Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Singin' in the Rain (on DVD)

Singin’ in the Rain
DVD Singin] 

In 2017, the classic movie musical Singin’ in the Rain is enjoying the 65th anniversary of its 1952 release. This two-disc DVD set was released to commemorate the film’s 60th anniversary in 2012 — and was also available as part of a much more elaborate boxed set (with Blu Ray and various other goodies). Considering its legendary status — Singin’ in the Rain shows up in the Top 10 or Top 14 on most fans’ and critics’ All-Time Best Movies lists — I would be surprised if anyone is NOT familiar with the plot. But for those who haven’t seen it, the film is set during the period when the movie industry was switching from Silents to Talkies. Gene Kelly is Don Lockwood, a heart-throb of the silent movies, partnered with squeaky-voiced Lena Lamont (played by Jean Hagen), who will obviously not make it in Talkies as easily as she did in the Silents. To salvage their failed attempt to make a Talkie, Don and his musical partner, Cosmo Brown, along with young up-and-coming actress Kathy Selden, hatch a scheme to turn that film into a song-and-dance musical, with Kathy’s voice substituted for the high-pitched Lena. Fillled with unforgettable music, from “Make ‘Em Laugh”, “Good Morning”, “Moses Supposes”, “You Were Meant For Me” and “Singin’ in the Rain” (among others), all by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown had all appeared in other musical films, but are packaged perfectly here, tied together by a plot by screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green. But it is the perfect cast — Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor as Cosmo, and Debbie Reynolds as Kathy — that elevate this to his place of cinema perfection. This two-disc anniversary set includes an entire disc of “special features”. These include: “Musicals Great Musicals” (a documentary about Arthur Freed, “What a Glorious Feeling” (a documentary about the making of Singin’ in the Rain, film clips of the prior uses of Singin’s songs in earlier films, audio song excerpts (including unused tracks), and more. This movie cannot be recommended more highly!

(If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try pretty much any other Arthur Freed musical, or Gene Kelly song-and-dance musical, including “An American in Paris”.)

(Also available is Singin’ in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece by Earl Hess.)
( Internet Movie Database entry for this film )

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you watched this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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