Review of 'Singin' in the Rain'

singin_in_the_rain.jpg One of the most iconic musicals of all times, “Singin' in the Rain” routinely appears on “top ten films of all time” lists and for good reason.

Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are famous stars of the silent cinema but with advent of “talkies” Lina's high New York city accented voice proves to be a problem. Don and his musician friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) come up with the idea of using Don's love interest Kathy Selden's (Debbie Reynolds) voice dubbed over top of Lina's after a disastrous initial screening of Don and Lina's latest film. Don, Lina and Cosmo also come up with the idea of changing the film from being a dry classical drama to a musical. But will the studio and more importantly Lina go along with it?

Filled with incredible musical numbers such as Kelly's amazing “Singin' in the Rain” sequence and the spectacular “Broadway Melody”, “Singin' in the Rain” never lets up from the moment the the film starts to the moment it ends. As you might expect with three headlines specializing in dance and song the choreography and music are second to none. The story, though simple, does play a part in the film - This is not simply a film of songs - And there is even an attempt at acting. Having said that, this is all a very light touch and the viewer should not expect Shakespeare. The music and dance are first and foremost and, to be honest, it is what we would expect. It all looks absolutely amazing with all three stars truly breathtaking on the screen despite this being Reynold's first big musical film (and only 18 at the time it was filmed). Nowadays you never really hear the name of Donald O'Conner which is a shame as here he demonstrates astounding dance, song and comedic talent, a manic figure that never stops every second he is on the screen. Old hand (by now) Kelly is as effortless and ebullient as ever with a charisma that truly enraptures the audience.

The cinematography is astounding for the time with amazing sets and camera angles that really help bring the audience into the film. This is not simple the filming of a musical, this is something that could never be staged with massive sets (often taking up several sound stages), and incredible camera angles so is perfect for the big screen. They don't make them like this any more…Though, of course, do be aware that as was normal at the time, sexual stereotypes are clearly shown – try to put this aside and let the energy and spirit of fun that pervades the film wash over you…

Looks great, sounds great and stars some of the best musical talent of all time. A lot of fun.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2020-02-16

Directed by: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Year: 1952

Length: 103 minutes

Genre: Musical