“Some films are held in high esteem for their impressive artistic breakthroughs or stunning acting debuts. Others are revered simply for being the best of a kind. Singin’ in the Rain falls into this latter category. It isn’t a pioneer in any real sense of the word, nor does it greatly advance the language of film, but few other pictures have so effortlessly and wonderfully encapsulated everything good about te movies: the joyous highs, the pitiful lows, and the perfect, perpetual seesaw between those two poles.” (Joshua Klein, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)
Singin’ in the Rain is another musical I have grown up with and one I grow to love more every time I watch it (which is a lot!) I love everything about it … especially Gene Kelly who is just masterful. The songs are brilliant, the costumes are sumptuous and the dancing … well the dancing is beautiful and elegant and so effortless that it’s infuriating!! Although now known for the infamous Singin’ in the Rain dance number I have to say that my favourite part of the film is the dance sequence that accompanies the ‘Moses’ number It makes me long to be able to tap dance.
As part of the same retrospective of musicals at the BFI I watched Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen and it was just magical. To see, feel and hear an audience reacting to the film makes it so much more rewarding than watching it in a small group on dvd. The premiere of ‘The Dancing Cavalier’ was one of the more memorable parts – it was brilliant to watch our audience laughing at the film’s audience laughing at the disaster with the synchronization of sound.
Singin’ in the Rain has so many levels in the film that seem to parallel the events taking place during filming. The film is driven by Gene Kelly who not only starred in the film but directed and choreographed the numerous musical numbers; in a similar way the films within the film are driven by the star power of Don Lockwood. The studio system that ruled Hollywood in the 1920s, when the film is set, is being threatened by the emergence of the ‘talkies’. Again there is a parallel with the reality – the 1950s saw the advent of television so Hollywood was once again having to compete for audiences. Singin’ in the Rain is big, bold, bright and colourful and works best on the big screen!
Joshua Klein sums it up perfectly when he says “The world of movies and beyond is a better place with Singin’ in the Rain in it.” This is one of my ‘happy’ films – you know the ones, they always put a smile on your face no matter how many times you’ve seen them or how bad a day has been.