Thursday night, as part of a nationwide event sponsored by TCM, NCM Fathom, and Warner Bros., I had the pleasure of seeing Singin’ in the Rain (1952) on the big screen. Although I am very familiar with one of the happiest songs ever produced, I had never before seen the musical that it inspired. As it was my first time seeing the film, it was an especially exciting event, and I was not disappointed.
The film began with an introduction by Robert Osborne; he interviewed the star of this film, Debbie Reynolds. She was just as spunky as when she was eighteen and playing the role of the feisty yet innocent Kathy Selden. She believes she received the role on account of her innocence: “There were a lot of virgins in those days,” she explained. She explained that she didn’t know how to dance when she received the part and that she trained for months and months before filming began. Watching the film, it’s hard to imagine; her performance seems flawless.
I had no idea that this film was going to be so funny! I was smiling and laughing almost the entire movie. This was truly some of the most fun I’ve ever had at the theater. I loved the scene where Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) are at a training session with a voice coach to prepare for Don’s upcoming “talkie” film. While I’m still not quite sure why they covered the voice coach with trash and furniture, I found their rhyming song charming. In fact, the entire film seemed to spew with charm. Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), while beautiful, had the most nauseating voice. At one point in the film, when she squealed in her nasal tone, “Do they think I’m dumb or somethin’?!” a woman in the audience yelled, “Yes!” I went in assuming that people in the audience would sing along; however, the audience was fairly quiet, aside from laughter and clapping at the close of each major dance sequence. I have to say, as someone who doesn’t generally enjoy dance (it’s the Welsh in me!), I found this thoroughly entertaining. I was so impressed with the actors’ ability to stay synchronized with each other. I can only imagine how many times they had to shoot these scenes. (Debbie Reynolds complained in her interview that her shoes would often be bloody after repeating the dance sequences so many times each day during filming.)
Although some of the film seemed to be “filler,” it was all superbly entertaining. The “long veil” scene within the “Broadway Melody” number (while not really necessary to the film) was breathtaking. I can’t even imagine how long it took the crew and cast to nail it. Again, it seemed flawless.
I can’t say enough good things about this film. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen; it has definitely found its way among my favorite films.
[Special thanks to Mallory at Pure Brand Communications and NCM Fathom for the tickets to this event!]