Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain (1952), directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly.

Some people don't like musicals. I understand, they can be excruciating. But this is one of my desert island films.

It has a plot! It's bright and unapologetic with the dumb jokes and sheer silliness and features impressive physicality and muscular dance performances.

It has two iconic numbers: Donald O'Connor's maniacal "Make 'Em Laugh" where he runs up the wall (and was hospitalized after) and Gene Kelly's amazing title song. He had a high fever at the time. (And just to complete the medical report: Debbie Reynold's feet were bleeding after "Good Morning").

How can anyone not love screechy voiced Jean Hagen ("I make more money than Calvin Coolidge! Put together!") She didn't really talk like that; see The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

The mobster's girlfriend is lovely-legged Cyd Charisse, one of the few dancers to star with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. She'd just had a baby. I'll have to see Brigadoon (1954) again, although that was mainly running around in the heather. Maybe The Harvey Girls (1946).

The dubbing element of the plot is more complicated than it seems. According to the wikipedia article:


Although the film revolves around the idea that Kathy has to dub over for Lina's voice, in the talking scenes it was actually Jean Hagen's normal voice. Reynolds herself was dubbed in "Would You?" and "You are My Lucky Star" by an uncredited Betty Noyes. Also, when Kathy is supposedly dubbing Lina's voice in the live performance of "Singing in the Rain" at the end of the film, Jean Hagen is actually dubbing Reynolds' singing voice.

So sometimes Jean is dubbing Debbie who is pretending to dub Jean.


Available on Blu-ray with a fine image and gorgeous color. The commentary track is a team effort patched together with no one actually watching the movie.