Today was a big day here at Well Did You Evah. Singin’ In The Rain was released in US cinemas 61 years ago and this gave us a good excuse to re-watch, what has been for many years, one of our favourite films. N.B. We really don’t need any excuse to watch any musicals, my Gene Kelly box set says so.
This is a joint piece. We actually had a fight over who got to write about it.
Now I’m not going to review the film, it’s that famous I’m hoping you already know what it’s about. The fact that it’s on every Christmas as well should help you. (Yes I have counted, I watch it whenever it’s on.)
This film has it all- silent black and white parts, colour musical parts. Scenes you can laugh in, scenes you want to weep in. Let’s not forget the stars of the show Gene Kelly (swoon) Donald O’Connor and a young Debbie Reynolds. The lady who stands out most yet hardly anyone remembers her name, is the fantastic Jean Hagen. Her voice is great.
When the film was released in 1952 it didn’t do as well as you might think. It got average ratings and the only recognition award wise was when O’Connor won Best Actor at the Golden Globes. Today you’ll find it’s one of the best known musicals, it has a musical production at the Palace Theatre London and is number one on the AFI’s 100 Years of Musicals list. Quite an achievement.
At the time of filming Kelly was 40 and Reynolds was 20 and if you search hard enough you’ll find some nasty stories about the working relationship between them. Kelly worked everyone on the set hard, just like all the other films he had a big role in. Kelly looked amazing for 40, how can you not smile at this face?
Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown are musical geniuses coming up with songs you can sing along to for days. Factor in Gene Kelly’s choreography and you’ve obviously got a film that could make anyone jealous. The funny dancing that O’Connor does in Make Em’ Laugh makes you want to try it yourself (Please Note: Me & Cat have tried some of it) and the tongue twister of Moses is a part you’ll never forget. You’ll also have to try extremely hard to forget Hagen’s voice “What’s wrong with the way I talk? What’s the big idea? Am I dumb or something?”
It’s a great musical with something for all the family oh and it has Cyd Charisse in. With a sexy green dress.
Singin’ in the Rain, if you haven’t seen it we urge you to, is one of those musicals which gets you addicted. By the fifth time you watch it, here at Well Did You Evah, we may have accomplished watching it 5 times in about 3 days, you will be singing along. By day ten you may need to look into your house and contents insurance as you will be trying to dance along with the cast. We warn you when it comes to Cosmo Brown’s Make Em’ Laugh, you will need to clear the room and on occasion make sure you are not running at any windows or fire places.
So while it’s still cold and snowing go make a hot drink, grab some biscuits and let Singin’ In the Rain warm you up a bit. Gene Kelly’s sure to do that for you. I’m sure to do it but the question is Would You?