I’m a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to musicals. I can’t stand the over acting and the bursting out into song for no reason. That said, Singin’ in the Rain somehow manages to strike a chord in my cold cold heart.
The sheer brute force and energy in every scene sets it aside from the rest. Gene Kelly seems to power through the numbers, it’s transfixing to watch. I hear Donald O’Connor had to be hospitalised after the Make ‘em laugh sequence, and that Debbie Reynolds’ feet were bleeding after the Good Morning scene; this level of commitment shows onscreen.
There’s a broadway scene which I always forget about. I bring it up because it’s surprising to see something coarsing with so much sexual energy in a 1952 musical comedy. It’s a great scene though, just when you thing it’s beginning to drag they take it up a notch and Cyd Charisse’s trailing dress takes off into the air, becoming a third dancer in the frame.
The whole thing is backed up by nifty camerawork and gorgeous set design. 63 years on, this is still a laugh-out-loud funny and totally mesmeric production; a timeless classic.
One of the greatest films ever put to celluloid.