Title: Singin’ in the Rain
Length: 103 minutes
Directors: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
Writers: Adolph Green & Betty Comden
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Music: Nacio Herb Brown & Arthur Freed (most of the songs); Lennie Hayton (musical director)
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Hagen) and Best Score (musical); currently #76 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: a pair of silent movie stars make the transition to talkies
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Concept: Bad. The old musical about people making a musical shtick.
Special effects/design: Indifferent. It looks like they just filmed on whatever MGM sets didn’t happen to be in use on that day.
Acting: Good. Well, the acting is pretty mediocre, but the performances are otherwise great.
Music: Great. The arrangements are way too heavy, but it’s still great music. Wikipedia tells me it’s a sort of showcase of the best songs from Brown’s and Freed’s careers.
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great). My wife and I had been dreading watching this movie. Turns out it’s one of the best movies from the 1950s that we’ve seen. They don’t take it for granted that singing and dancing is entertaining in itself. It’s funny, and the dancing is delightful and impressive, incorporating a lot of Vaudeville-style gags. All that’s missing is the Muppets. I guess I should give Hollywood musicals a chance, and stop judging them based on stage musicals and bad Disney movies.
Objective Rating: 2.8/4 (Good).