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SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)

A romantic musical / comedy that humorously explores the late 1920's movie studio system, and how the "Talkies" shook up the status quo. The film focuses on 1927 famous on-screen duo, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont. Between Lina's mistaking acting for "real love," and the studio's decision to turn the duo's latest film into a musical-a genre which Lina is anything but qualified for-the entrance of one beautiful aspiring actress, Kathy Selden, is sure to shake things up in and out of the studio.

The cast includes: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor; with Jean Hagen, Cyd Charisse, and Rita Moreno.

Singin' In the Rain is an excellent example of what "one production unit could do when songs, story, choreography, casting - everything - went right."

Perfectly directed by: Gene Kelly.

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Gene Kelly plays Don Lockwood, a newly famous star in the silent movie business, and is matched by the studio with a beautiful co-star, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), who unfortunately has an unpleasant, screechy voice. When the first "Talkie" became a huge hit with the public, the studios were all in a flutter, in a hurry to produce their own "Talkies." Unfortunately, despite voice lessons, his arrogant co-star doesn't improve, so Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) a young, wanna-be starlet, is drafted to be the speaking and singing voice for this silent movie star.

Jean Hagen, the villain in the movie, who has a grudge against Reynolds, due to a funny incident at a Hollywood party, tries to hurt Reynolds by getting her fired, is perfectly cast as the arrogant, screechy- voiced actress, putting a comedic touch on her unpleasant character.

Gene Kelly and the young Debbie Reynolds (just 19) generated a lot of sparks and chemistry in their various scenes together, and sang and danced well together too.

Favorite Scenes include: The singing and dancing kitchen scene, where Kelly, O'Connor, and Reynolds perform superbly together. The song and dance numbers with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor are delightful, especially the vaudeville flashbacks. They make it look so easy! Donald O'Connor had a fantastic solo dance on a backstage setting, where he goes through a fake wall. The most famous Gene Kelly song and dance is the singing in the rain sequence, which was filmed on a back lot town street. He had a look on his face of a man head-over-heels in love, a radiant smile, "that looks like transcendence itself."

The script was a well written parody of the Hollywood scene, poking fun at the hollywood elite, and their fans as well. While the pacing would be concidered a little slow by today's standards, everything comes together well, to create a uniquely Hollywood masterpiece.

Produced by: Arthur Freed, a MGM 1952 musical.

If you enjoyed SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, you may like AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, BELLS ARE RINGING, 42ND STREET, and/or FUNNY FACE.

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