When I was younger, I remember seeing a film about the introduction of sound to film. The scene that stuck out in my mind was where the director was trying to pick up the lead actress’s voice with a microphone in a plant, but she kept moving her head around too much. For years I had no idea what this film was, until recently when I watched Singin’ in the Rain.
Set in 1927, two silent picture stars, Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood come to terms with the popularity of the talkie. While Don has the voice for talkies, Lina struggles – even with the help of a diction coach. When their latest film is transformed into a musical, aspiring actress Kathy Selden is brought in to dub over Lina’s voice.
When they say “they don’t make them like that anymore”, this film is the sort of thing they’re talking about. A fun plot, Hollywood royalty with real talent and infectious songs that get lodged in your head for years.
This film shows exactly what a star is. Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood is the purest example of a Hollywood star there ever was. He sings, he dances and is incredibly handsome. In modern times, there is no actor that compares to the likes of Kelly.
While it is clear that Singing’ in the Rain has of course aged visually, the film is just as enjoyable now as it ever has been. The large musical scenes are full of spectacle with inspiration clearly being drawn from legendary choreographer Busby Berkley. Even the non-musical scenes are still full of magic through the beautiful period costumes used throughout.
It’s still funny and witty, and is bound to get you singing along with the well-known and exceedingly catchy songs. Next time you’re out in the rain, don’t forget to swing that umbrella and take a leaf out of Don Lockwood’s book and burst into song!
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