Movie Mirrors Index

Singin’ In the Rain

(1952 c 103')

En: 8 Ed: 7

Two romantic silent screen stars try to adjust to making a talking picture. He falls in love with a young actress while the star with a shrill voice becomes jealous.

         Stars arrive at a Hollywood premiere. Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is with his co-star Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) and is asked to tell his story.

         Don and Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) perform comedy, singing, and dancing in vaudeville and then come to Hollywood’s Monumental studio. In silent movies Don becomes a stunt man. Producer R. F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell) stars Don with Lina. In the movie Don is a swashbuckler who wins Lina. She has a screechy voice and is advised not to speak in public. Don tells Lina that their publicized romance is not real.

         After the premiere Don avoids fans and jumps into a car that Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) is driving. She prefers stage acting and dismisses his films. At the Coconut Grove party Simpson shows a talking picture and says Warner Brothers is making The Jazz Singer. Kathy pops out of a cake. Chorus girls sing “All I Do Is Dream of You.” Kathy throws a cake at Don, but it hits jealous Lina.

         Don has been looking for Kathy, and Cosmo sings “Make ’em Laugh.” Lina tells Don that she got Kathy fired. While Don and Lina play a silent love scene, they argue quietly. Simpson announces they will make a talking picture.

         “Beautiful Girl” is a musical montage. Simpson hires Kathy, and Don is glad to see her. He sets a stage for her and sings “You Were Meant for Me.” They dance.

         Lina tries to learn elocution. Don and Cosmo turn a lesson into singing and dancing. Director Roscoe Dexter (Douglas Fowley) tells Lina to speak into the microphone, but they have troubles.

         At the preview the sound is awful; the audience laughs because it is so bad. Don wants to quit, but Cosmo and Kathy suggest they make it a musical. They sing “Good Mornin’” and dance. Cosmo suggests that Kathy could sing for Lina. Kathy kisses Don and Cosmo. After kissing Kathy goodnight, Don sings “Singin’ in the Rain” and dances on the wet street.

         Simpson likes the idea of a musical. Kathy records “Would You.” Don sings “Broadway Rhythm” and dances with a dancer (Cyd Charisse) in a romantic fantasy. Simpson tells Don to have Kathy record Lina’s dialog without letting Lina know. Zelda (Rita Moreno) tells Lina, who orders Kathy to get out. Don says he is in love with Kathy.

         Lina publicizes her singing and threatens to sue Simpson if he gives Kathy credit. During the premiere the audience applauds. Lina says that Kathy will sing for her in more pictures. The others object but let Lina speak. The audience wants to hear her sing. Kathy sings for her behind the curtain. Simpson, Don, and Cosmo pull the curtain open. Don says Kathy is the real star and sings “You Are My Lucky Star” with Kathy.

         This classic Hollywood musical spoofs the transition to talking pictures that gave birth to movie musicals. A conceited movie star with little talent has difficulty adjusting and is exposed as a selfish fraud.

Copyright © 2012 by Sanderson Beck

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