Damon Wadyko’s review published on Letterboxd:
SINGIN' IN THE SHOWER
Last night Julie and I watched the classic film SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. For years she has been telling me that I need to see this film, but I have resisted stubbornly. I am not a huge fan of musicals. But the ones I like, I like a lot.
I liked this one. A lot.
I have always considered the 1950s as a low point in American cinema. I am getting over this prejudice as I am always discovering films from that era that question the conservative, commie fearing, White God loving morals of that dark decade.
Films like REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, IMITATION OF LIFE, THE STEEL HELMET.
SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is nothing like those films. It is light and fluffy. And amazing.
The plot concerns the transition of film from silent movies to the talkies in the late 1920s. It was a turbulent time for the industry and the big studios were all rushing to figure out how to make the new technology work.
In this movie within a movie, a new sound film is released to the disastrous reaction of a preview audience. The star of the film, his actress girlfriend, with a golden voice, along with his best friend, a musician, promise the studio head that they can fix it.
What ensues is the trio's attempt to salvage the picture by turning it into a musical. All of this is in service to showcase some of the most jaw dropping dance sequences possibly ever committed to film.
Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds perform feats that seem to defy gravity and stretch the limits of what the human body is capable of. And it's all real. There are no doubles, no special effects, camera tricks or fast cuts.
Kelly, co-director of the film, insisted that the dance numbers be shot so that the audience can see their entire bodies at all times. The effect is dazzling.
The three leads are the embodiment of the term 'triple threat'.
There are no political pronouncements, no comments on society, or any philosophical stands here. This is pure entertainment. Movie Magic that is now seldom seen.
As I said in a previous review, the only filmmakers today that even come close are the French duo of Gordon & Able.
It's been a long, hot, miserable summer in Texas. This RAIN was very welcome.
I should have known. Julie is always right.
Recommendation: Double feature with THE ARTIST.