Monday, March 12, 2012

Movie Mondays: Singin' in the Rain

Over the weekend, Emmy said something on Twitter about how she had the urge to watch Singin' in the Rain. The minute I saw her tweet, I knew I'd found my choice for this week's movie.


I love this movie. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it. (Heads up - if you love this movie, do NOT read the trivia section about it on IMDb. It will make you saaaaaaaaaaad...)

Reasons why Singin' in the Rain is awesome:
1. Gene Kelly. My God, that man could dance.
2. The costumes. Divine decadence.
3. Lina's voice. You can't help but laugh.
4. Donald O'Connor. Apparently he was really unwell when they were filming the "Make 'em Laugh" scene, to the point where he was so exhausted afterwards that he had to spend three days in bed to recover!
5. TAP DANCING, SO MUCH TAP DANCING. I'm not going to lie - a combination of this movie and seeing 42nd Street live on stage is what made me take up tap dancing a millionty years ago.
6. The "Make 'em Laugh" routine.
7. Movie directors wearing ridiculous puffy trousers and knee high boots.
8. Debbie Reynolds. She was only 19 when this was filmed, and had to catch several buses from her parents' house to the lot every day.
9. How often Gene Kelly acts/speaks directly to the camera.
10. Cyd Charisse. I actually don't like the "Broadway Melody" interlude-y thing, but she's an incredible dancer.
11. OH MY GOD, THE SHOES. (I'm not sure if I love these or Cyd Charisse's green ones from "Broadway Melody" more...)
12. The "Singin' in the Rain" routine. It was filmed in one take, and Gene Kelly ad-libbed a lot of it.
13. Jean Hagen. It takes a lot to be so dislikeable a character and still steal the show.
14. No matter how insanely strenuous the dance routines are, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor always look like they're having a blast.
15. Gene Kelly's spectacular collection of knee high socks.
16. When the sound and the picture get out of sync at the screening of the Duelling Cavalier. Genius!!

Not to mention the following quotes, many of which are from Lina, so appear far less funny than they actually are when they're in her ridiculous squeaky voice:
- "She's so refined I think I'll kill myself."
- "What's wrong with the way I talk? What's the big idea? Am I dumb or something?"
- "Haven't you heard? She's irresistible! She told me so herself."
- "And I can't stand him!"
- "You've got to show a movie at a party. It's a Hollywood law!"
- "I'd rather kiss a tarantula." "You don't mean that." "I don't? Hey Joe - bring me a tarantula."
- "Well of COURSE we talk. Don't everybody?"
- "Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously. Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses, as Moses supposes his toeses to be."
- "Well I can't make love to a bush!" (there's a microphone hidden in the shrubbery)
- "Sensational! Cosmo, remind me to give you a raise." "Oh, R.F.?" "Yes?" "Give me a raise."
- "I can't quite visualise it, I'll have to see it on film."
- "I happen to be in *love* with her." "That's ridiculous, everybody knows you're in love with me!"
- "I make more money than...than...than Calvin Coolidge. Put together!!"
- "People?! I ain't people!"
- "Lina. She can't act, she can't sing, she can't dance. A triple threat."
- "I gave an exclusive story to every paper in town."
- "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."

Who else covets basically every pair of shoes in this film?? Or, you know, just loves the crap out of it?

K xx


  1. I love singing in the rain - I wrote many a film essay on this musical :) MANY an essay (where i mentioned juxtaposition...clearly).

    having seen the artist - it really made me want to watch this again :)

    1. That's what made me want to watch it too! At the beginning I could almost hear Lena's voice through that blonde actress... and the main character TOTALLY looks like Gene Kelly.

    2. Hmm, I was a little hesitant about seeing the Artist, but if there's a Lina-esque character, perhaps I need to reassess!!!

  2. i just saw this movie last year... and i agree when emmy brought it up i figured i should revisit it!

    1. Excellent choice. I can't believe it took you that long to see it - surely Emmy's nagged you before that?? ;)

  3. What amazes me about this movie- and scores of others that are similar made at the same time- is the "uncut take."

    Today, dance sequences are done over and over and over and over again, with varying degrees of success and with various camera angles. Then, the director cobbles together a scene with a conglomeration of feet shots, face shots, body angles, wide shots, close ups and such. The performers only have to be on top of their game for a few seconds at a time.

    But this movie? (And every other one of this era) They hold a wide angle shot, and the dancers perform the entire routine, nearly flawlessly. Once in awhile, they'll cut to their feet or a different angle, but it's solid sequences for sixty or ninety seconds at a time or MORE. Today? I'm impressed if the hold the same shot for three seconds.

    Once you notice it, it's shocking and awe-inspiring.

    1. Exactly. And then Gene Kelly (and others) would go off and repeat the entire thing with tap shoes on so they could record the sounds. To this day, I don't know how they did it.

      (In terms of modern films, Centre Stage is one of the few I've seen where they do a wide angle shot for a longer period. But considering they were all professional dancers, it's not all that surprising!)

  4. I'm so happy that I inspired this post - and that Alice watched it! It's the best Monday morning ever! I might have to watch it again tonight because it's just that awesome. And just... Gene Kelly. I love him so much. He's completely brilliant and I could watch him dance all day every day. I think I need to just go out and buy/rent a million of his movies and have a big ol' marathon of Gene Kelly dancing.

    Also- someday I want to play Lena in a stage production. I think it would the most fun role to play EVER.

    And I have seen it on stage. There was a theatre near my house where I grew up and Debbie Reynolds LOVED to perform there. Well, it closed when I was in high school, but they decided that their last musical performed on that stage would be Singing in the Rain and it was SO COOL. It actually rained on the stage and if you sat in the front rows you had to wear a poncho because he would splash you with his umbrella.

    1. A Gene Kelly marathon is an awesome idea. I may have to do the same!!

      And YES - playing Lina would be AMAZING.

      I saw it on stage probably ten or so years ago. SO. GOOD.

  5. So now I need to watch this movie, too. Huzzah!

    I absolutely love those blue shoes and I think I need them in my life.


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