HE’S DANCING AND SINGING IN THE RAIN – MGM, 1952

Cover of "Singin' in the Rain (Two-Disc S...

Turner Classics was playing “Singin’ in the Rain,” so of course, we had to watch it. It wasn’t raining, but it didn’t matter. We never get tired of it. It has been remastered it, so it looks brand new.

Sometimes, it’s not hard to figure out why a movie becomes a classic. Singin’ in the Rain is an MGM musical comedy made in 1952. It stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds. Directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography, It is magic.

There’s quite of bit of back story and gossip attached to the movie. Debbie Reynolds hasn’t been shy about sharing her story. The dissatisfaction of Gene Kelly at having to work with Debbie Reynolds — who he had to teach to dance for her role.

By the end of each day of shooting, Debbie’s feet would be bleeding. Kelly was a perfectionist and no kinder than he had to be, but it’s hard to argue with the result.

Whatever was going on behind the scenes, the result is a masterpiece. Sixty-one years after the original opening, it’s fresh and funny, and the choreography is a wonder and carefully works around Debbie Reynolds more limited dancing skills. If you watch “Good Morning” carefully, notice how often she is posed while Kelly and O’Connor carry the complex dance numbers.

The plot is a light-hearted look at the movie business during the transition from silent to talking movies.

There had been several versions of Singing In the Rain before, but none of them enjoyed the success of the 1952 MGM production. How you could improve on perfection?

After more than 60 years, it still plays beautifully. A pleasure to watch and a family favorite. Many great musicals have been produced since this classic. Many were and are brilliant, but although they may be as good, they are not better. In many way, Singing in the Rain set the bar.

Until they make a new Gene Kelly, they won’t improve on it.

English: Gene Kelly and girls in Singin' in th...

It was greeted with no great enthusiasm when released, yet with each passing year, its popularity grows. That is, perhaps, the true definition of a classic when the years only increase respect for a film. Time has not diminished Singin’ In the Rain. 



Categories: Entertainment, Movies, Reviews, Show Business

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. It’s a wonderful movie. At my age I also find it quite comforting to recognize and know each actor’s name. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • ME TOO. I watch Colbert and when he has guests I recognize, it’s such a relief. Last night it was a three-fer — Antonio Banderas, John Irving and whats-his-name, the president of Netflix. But at least it wasn’t three babies just our of diapers making their first movie.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I saw “Singing In The Rain” first run when it opened in ’52. My Mom and I often went to movies, first run and neighborhood movie theaters. I remember how much we enjoyed that first viewing of the MGM classic. We were singing “Good Morning..” as we walked home from the train station.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This movie, and An American in Paris…(and, on a different note, pretty much anything by Gershwin, actually….) provided the ‘soundtrack’ to my courtship with my husband of 31 years…and we were considered ‘retro’ then for our musical tastes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry is retro. I am eclectic 🙂 We went with Cole Porter for courtship, but anything Gershwin is just fine with me. I grew up playing the piano — classical, pretty much entirely. I never fully transitioned into “pop.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I am retro. I’ve always been what we used to call a “standards” guy. I grew up with radio..Gershwin, Porter, Crosby, Sinatra and, yes, even some big bands. Play it, again.

        Like

  3. I grew up with those films, in england, and also the re-runs in Switzerland. I have lost count of the times I have seen Gene Kelly dance in the rain, but each time it is worth it. One of the brainwaves of the film industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not all old movies stand the test of time, but this one has held up brilliantly. I love it. We own the DVD and we went to see it on the big screen when it was revived a couple of years ago. It always cheers me up and I love singing along 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Took me years, literally, to like Gene Kelly, for some reason. He didn’t have the most memorable singing voice, nor did Fred Astaire, for that matter, but the two of them were probably the most demanding and best dancers films had. But thank you for this. I will be seeing (and humming) the umbrella dance for the rest of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There are many Bollywood movies which were termed as ‘flop’ but those were declared classics after so many years of release. Surprisingly they were re-released with added special effects and technology on public demand. Thanks for sharing the story behind this classic one.

    Like

    • I wish there were more re-releases of the original movies rather than all the bad remakes. This was a re-release and it was great, but usually Holly tries to improve on something that needs no improvement. The results are almost always unfortunate.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s a big business out there unfortunately less scope for art and talent.With animations and advanced technologies the magic of cinema has died somewhere. I like old classics where everything looks real, the music was so good.

        Like

      • I hope TCM continues its trend of big screen showings of these classic films. It’s like falling in love all over again.

        Like

  6. A superb film… always makes me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

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