Movie: Singin’ in the Rain
Release Date: April 11, 1952
Director: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen.
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds.
Tag Lines: “Singin’ Swingin’ Glorious Feelin’ Technicolor Musical.”
“What a Glorious Feeling!”
“MGM’s Musical Treasure!”
Relevance: I definitely knew the song “Singin’ in the Rain” before I ever saw the movie. Growing up, no one in my family was by any means a good singer, including myself. But that didn’t stop us from always singing one bit. My dad was the biggest culprit. He could turn any conversation into a one man show at any given time. Mention the word “dish rag” and he would start singing a song about, well, a dish rag. I couldn’t tell you if any of the songs he sang were legitimate songs, but they always got our attention with either a laugh or an eye roll. So when it was raining, there was always a quick verse of “Singin’ in the Rain.” And even as a kid, I knew at least that song was real.
I don’t remember the first time I actually saw the movie ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ I do remember watching bits and pieces throughout my childhood though. I remember at least once (probably more) with my mom, a huge fan of musicals in general and especially Gene Kelly. She loved watching that man dance. I remember watching it at my maternal Grandparents house and hearing my Grandfather sing along to the title song and laugh every time Donald O’Connor was on the screen. I remember my Grandmother saying that she loved Debbie Reynolds and see her smiling while watching her. I am not quite sure when or even if I watched the movie all the way through from beginning to end as a kid, but I do remember my family’s reaction when they were watching it. Pure joy.
One day while in Graduate school somewhere between 1993 and 1995, I finally watched ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’ A theater classmate of mine had the movie and during a social gathering played it, mostly for background noise. I don’t know why but although I did socialize a bit at the party, I was more interested in the film. That either says a lot about the party or the movie. Maybe both. Regardless, I was hooked. I borrowed the movie from my friend and watched it a few times over the next few days. And I fell in love. The singing. The comedy. The dancing. Oh, the dancing. It was, well, pure joy.
Over the years, the movie has been watched so many times it is difficult to count. I even go on YouTube every now and again and watch “Good Morning” if I feel I need an extra boost to get through the day. Because that is what the song and the movie does for me. It makes me feel so happy, so joyful that I feel like I can take on the world. ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ made my entire family smile and laugh for years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down for me any time soon.
Today’s Thoughts: Joy. Pure joy. That is how I feel now that I have watched ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ again today. The movie is just infectious spreading smiles (not covid-19) to its audience. Anyone that watches this movie and doesn’t smile or laugh at least once, check your pulse. You may be dead.
I am of course a huge fan of the musical genre. There are actually twenty-four of them on this list of my most influential movies of all time. Although I have many more musicals to watch this year, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ has to the biggest and best old school musical ever brought to the big screen. I absolutely adore this movie. It makes me happy. And sometimes that is all you need from a movie, to make you happy.
Gene Kelly was the king, Donald O’Connor was the clown and Debbie Reynolds the princess and the three together are musical gold. All you have to do is watch “Good Morning” for proof of that. It is hands down the best scene for me in the film and there are a lot of great scenes to choose from. It is just four minutes of pure energy and happiness. The choreography is superb and its execution flawless. This number and “Singin’ in the Rain” have to be the most iconic moments in movie musical history.
Jean Hagen was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and it was so well deserved. Her comedic performance as Linda Lamont is fantastically hysterical. Donald O’Connor was equally hysterical as Cosmo. His “Make ‘Em Laugh” song will do just that, make you laugh. It was also fun to see Rita Moreno and Cyd Charisse in smaller but memorable roles.
‘Singin’ in the Rain’ is the perfect movie to watch on a rainy day. Or a sunny day. Or any day, period. It is art in its highest musical form. If it doesn’t get you singing or dancing or tapping your feet, it will at least make you smile from ear to ear.
Awards: Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Jean Hagen (nomination), Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Lennie Hayton (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical, Donald O’Connor (winner), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Film from any Source (nomination), Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly (nomination), National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films (winner), National Film Registry (1989), Writers Guild Of America Award for Best Written American Musical, Betty Comden, Adolph Green (nomination).
Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.