Archive for March 22nd, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1952 102m) DVD1/2

Monumental Pictures Presents

p  Arthur Freed  d/ch  Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen  w  Betty Comden, Adolph Green  ph  Harold Rosson  ed  Adrienne Fazan  md  Lennie Hayton  m/ly  Arthur Freed, Nacio Herb Brown  art  Cedric Gibbons, Randall Duell  cos  Walter Plunkett

Gene Kelly (Don Lockwood), Debbie Reynolds (Kathy Selden), Donald O’Connor (Cosmo Brown), Jean Hagen (Lina Lamont), Millard Mitchell (R.F.Simpson), Rita Moreno (Zelda Zanders), King Donovan (Rod), Cyd Charisse (Dancer), Douglas Fowley (Roscoe Dexter), Madge Blake (Dora Bailey), Tommy Farrell (Sid Phillips), Kathleen Freeman (Phoebe Dinsmore), Robert Watson, Mae Clarke, Dawn Addams,

Singin’ in the Rain is one of those films that finally convinces me that my generation is myopic.  If you asked your everyday film buff what Singin’ in the Rain meant to them, it’s a fair bet to say about 50% of them will say that it was sung by Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange.  The fact is that musicals are dead, but not because they aren’t still popular; Chicago won best picture, Evita did alright, too, and Joss Whedon’s musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was universally acclaimed, but they represent a stagy form of musicals, based on or inspired by Broadway productions.  Real musicals are from that golden age of the studio system where studios had stars and technicians under contract and musicals were churned out like factory produce.  At MGM, producer Arthur Freed headed a mini studio within a studio and, following the success of An American in Paris, he handed himself carte blanche for his next production, which was to be a movie satire including the back catalogue of songs written by Freed with Nacio Herb Brown.  It didn’t sound promising, but what resulted was the greatest musical ever made.  Period. (more…)

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