Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain

Gene Kelly
Director: Stanley Donen Cast: Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
, Donald O'Connor
Donald O'Connor
, Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
Stanley Donen

DVD (Special Edition / Anniversary Edition)

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Overview

Hollywood, 1927: the silent-film romantic team of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) is the Toast of Tinseltown. While Lockwood and Lamont personify smoldering passions on screen, in real life the down-to-earth Lockwood can't stand the egotistical, brainless Lina. He prefers the company of aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), whom he met while escaping his screaming fans. Watching these intrigues from the sidelines is Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), Don's best pal and on-set pianist. Cosmo is promoted to musical director of Monumental Pictures by studio head R. F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell) when the talking-picture revolution commences. That's all right for Cosmo, but how will talkies affect the upcoming Lockwood-Lamont vehicle "The Dueling Cavalier"? Don, an accomplished song-and-dance man, should have no trouble adapting to the microphone. Lina, however, is another matter: put as charitably as possible, she has a voice that sounds like fingernails on the blackboard. The disastrous preview of the team's first talkie has the audience howling with derisive laughter. On the strength of the plot alone, concocted by the matchless writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Singin' in the Rain is a delight. But with the addition of MGM's catalog of Arthur Freed-Nacio Herb Brown songs -- You Were Meant for Me, You Are My Lucky Star, The Broadway Melody, and of course the title song -- the film becomes one of the greatest Hollywood musicals ever made.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Karen Backstein

Gotta dance! And sing, and jump for joy (especially if there's an available puddle): That's the usual reaction to Singin' in the Rain, considered by many to be the greatest American musical ever made. A charming, often quite realistic look at the difficult transition from silent to sound cinema at the end of the 1920s, this sly backstage story has far more going for it than the brilliantly giddy, love-soaked Gene Kelly dance scene that will remain forever lodged in Hollywood's collective memory. It features a deliciously witty and original script by Betty Comden and Adolph Green; a hummable score consisting of period songs by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown; and, of course, high-flying choreography that ranges from vaudeville hoofing to ballroom to ballet, courtesy of Gene Kelly and director Stanley Donen. Kelly was simply born to play the egotistical but lovable Don Lockwood, star of the silent screen, who falls hard for a sweet chorine (Debbie Reynolds) he meets while trying to escape from some overly enthusiastic fans. Jean Hagen, who does a show-stopping turn as Lockwood's gorgeous but vocally challenged and vindictive costar, actually dubbed Reynolds's singing voice -- the exact reverse of what happens in this most delightful of all movie musicals.

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder

Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain is usually lumped together with the other MGM "songbook" musicals of its era, An American in Paris and The Band Wagon. In contrast to those two outstanding works of music and motion, however, Singin' in the Rain had an additional layer of importance and appeal as one of Hollywood's relatively rare feature films about itself. The Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown songbook is on one level the center of the movie, but it's also a backdrop for a humorous and delightfully stylized look back at the crisis that engulfed the movie mecca and its inhabitants once synchronized sound came to films. The musical was made in 1952, only 25 years after the beginning of the series of events depicted and satirized in the script, so recent in time that there were still plenty of old studio hands (including sound department head Douglas Shearer) who had firsthand memories of the actual events. The fit was natural for the music, too, since Freed and Brown had been on hand (and even onscreen) for the arrival of sound to MGM in 1929. The film is full of delightful in-jokes about its subject and the people who lived through the era: Jean Hagen's Lina Lamont is a burlesque of silent-movie sex symbol Clara Bow, whose decidedly urban style of diction never really fit her image or what the public wanted, while Millard Mitchell's R.F. Simpson was a gently jocular satire of Freed himself, who could never quite visualize the elaborate musical numbers whose scripts and budgets he was approving as producer. Donald O'Connor's Cosmo Brown was an onscreen stand-in for men like Franz Waxman and dozens of other musicians, who moved from writing arrangements or conducting the major theater orchestras to heading the music departments of the studios. The resulting musical, in addition to offering a brace of memorable songs and performances (with a startlingly sultry featured spot for Cyd Charisse in the "Broadway Melody" sequence, as a bonus), gave audiences a short-course pop-history lesson about how the movies learned to talk, sing, and dance.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/02/2012
UPC: 0883929266777
Original Release: 1952
Source: Warner Home Video
Region Code: 1
Time: 1:43:00
Sales rank: 152

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