Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★★

I've been off my classic Hollywood game recently, so it felt good to revisit one of the indisputable masterpieces of the studio system. This is not the end-all and be-all of musicals for me, but I think the reason why it endures as such in the critical consciousness is that it has a truly perfect balance between comedy and music, and because the movie industry storyline gives it an extra hook for audiences less predisposed to the aesthetic joys of the Freed Unit. Like all of Gene Kelly's great films, this is just bursting with life; even its more scathing moments of comedy seem celebratory. Every number is a feat of choreography, and Kelly and Stanley Donen's direction serves as a perfect complement, from the long take simplicity of "Make 'Em Laugh" to the soaring crane shots in "Singin' in the Rain'" to the Technicolor bliss of the "Broadway Melody" dream ballet.

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