seems so many actors of that era could do it all. The range of their talent was simply amazing – and while there may be a number of better “actors” around today, these folks were consummate entertainers as well as fine actors.

    I’m also a big fan of movies about movie history – which is a big part of the appeal of Singin’ in the Rain for me. As far as the plot of this movie, I suspect that it was largely of a vehicle for the musical numbers, but one which had a lot of entertainment value in its own right. It was also probably just beginning to fade from everyone’s memory by the early 1950s, and as such, would have had a nostalgic feel about it.

    As far as the general audience having knowledge about the “behind the scenes” going’s on during the transition from silent to sound films, i’m not sure, but my gut feeling is that the movie columnists of the day probably did write about the silent screen stars who never made it and that this sort of thing was widely understood by audiences of the day.

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This entry was posted on 10/27/2009 by in 1001 List, 1950s, All, Top 100 and tagged , .
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