Friday, December 3, 2010

Classic Movie of the Week: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

I wake up Wednesday morning, roll out of bed, somehow clothe myself, rush downstairs, open the door, and…. THERE IS A MONSOON OUTSIDE!!!! Or at least that was my immediate response to this unexpected weather (I’m from L.A.; we don’t have unexpected weather). In any case, as I wrestled with the wind to gain some semblance of control over my umbrella, I couldn’t help wishing that the gales were gone, that I had no place to be, and that I was singing in the rain…

What is so amazing about Singin’ in the Rain is the happiness, the “glorious feeling” (as the tagline says), it brings to its audience. It’s why I can’t help watching it again and again. It’s why monsoons make me want to dance and sing, to try to recreate the pure joy Gene Kelly radiates as he splashes around with his umbrella in a rainstorm. However, there is more to Singin’ in the Rain than just that one musical number. It is the story of Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), a silent movie star making the transition to talkies with his frequent costar Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). Lina, however, does not have a voice suitable for sound, so they bring in the young and beautiful Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) to dub over Lina’s lines. Lina thinks she is in love with Don, but Don falls in love with Kathy. And Don’s best friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) is just spectacularly hilarious. Thus, comedy ensues.

If you are still not convinced that you should be happy and watching Singin’ in the Rain right now instead of dealing with lame real life issues, these are some of the great musical numbers in the film:

Singin’ in the Rain, Make ‘Em Laugh, Good Morning, and Broadway Music Ballet.

You can also view the trailer here.

Side Note: Glee’s mashup of Singin’ in the Rain and Umbrella was decently cool. It’s recreation of Make ‘Em Laugh was pretty pathetic in comparison to the original. Or am I being too harsh?

Singin’ in the Rain is available at both the Humanities Resource Center and the Mendel Music Library. It’s also available through Netflix.

--Lolita de Palma '14

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