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Still shot from the movie: Singin’ In The Rain.

Singin’ In The Rain

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds sing and dance their hearts out in the hilarious portrayal of Hollywood's transition from silent films to talkies. This classic family movie teaches us to make the most of a bad situation and is perfect for all music loving generations.

Overall Grade: A
Violence: B
Sexual Content: A-
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: B
Release Date: 10 Apr 1952
Run Time: 102
MPAA Rating: G

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In-Depth Review

At the gala premiere of a 1927 silent film, adoring fans clamor for a glimpse of The Royal Rascal's illustrious stars: Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). The heartthrob and bombshell woo the crowd but play down a tabloid-reported off-screen romance, before escaping the mob and making their way to a party hosted by Monumental Pictures. Here the guests are treated to a most curious novelty--a talking picture demonstration.

Convinced the idea will be a flop, the movie studio forges full steam ahead with The Dueling Cavalier, Lockwood and Lamont's next audio-less blockbuster. But production is abruptly halted when a rival studio launches The Jazz Singer, Hollywood's first talking picture, and it surprisingly sails to the top of the charts. Changing course midstream, the Monumental team attempts to get on board the industry's revolution by converting their film.

The exasperating technical difficulties prove to be just the beginning of their hilarious problems. When a test screening reveals Lina's high-pitched squeaky voice (think of chewing on Styrofoam) makes audiences everywhere cringe, their movie is in danger of becoming The Dueling Dud. To keep the project afloat, Don's true off-screen leading lady, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), secretly dubs over Lina's squeal, while his best friend and musical genius Cosmo Brown (Donald O' Connor) lends a hand by renovating the script into The Dancing Cavalier.

Witty antics and catchy tunes are never ending in this melodious masterpiece. Made during the pinnacle of musical productions, MGM pulled out all the stops to poke fun at Hollywood's sound transformation. Remarkable dance numbers include Donald O'Connor's self-inflicted slapstick, Make 'Em Laugh, Gene Kelly's saturated classic, Singin' In The Rain, and a stunning modern number featuring Cyd Charisse.

One of the things that make this song and dance epic so enduring is the license it gives every man, woman and child to sing and jump through puddles on a rainy day, balking at tomorrow's imminent fever. Singin' In The Rain's infectious optimism makes you believe some lighthearted humor and fancy footwork are the best prescription for weathering life's storms.

One of the things that make this song and dance epic so enduring is the license it gives every man, woman and child to sing and jump through puddles on a rainy day, balking at tomorrow's imminent fever. Singin' In The Rain's infectious optimism makes you believe some lighthearted humor and fancy footwork are the best prescription for weathering life's storms.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Overall: A Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds sing and dance their hearts out in the hilarious portrayal of Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies. This classic family movie teaches us to make the most of a bad situation and is perfect for all music loving generations.

Violence: B Woman faints in crowd. Character’s clothing torn by over-adoring fans. Character employed as stunt man performs acts such as staged bar fight, driving plane into barn, speeding motorcycle off cliff, and entering exploding building. Choreographed swords and spears dueling scenes. Silly antics include: character kicked in backside, cake thrown into face, character falling off bench backwards. Dance routine includes numerous instances of slapstick violence, such as head hitting wooden beam and man crashing through wall.

Sexual Content: A- Girls outfitted in leg-revealing dance costumes. Several kisses occur between unmarried characters including one that is forced, and an arm kissed from wrist to shoulder. Couple embraces and shows affection. The expression "make love" is used in an emotional, not physical sense. Mildly seductive dancing in one number.

Language: A None.

Drugs/Alcohol: B Several characters smoke cigars and cigarettes. Smoke-filled pool hall depicted. Alcohol served at parties and clubs.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Many of the characters in this film express their emotions through song and dance. If Lina were given a musical number, what might it be like?

Don hints that the tabloid magazines were fed rumors building up the romance between Lockwood and Lamont directly from Monumental Pictures, an obvious ploy to boost fan popularity and hopefully ticket sales. Do you think that media manipulation is used as a marketing tool in reality?

Video alternatives

The Artist, follows another actor caught in the movie industry’s transition from silent to talking films. Winning the 2011 Best Picture Oscar, this silent film’s success may prove there is still a place for this quiet art form.

Looking for other musicals? Try White Christmas, The Sound Of Music, South Pacific, or Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: Singin’ In The Rain: 60th Anniversary

Release Date: 17 July 2012

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Singin’ In The Rain

- Commentary by Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, Stanley Donen,Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Baz Luhrmann, and Rudy Behlmer.

- Singin’ in the Rain: Raining on a New Generation (Documentary)

- Great Performances: Musicals Great Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at MGM (1996 PBS Documentary)

- What a Glorious Feeling: The Making of Singin’ in the Rain

- You Are My Lucky Star Outtake

- Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed Film Excerpts (A collection of 12 film clips from earlier movies that originally carried the Freed/Brown songs.)

- 26xScoring Stage Session Cues

- Stills Gallery

- Trailer

The Singin’ In The Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector’s Limited Edition also includes:

- 48 page hard cover production book with never-before-seen memos and photos.

- Custom full-size umbrella

- Theatrical poster reproductions

- 4 hours of Bonus Content

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About the Reviewer: Melanie Law

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