2 – Singin’ in the Rain – The Guardian’s Top Ten Movie Musicals

Movie Musicals are as popular today as they were back in the twenties when sound was first introduced to cinema.
In December 2013 The Guardian Newspaper published their list of the Top Ten Movie Musicals.
Here is what the Guardian’s critics have to say, what we at Actor Hub think of each choice and some of your thoughts (via Amazon’s reviews).
If you agree or disagree please let us know via Twitter @actorhub.
Read the original article on the Guardian’s website.

#2 Singin’ In The Rain – Top Ten Film Musicals

What The Guardian Said:

Singin’ in the Rain’s title song is perhaps the most famous musical sequence in the history of the genre (it was made doubly memorable after being psychotically repurposed as a murder ballad in A Clockwork Orange), and many put the movie up there with Bandwagon, Funny Face and Meet Me in St Louis as the high water mark of the mid-century American musical comedy. It’s also, handily enough, an astute guide to the myriad technical problems that faced the Hollywood studios in the transition from silents to talkies, as well as an uproarious comedy.
Co-directors Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen had access to a catalogue of songs co-written over the years by their boss Arthur Freed. The title song had originally featured in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 – and others had first been seen in movies as diverse as the Mickey and Judy musical Babes in Arms and the early disaster movie San Francisco. The screenplay was by legendary songwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, who added one imperishable song of their own, Moses Supposes, in which silent stars and best friends Kelly and Donald O’Connor upstage their starchy elocution teacher in wild style.
The movie lives on the charm, energy and clean-cut appeal of its leading quartet: Kelly and O’Connor (next time you watch his frenetically energetic Make ‘Em Laugh scene, bear in mind he smoked four packs of cigarettes a day!), and the delightfully effervescent pixie Debbie Reynolds as Kelly’s girlfriend. She provides vocal overdubs for an unwitting Jean Hagen, who has a singing voice like a yapping dog but steals every scene she’s in (key line, screeched, of course: “I got more money than Calvin Coolidge … put together!”). The very definition of perfect happiness rendered in movie-musical form, and in vivid Technicolor, of course. John Patterson

What We Think:

Singin’ In The Rain is one of those rare films which makes you smile from the start all the way to the finish. The plot is full, fast and satisfying and the movie cracks along at a pace which makes you never reach for the fast forward button as can often happen with a great deal of movie musicals.
The songs can sometimes seem a little bit ‘shoe-horned’ in, but with every musical you need to suspend your disbelief a little, and if you are able to do that during this movie then you are in for a treat. A few of the songs have become classics but most of them are not entirely memorable, however the sheer star power delivering them makes you wonder why you haven’t been humming them since last time you watched it.
Gene Kelly is incredible, he is the real Hollywood package, a star who can act, sing and dance with genuine charm and charisma which makes him ooze likeability. Kelly is teamed up with young Debbie Reynolds as Kathy, delivering a cute as a button performance, and Donald O’Connor delivering a vaudeville performance second to none. This combination of triple threats creates the ultimate triple threat (triple threat squared?) making this movie drip with talent and screen presence.
You can see the joy and experimentation of the film makers revelling in Technicolour, cinematography and huge sweeping sets and vivid production design which the 1950s had to offer. With Singin’ In The Rain we have a wonderfulk movie about movies reminding us why we love the cinema so much. ActorHub
Trivia Fans:
  • Debbie Reynolds remarked many years later that making this movie and surviving childbirth were the two hardest things she’s ever had to do.
  • The script was written after the songs, and so the writers had to generate a plot into which the songs would fit.
  • Donald O’Connor smoked 4 packs of cigarettes a day throughout filming.
  • Gene Kelly insulted Debbie Reynolds for not being able to dance. Fred Astaire, who was hanging around the studio, found her crying under a piano and helped her with her dancing.

What You Think:

The Top Ten Movie Musicals