October 6th, 2014: Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Cast and Crew: Stanley Donen (Co-Director); Arthur Freed (Producer); Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Rita Moreno

What It’s About: Old stars, like Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are forced to adapt or fail, while new stars, like Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) get their big breaks when Talkies arrive and shake-up the movie business in this musical send-up of Hollywood history and legend.

Why Watch it Today?: The Jazz Singer, the smash hit that made talking pictures a success, was released today in 1927. The Jazz Singer changed Hollywood forever, and the awkward transition period was full of stories and legends that Singin’ in the Rain uses to great advantage, from the stars whose accents made their work in sound impossible (Clara Bow, for example), to those sabotaged in the recording studio (John Gilbert), difficulty of working with early microphones, and more. Singin’ in the Rain is one of star and co-director Gene Kelly’s best and most beloved films with not only wonderful song and dance numbers, but also great comedic moments and plenty of Hollywood lore woven into the story for the film buff.

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