Singin’ in The Rain is a 1952 musical comedy that stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. Kelly also pulled directorial duties along with Stanley Donen. In some ways, the film offers a lighthearted, comedic, and musical take on the subject matter covered in the noir classic Sunset Boulevard. Both films deal with the trappings of Hollywood celebrity and the transition in the film industry from silent films to talkies. One takes a lighthearted approach while the other a much darker approach. The film was not exceptionally popular upon release but has come to be viewed not just as one of the great musicals of all time but also one of the greatest American films of all time. So does this great musical deserve to be counted among the ranks of the all time greats?
Should this film be considered a classic? First of all, let me say that I watched this film with my wife. Her answer to this question would certainly be, “Yes!” I must say that I would agree with her. I’m certainly not a musical fan. I don’t especially dislike them I just prefer other types of movies. However, I thoroughly enjoyed Singin’ in The Rain. To the best of my knowledge my viewing for this review was the first time I had seen it all the way through. I was blown away by the talent on screen. The music is fantastic and varied. The sets perfectly captured the mood of the songs. The dance numbers left my mouth hanging open. Kelly, Connor, and Reynolds took extremely challenging dance numbers, did them with smiles, and made it look simple. To top it all off, it has a story that is fun and provides a number of good comedic moments to keep the plot moving along at a brisk pace. Definitely a classic.
Would I own this film? I don’t currently own it but I think it will find a way into my collection. It really is a film that needs to be seen multiple times to appreciate the complexity of the dance numbers and talent of the people on the screen. I can only imagine how much work and how many takes and how many blisters went in to getting those dance numbers just right. I’m glad they put in that work because the end result is a classic piece of cinema.
Here’s a clip of one of the smaller numbers from the film but it is one of my favorites and really highlights how effortless they make the dancing look.
I must also share this great clip which features all three stars doing their thing.