Jenna Zeringo Singin’ in the Rain In 1952 Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen directed MGM’s musical comedy “Singin’ in the Rain”. Fifty five years later in 2007 it ranked number five on the American Film Institute list of “List of Greatest Films”. It’s evocative to Americans and is generally considered the best Hollywood musical film; it was not a Broadway production until several years later. Gene Kelly not only directed the classic but he also choreographed and starred in it as Don Lockwood. Debbie Reynolds played the part of Lockwood’s love interest Kathy Selden.
Major roles included Donald O’Connor as Gene’s best friend and pianist Cosmo Brown and Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont. Based in 1920’s before sound was available to moving pictures the basis of the romantic musical comedy was about turning a film into a “talkie”, essentially a film with sound. Don Lockwood plays opposite Lina Lamont in the big screen, but her harsh tacky articulation just didn’t cut it in the recording booth. Kathy Selden, a chorus girl Lockwood met in two extraordinary instances is given the chance to dub over Lina with her singing voice and in secret make a musical.
Lockwood and Kathy eventually fall in love. There are many elements that brought this film together. The musical aspect of the era it was produced was said to be cheerful, delightful and light hearted. Songs ranging from titles like “Make ‘Em Laugh” to “Moses Supposes” to “Singin’ in the Rain”. The songs also went hand in hand with the dancing. The tap dancing style choreography with the elements of real life tie in an amusingly “harder than it looks” way. When Gene Kelly is actually singing in the rain it seems like there’s a monsoon pouring on his elaborate footwork.
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There is also a slapstick comedy portrayed throughout the movie, physical sense of humor, and playful jesting. All of these elements transpired the picture to be as famous and well liked as it was and still is. It has all of the things an audience interested in musicals wants. It shows fun in secrets, romance, portrayed as hard to get, sly humor and witty jokes. All with such enthusiasm. Even today pop culture refers to it in formality and humor. Ultimately it is the most famous musical of Hollywood and will remain that way, because it’s classic.
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